Eating disorders are not solely about food. You can not just one day change your eating habits because you decided to do so when you are suffering from this, it is a complex illness tied closely with identity and self-esteem. Please consider that someone does NOT have to be underweight to have an eating disorder, and just because someone is underweight, does NOT automatically mean they do either.
It may be hard for someone who has developed anorexia nervosa to see themselves positively at a healthy weight, hence they begin to restrict their caloric intake and exercising. They may tie their self-worth to a number on the scale or measuring tape.
There are many physical ailments that can come from anorexia nervosa such as heart and kidney problems, loss of bone density (how thick your bones are), a lower resting heart rate (but not the Michael Phelps kind), fertility problems and as much as 10% of sufferers pass away due to health problems or suicide.
Bulimia nervosa is described as a cycle of binge eating, then followed by a “purging” (which eliminates food from the body either by vomiting or by laxative). People who develop bulimia nervosa may feel their self worth tied to their weight like those suffering from anorexia.
Health issues are complicated with bulimia as they may include kidney problems, severe dehydration, digestive problem and damage to your mouth, throat and teeth from the acid in regurgitating food.
BINGE EATING DISORDER
Binge eating involves period of over indulgence or over eating. People who suffer from binge eating may feel a lack of control in regards to how much they eat, and may feel depressed or guilty after binge eating. Most of the time, it is kept a secret although it may be used as a source of comfort. Many people tend to develop binge eating after a series of failed “yoyo dieting”, and some people may fast for extended periods of time after binge eating.
This can lead to Type 2 diabetes, increased blood pressure and weight gain.
There is hope! Talk to your doctor today about setting up a plan to help you through therapy and other avenues that may benefit you.