America’s Three Most Common Eating Disorders

A depressed girl sitting on the floor in a bathroom Eating disorders affect women and girls primarily, but men are no exception, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. 10 million men and 20 million women are diagnosed with this category of mental illness in America today. Most Americans who need help with eating disorders share the three most common health conditions.

Bulimia Nervosa

The emotion and attitude of a person with bulimia nervosa about food is not similar to that of someone without mental health issues. The most pronounced symptom of the illness is the compensatory behaviors after a large intake of food. The inappropriate habits following binge eating may include diuretic or laxative abuse, obsessive physical exercise, vomiting, or fasting. A person with this illness is highly at risk for gastric ulcers, pancreatitis, rupture of the esophagus and stomach, and possibly heart failure.

Binge-Eating Disorder

Unlike bulimia nervosa, there are no inappropriate compensatory measures among persons with binge-eating disorder or other specified feeding or eating disorders (OSFED). This problem does not favor any demographic group; it can assail anyone. A person with OSFED consumes excessive food within a short time. Consequently, the patient may already be suffering from medical sequelae such as hypertension, high cholesterol levels, obesity, and Type II diabetes.

Anorexia Nervosa

Many persons with this condition are underweight, but not all. The defining characteristic is a mortal terror of gaining weight despite an already emaciated physical condition. A person with anorexia nervosa associates self-worth with his or her body weight. Unfortunately, the fatality rate is high among people diagnosed with the mental health problem.

Treatment centers are widely available in the United States. However, you must identify and confirm the problem first. Getting the right kind of help is important since these disorders are mental health conditions with equally serious physical health consequences.

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