Eating disorders are characterized by abnormal eating habits, which are more satisfying not for physiological, but for psychological needs. The most common disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa) and compulsive overeating.
Anorexia nervosa is characterized by self-torture with hunger, weight loss, obsessive fear of fattening and distorted ideas about the beauty of the human body.
Bulimia nervosa is characterized by a periodic obsessive abuse of food, after which the food is removed by various means: through vomiting, with the help of laxatives or extreme exercises.
Compulsive overeating is the most common eating disorder, which is characterized by frequent eating disorders, but it is not accompanied by compulsory disposal of the contents of the stomach.
Forty per cent of new cases of anorexia nervosa occur in girls aged 15 to 19 years. This ratio has been increasing every decade since the 1930s.
The number of reported cases of bulimia among women aged from 10 to 39 between 1988 and 1993 has tripled.
A normal amount of food that does not harm the health of a teenager or adult should contain about 1800-2600 calories per day. During one episode of painful overeating, people often eat 20-25 times more of this amount, which can exceed 50,000 calories, which can be roughly represented as a large pepperoni pizza, a large portion of ice cream, a package of cookies, a bag of chips and a whole cake together. Patients with bulimia can eat this amount of food several times a day.
People suffering from bulimia usually abuse unhealthy foods, such as low-quality and high-calorie foods, but with little nutritional value or the so-called fast food offered in restaurants with high throughput. People with from bulimia use a laxative, believing that they can protect their bodies from surplus food by getting rid of it in this way. Nevertheless, nutrients are digested in the small intestine, and the laxative, mainly, works only in the large intestine, and a person loses water instead of excess weight.
Sufferers of bulimia often overdose laxative, which leads to inflammation of the intestinal wall, damage to the colon, severe dehydration of the body, and lowering the level of sodium and potassium in the body. Moreover, ironically, the abuse of laxatives often leads to constipation.
People suffering from eating disorders often have depression, loneliness, drug or alcohol abuse, feelings of inadequacy, excessive arousal and inexplicable anger.
Often eating disorders are associated with unstable or disturbed family relationships. Nevertheless, often too much attention to loving parents to the physique of their children leads to the emergence of these problems.