Eating is a natural and vital need. But what is associated with enjoyment for many people means sheer horror for some
Vomiting , binge eating or starvation – the eating disorder has many faces. But no matter how different the effects of bulimia, binge eating or anorexia , they all have one thing in common: the thoughts and feelings of those affected are constantly revolving around the subject of “eating” and nutrition . They count calories, take laxatives or devour vast amounts of food within a very short time.
Eating disorders are addictive diseases. They are behavioral disorders that are usually associated with serious and long-term damage to health. The best-known and most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, eating-vomiting addiction (bulimia nervosa), non-specific eating addiction and binge eating .
Anorexic people eat as little as possible – sometimes only two apples a day – and often try to increase their energy expenditure through exercise. They also suffer from a distorted body image: Anorexics find themselves too fat even if they are extremely underweight. Women are more frequently affected than men, although their share has increased significantly in recent years. The consequences of anorexia are undernourishment and malnutrition as well as muscle wasting. Long-term damage can include osteoporosis and infertility , among other things .
People who suffer from eating and vomiting addiction ( bulimia ) are usually of normal weight, but are very afraid of becoming fat. In order not to gain weight, they take all kinds of countermeasures: they vomit, exercise excessively, take laxatives or fast. This in turn leaves the body in a deficient state and binge eating occurs. In doing so, those affected stuff huge amounts of food into themselves. After that, they have a guilty conscience and they vomit. The cravings and the subsequent vomiting are often perceived as relaxing, but cause the first damage to health.
Food addicts compulsively eat. This form of eating disorder leads in most cases to overweight or obesity ( obesity ) with the corresponding secondary diseases.
When binge eating , those affected regularly suffer from binge eating. In doing so, they completely lose control of their food intake: Binge-Eaters gobble up sugary and fatty foods particularly quickly and without being hungry, until they feel uncomfortable full of food. After such a binge eating, those affected are disgusted with themselves and ashamed. It is not uncommon for them to suffer from depression and the consequences of being very overweight.
The different forms of eating disorders are not so easy to recognize and also not always clearly differentiated from one another: those affected often switch from one form to another, characteristics merge and mix. And: Once caught in the vicious circle of an eating disorder , you usually cannot get out without outside help.
Our special gives you an overview of the various eating disorders. We have also put together addresses for you , to which those affected and relatives seeking help can turn.
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