About Eating Disorders
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by immoderate food restriction and irrational fear of gaining weight, as well as a distorted body self-perception. It typically involves excessive weight loss and usually occurs more in females than in males. Due to the fear of gaining weight, people with this disorder restrict the amount of food they consume.
Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by binge eating and purging, or consuming a large amount of food in a short amount of time followed by an attempt to rid oneself of the food consumed (purging), typically by vomiting, taking a laxative, diuretic, or stimulant, and/or excessive exercise, because of an extensive concern for body weight.
Eating overly large quantities of (often sugary) food on a regular basis. People often plan binges and carry out binge eating over a short period of time in private, with specially bought binge food. They feel they have no control over the binge eating and often feel disgusted or guilty after. Unlike people with bulimia, binge eaters do not make themselves sick after and often become overweight or obese. Men and women are affected equally by binge eating and it usually begins in later adulthood.
Selective Eating Disorder (SED)
Sufferers of SED have an inability to eat certain foods based on texture or aroma. "Safe" foods may be limited to certain food types and even specific brands. In some cases, afflicted individuals will exclude whole food groups, such as fruits or vegetables. Sometimes excluded foods can be refused based on color. Some may only like very hot or very cold food, or only very crunchy or hard-to-chew food, or very soft, or avoid sauces.
Most sufferers of SED will still maintain a healthy or normal body weight. There are no specific outward appearances associated with SED. Sufferers can experience physical gastrointestinal reactions to adverse foods such as retching, vomiting or gagging. Some studies have identified symptoms of social avoidance due to their eating habits. However, most do not desire to change their eating behaviours
What happens when you have an eating disorder?
There are different causes, symptoms and effects for different people and different disorders.
Anorexia can be caused by the way a person thinks, combined with pressure or expectation to be thin and further reinforced by a change in brain chemistry due to lack of a normal diet. People with anorexia are obsessed with being thin, usually believing they are 'fat', no matter how much weight they lose and believe that the thinner they are, the more other people will like them. Anorexia can lead to infertility, weakening of bones, kidney disease and heart failure, with about 5% dying from complications caused by malnutrition.
Some of the causes of bulimia include low self-esteem, stress, social pressure, depression, emotional problems, puberty, family environment and traumatic events. People with bulimia are extremely fearful pf putting on weight and set strict rules for dieting and exercising. When they fail, they enter a vicious cycle of bingeing, guilt and purging (through vomiting or laxatives). The effects of bulimia include dental problems (due to acid from vomiting), irregular periods and difficulty in becoming pregnant, poor skin and hair, tiredness, weakness, abnormal heart rhythms, kidney damage, fits, bowel and heart problems.
Binge eating can be caused by anxiety, stress, low self-esteem or confidence, reaction to specific events, anger, boredom, sadness, trying to lose weight, or as a way of coping with unhappiness and depression. Frequently people become trapped in a cycle of bingeing, guilt, restraint and bingeing and experience effects such as intolerance to hot and cold, stomach pains, headaches and sugar cravings. Binge eating often results in obesity which leads to joint and back pain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and heart disease, as well as shortening your life expectancy.
Selective Eating Disorder may be triggered by trauma or unpleasant memories, for example if something was eaten while hearing bad news or if someone was sick as a child after eating a certain food. Also SED can develop following a dislike of a food which escalates into a fear or aversion. People with SED may find it extremely difficult to socialise normally, being unable to eat out or with friends and often wanting to hide their 'fussy eating' from others. SED can cause dental problems from excessive sugar, significant worry and even depression. Long term, SED has serious health risks associated, including malnutrition.
Why choose hypnotherapy to overcome your eating disorder?
If you have an eating disorder, as well as choosing hypnotherapy to help you, it is essential you contact your GP for additional specialist advice.
Paul believes hypnosis is empowering and life-changing. Look around the website and get in touch should you have any queries