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Warning and signs of eating disorders

It is increasingly common and less taboo to address the issue of eating disorders, because unfortunately it is a disease that to this day is estimated to affect seven out of every 1,000 women and one out of every 1,000 men worldwide.

The WHO defines eating disorders as mental illnesses characterized by excessive weight loss deliberately by a person. With this, you risk your own health because of continuous and prolonged fasting, applying unhealthy techniques to achieve the main objective, which is not to gain weight. In some cases, it can even be life-threatening, but with proper treatment and medical follow-up, people can fully recover from these disorders.

An eating disorder cannot be identified just by looking at the person, as this disease can affect people of any age, gender, and even people who may appear healthy at first glance.

The most common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and avoidant and restrictive eating disorder (Check our last Instagram post to learn more .

But how do you know if someone is being affected by any of these disorders? Here are the early warning signs:

  1. Excessive and intense exercise

  2. Extreme concern about feeling or looking fat: Fixation with body image, size or shape

  3. Abnormal electrolyte levels: too low or too high levels of sodium, calcium, potassium, and other minerals which can lead to a stroke or heart attack.

  4. Intense fear of gaining weight, consuming calories, unhealthy diets, etc.

  5. Unusually large intake of food in a short period of time

  6. Anxiety or avoidance around eating

As mentioned before, these eating disorders are serious mental illnesses with potentially life-threatening consequences, and there are some biological, psychological and social factors that can make eating disorders worse:

  1. Low self-esteem

  2. Poor body image

  3. Anxiety

  4. Depression

  5. Peer pressure

  6. Medium pressure

  7. Exposure to people with disordered eating

How can I prevent an eating disorder? What can I do if someone I know is going through these issues?

It is important to seek professional help as soon as possible, someone who can refer you to a competent mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, who has experience treating eating disorders.

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