3 Common Eating Disorders and Effective Ways to Deal With Them

Eating disorders are more complicated than just odd dietary habits. At its core, an eating disorder raises self-critical, distorted attitudes about body image, weight, and food. It’s these destructive feelings and thoughts that impose the damaging behaviors. Although these ailments are curable, the symptoms can be detrimental (even deadly) if not properly attended.

Here’s a look at different eating disorders people often experience and the measures they need to take for relief.

1. Dysphagia

Some individuals lose their capability to swallow food. Difficulty swallowing, or dysphagia, is generally experienced by aging adults. The severity of dysphagia ranges from having difficulty in swallowing, to choking or coughing because the liquid or food is entering the windpipe. If the sufferer is unable to swallow his/her salvia, the ingested food can get stuck in his/her throat or he/she may drool. The condition can cause dehydration, pneumonia, malnutrition and even death.

Lifestyle changes can make symptoms of dysphagia more bearable. For instance, people with swallowing disorders can follow recipes from simplythick and similar companies that offer food thickening items. The goal of thickened meals is to bring a thicker consistency to all solids and liquids so that they are less likely to result in aspiration. Also, thickened meals like a pureed chicken with pureed carrots on the side travel more slowly down the throat, which makes them easier to swallow and control.

2. Orthorexia

Orthorexia is a fixation with righteous or clean eating. Sufferers of this order often eliminate several food groups, stick to certain recipes, and refuse to eat anything that isn’t “grass-fed” or isn’t of pure quality. Typical behaviors of this disorder include careful checking of nutrition labels and ingredient lists, cooking food in unsaturated oils, and taking vitamin supplements before bed. A few orthorexia sufferers are motivated by a desire to enhance their self-esteem, a fixation with total control, or fear of ill health.

Ironically, chronic orthorexia can result in malnourishment, depression, and anxiety. At this time of writing, there is no clinical treatment explicitly geared towards this eating disorder, but many eating disorder specialists and physicians rely on treatments that assist patients in overcoming OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and anorexia. The procedures may include exposure to psychotherapy (a type of cognitive behavior therapy that is especially beneficial for treating orthorexia) or specific “fear foods.” On a general level, treatment involves restoring moderation and balance to life.

3. Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by extreme dieting and intense elimination of food, and can also be involved exercising to extremes. People with this disorder will often view themselves as overweight, but they are quite thin. Sufferers may adopt rituals around meals (only eating specific foods, for instance), miss meals, cook for everyone else but not themselves, weigh themselves frequently, withdraw from dining out, and take appetite suppressants.

Anorexia nervosa treatment revolves around making lifestyle changes and undergoing therapy to identify issues related to eating less, addressing traumatic events, and developing the ability to deal with emotions. Nutritional treatment involves education about standard eating patterns and supervision & implementation of a tailored food plan.

Nutrition imbalances can affect you negatively without warning. Therefore, it’s vital to understand the different ways that eating disorders affect the human body and take appropriate steps to re-ignite healthy eating patterns.