What is an eating disorder?


Eating disorders frame several chronic and progressive diseases, of a psychosomatic nature, and despite the fact that they manifest through eating behavior, they actually consist of a complexity of symptoms among which an alteration or distortion of body self-image prevails, a great fear of gaining weight and other problems related to acceptance by other people.

What types of eating disorders are there?

The most common are: Binge eating disorder: It is the disorder in which the person feels periodic desires to eat food in an uncontrolled way, without causing vomiting. Bulimia: An eating disorder characterized by compulsive eating, followed by periods of guilt leading to vomiting. Anorexia nervosa: Disorder is characterized by a rejection of food where you have an aversion to food intake, do not eat, lose a lot of weight and is usually accompanied by provoked vomiting, and is accompanied by other somatic and psychological symptoms that affect to the person, in the case of women, disappearance of menstruation, problems related to the skin, anemia, among others.

What are the causes of eating disorders?

There are several factors, among which the psychological ones that can contribute to eating disorders stand out, such as low self-esteem, feelings of inadequacy or lack of control of your life, depression, anxiety, anger and / or loneliness, difficulties in personal and family relationships, difficulty expressing feelings and emotions, having received rejection due to weight, a history of physical or sexual abuse, cultural pressures that enhance the slim figure and reject being overweight, very specific definitions of beauty that include only women and men with certain weights and figures and cultural norms that value people based on their physical appearance and not on their internal qualities and virtues.

How can you tell if you have an eating disorder or that a family member is suffering from it?

Un trastorno de la alimentación se caracteriza por anomalías en los hábitos alimenticios que pueden implicar tanto la ingesta de alimentos insuficiente o excesiva afectando a la salud física y emocional de un individuo, por lo tanto se puede detectar especialmente con la baja o el aumento repentino de peso, ausencia del periodo menstrual en el caso de las mujeres, problemas en la piel, anemia, perdida de sodio y potasio que se determina con exámenes de sangre. Desde el aspecto comportamental, cambios en el estado de ánimo, tristeza excesiva, aislamiento, entre otras.

How are eating disorders related to self-esteem?

They are closely related, all eating disorders have in common the fear of obesity and the desire for a perfect body image, this being reinforced by a society that imposes canons of unreal beauties through advertising with advertisements with models or celebrities of extreme thinness. Adolescents especially, who are going through a difficult stage in which self-esteem is still forming, feel driven to follow these ideals, thinking that they correspond to normality and that if these models can be that thin and achieve social success, they should and can do the same.


When an eating-related conduct disorder is discovered, the first thing to do is consult a doctor to do the necessary laboratory tests, refer to psychiatry and psychology, as well as nutrition to follow up and little by little to change the mental schemes to see nutrition and food as necessary to have good physical and emotional health. Early detection is also important and putting yourself in the hands of specialists to follow proper treatment, which are the best weapons to combat eating disorders.


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