Eating disorders can occur from many different ways and it’s important to be clear on what an eating disorder actually is:
“An eating disorder is when you have an unhealthy attitude to food, which can take over your life or make you ill.” – NHS
They can come from eating too much or eating too little, or being obsessed with your body weight and shape. Unfortunately, it most commonly affects young girls aged around 13 to 17. However, there are many treatments that can help you recover from an eating disorder.
Types of Eating Disorders
Anorexia Nervosa occurs when a person avoids eating food, exercises too much or even both in order to keep weight levels as low as possible. Usually when a person is desperate to achieve a skinny figure to the point where it’s dangerous and unhealthy.
Bulimia occurs when you sometimes lose control of the food you eat by ‘binging’ as much food as possible in a short period of time followed by forcing yourself to be sick, using laxatives, restricting what you eat or by doing too much exercise to try and stop yourself from gaining weight.
Binge Eating Disorder is a common disorder and is when you regularly lose control of your eating by eating excessive amounts until you are uncomfortably full and then often upset or guilty.
Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder is the most common type and is when your symptoms don’t exactly match the previous types such as anorexia, bulimia or binge eating. This does not mean it’s any less of a serious disorder.
How to Know if you Have an Eating Disorder
If you or other relatives are concerned about having an unhealthy relationship with food and it’s affecting your standard eating routine then you could have an eating disorder. Common symptoms of eating disorders are as follows:
- A lot of time spent worrying about how you look in regards to your weight or body shape
- Avoiding social interactions when you know food is involved
- Exercising too much to achieve an unrealistic figure
- Eating very little or too much food
- Deliberately making yourself sick or excessively using laxatives
- Changes in your mood
There are also some physical features that you can take into consideration which include:
- Feeling cold, dizzy or tired
- Digestion problems
- Weight levels being very high or very low for someone of your age and height
- Not getting your period for women and girls
If you match some of these common symptoms then you may have an eating disorder. It is important to know that you don’t have to match all symptoms at once.
Getting Help for Eating Disorders
If you think you have an eating disorder or are even concerned in the slightest, it is advised that you seek help from either a GP or an eating disorder specialist in order to get a confirmed diagnosis and receive the necessary help that is needed to help aid you to recovery. It may also be helpful to attempt a very quick SCOFF questionnaire however, it is advised to seek professional advice rather than this test if you are looking for definite results.