What is an Eating Disorder? What are Eating Disorder Symptoms and Treatment Methods?

Eating Disorder Symptoms and Treatment Methods
Eating Disorder Symptoms and Treatment Methods

Expert Dietitian Aslıhan Küçük Budak gave information about the subject. Expert Dietitian Aslıhan Küçük Budak gave information about the subject. Eating disorder is a psychological condition that can begin with an obsession with food, body weight, or body shape, leading to the development of unhealthy eating habits. The most common symptoms of eating disorders include severe food restriction, binge eating or purging behaviors such as vomiting or excessive exercise. Although eating disorders can affect people of all ages and genders, they mostly occur in adolescents and young women. Let's look at the most common eating disorders;

Anorexia Nervosa

Individuals with anorexia nervosa constantly monitor their weight, avoid eating certain types of food, and severely restrict their calorie intake. However, they see themselves as overweight even if they are dangerously underweight. Health problems such as thinning of bones, infertility, fragility of hair and nails are seen in anorexia nervosa. In severe cases, anorexia nervosa can result in heart, brain, or multi-organ failure and death.

Bulimia Nervosa

Individuals with bulimia nervosa overeat and regret in short periods of time and tend to purge behaviors such as forced vomiting, fasting, laxative use and excessive exercise. Individuals with bulimia often have an excessive fear of gaining weight, even though they are of normal weight. Side effects of bulimia include inflammation and sore throat, swollen salivary glands, eroded tooth enamel, tooth decay, acid reflux, intestinal irritation, severe dehydration, and hormonal disturbances. Also, in severe cases, a stroke or heart attack can occur as a result of an imbalance in electrolyte levels such as sodium, potassium, and calcium.

Binge Eating Disorder

People with binge eating disorder regularly and uncontrollably consume large amounts of food in a short time, until they feel severe discomfort from overeating. durmazlar and later regret. Unlike people with other eating disorders, they do not show purging behaviors. People with binge eating disorder can often be overweight or obese, with an increased risk of developing overweight-related complications such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes.


Pica is the tendency to crave and eat non-food items such as ice, dirt, earth, chalk, soap, paper, hair, fabric, wool, gravel, laundry detergent. Individuals with pica are at high risk for poisoning, infection, intestinal injuries, and nutritional deficiencies, and pica can even be fatal due to ingested substances.

Rumination Disorder

Rumination disorder is the condition of chewing and swallowing or spitting out food that has been chewed and swallowed again, regardless of any medical condition or gastrointestinal disorder.

What is the cause of eating disorders?

The exact cause of eating disorders is unknown, but a combination of several factors can lead to the development of an eating disorder.

Genetic: Twin studies of twins separated at birth and adopted by different families often provide evidence that eating disorders may be inherited, showing that if one twin develops an eating disorder, the other twin has an average 50% risk of developing it.

Personality characteristics: Personality traits such as neuroticism, perfectionism, and impulsivity increase the risk of developing an eating disorder.

Brain biology: Differences in brain structure and biology, such as serotonin and dopamine levels, may play a role in the development of eating disorders.

Social pressure: In Western culture, achievement and personal worth equate to physical beauty. The desire to be successful and accepted, which develops with this wrong perception, increases the risk of developing an eating disorder.

How are eating disorders treated?

The method of treatment varies depending on the type of eating disorder, its cause, and overall health. Medical treatment, psychotherapy and nutritional therapy applied by a team of doctors, psychologists and nutritionists increase the chances of success.

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