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More on Eating Disorders

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Brief Over-View of Signs, Symptoms and Physiological Complications

Compulsive Over-Eating

Binge eating large quantities of food Constant grazing of food throughout day often secretively eating
Obsessive type thought of food, meals, and the desire to lose weight Continued weight gain over time
Sometimes obsessions with the scale or weighing oneself
Inability to remain on a healthy meal plan without binging episodes
Failed attempts to lose weight through various weight-loss diets, fasting or programs some even being extreme
Marked decrease in self-esteem or self-confidence
Possible mood swings
Increased feelings of hopelessness or despair
A feeling of not controlling eating compulsions
Self-loathing may be present
There is often a sense of "calm" which accompanies binging

Excess weight causes many health problems some are:

Strain on heart
Increase in blood pressure
Difficulty breathing
Stress on joints particularly knees
Increased risk of diabetes
Fatigue and decreased energy levels
Changes in metabolism
Too much weight carried can cause premature death

Bulimia

Episodes of binge eating large quantities of food followed by purging
Some abuse syrup of Ipecac for inducing vomiting
Purging may be by vomiting, use and abuse of laxatives, diuretics or excessive exercise
The binge-purge cycle is most often a secretive event
Increasing isolation for purpose of binging and purging
Obsessive thoughts of food, calories, weight, binging and purging
Often periods of restricting food accompany the plan to binge and purge
Decrease in the enjoyment of activities
Increase in mood swings
Self esteem and self confidence falls
Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
Feelings of being alone with an out-of-control secret problem
Intense fears of becoming fat and feeling fat
Body distortion or seeing oneself as fat even if not
Denial that there is a problem
Generally individual is at or around normal weight
Habit of chewing food and spitting it out
There often is a "high" and sense of relief following purging behavior

Bulimia causes many health problems some are:

Possible hair loss
For women loss of Menses
Stomach and digestive problems
Dental problems
Electrolyte imbalances, low potassium
Physical dependency on laxatives
Possible irreversible damage to intestines
Internal bleeding from purging
Possible dehydration
Heart complications
There can always be the potential of serious complications resulting in illness and death

Anorexia

Denial that there is any problem
Dramatic weight loss in short period
Exaggerated and intense fears of becoming overweight
Preoccupation with calories, food and weight
Restricting food for prolonged periods
Inability to stop dieting even when below normal weight
Distorted body image or seeing oneself as fat even with evidence to the contrary
Constant weighing of oneself throughout the day
Increased isolation from family or friends
Isolative behavior concerning food and exercise - may stop eating in front of others
Increased prolonged periods of exercise for purpose of burning calories
Increased dishonesty with self and others over eating and exercise habits
Frequent arguments with others regarding eating habits
Increased mood swings
Self esteem and confidence levels drop
Possible loss of hair from head
Increased body hair as thermal insulator for body's decreasing ability to stay warm
Loss of the ability to enjoy friends or activities
Strong feelings of being in control of oneself
There is often a "High" experienced with restricting and over exercising behavior
Possible feelings of self-loathing

Anorexia causes many health problems:

Changes in metabolism
Chronically chilly or cold
For women, loss of menses
Drop in blood pressure
Dizziness and weakness from malnutrition
Body begins feeding itself off muscle tissue and storing fat
Heart complications
Vitamin and Mineral deficiencies
If untreated Anorexia can cause premature death from starvation.