Know the symptoms and complications of eating disorders

Eating disorders are serious and oftentimes, more fatal than assumed to be. Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia can have different combinations of signs, symptoms as well as causes. While most people who suffer from eating disorders do not show any outward signs, they still experience internal feelings that can reflect destructively. These feelings include anxiety, intense pain and other such troubling or uncomfortable feelings.


 Symptoms of eating disorders

  • Continual trips to the bathroom soon after eating
  • Adherence to strict diets, regardless of the weight
  • Hoarding of large amounts of food
  • Secret binding of large amounts of food
  • Exercising several hours a day as compulsively
  • Increase in consumption of diuretics, diet pills or laxatives
  • Using stimulant medications or illicit drugs
  • Avoiding meals or even situations where food may be a part of the event
  • Preoccupation with body size and shape, or even specific aspects of appearance
  • Obsessing over intake of calories or number of calories burnt even if the person concerned may be losing a lot of weight
  • Underweight, especially protruding bones
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Brittle nails
  • Menstrual irregularities 

Complications of eating disorder

The consequences of eating disorders can range from minor to major including death. Because eating disorders limit the consumption or availability of essential nutrients for the body to function, the processes of the body slow down. The following can be some of the complications of anorexia nervosa:

  • Osteoporosis or reduction of bone density
  • Fatigue, fainting and overall weakness
  • Weakness and loss of muscle
  • Abnormally slow heart rate and low blood pressure
  • Hair loss or dry hair
  • Electrolyte imbalance that can cause irregular heartbeats, possibly triggering heart failure
  •  Inflammation and possible chances of esophagus rupture
  •  Gastric rupture during periods of binging
  • Chronic irregular bowel movements
  • Pancreatitis and peptic ulcers
  • Tooth decay; staining as a result of stomach acids being released during vomiting
  • High level of cholesterol
  • Heart disease because of high level of triglycerides
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Clearly, eating disorders can be the unfortunate cause of death if not treated early on by a doctor and psychologist. It is imperative to help or seek help when going through anxiety especially when it comes to matters related to food.

 Image Source: Getty

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