Eating disorders are mental disorders defined by abnormal eating habits that negatively affect a person's physical or mental health. They include binge eating disorder where people eat a large amount in a short period of time.
Symptoms: A man or woman suffering from an eating disorder may have several symptoms such as: 1. Chronic dieting despite being hazardously underweight. 2. Constant weight fluctuations. 3. Obsession with calories and fat contents of food. 4. Engaging in ritualistic eating patterns, such as cutting food into tiny pieces, eating alone, and/or hiding food. 5. Continued fixation with food, recipes, or cooking; the individual may cook intricate meals for others but refrain from partaking. 6. Depression or lethargic stage. 7. Avoidance of social functions, family and friends. May become isolated and withdrawn. 8. Switching between periods of overeating and fasting.
Diagnosis: During a physical exam, your doctor may check your height, weight, and vital signs. Since eating disorders can cause high or low blood pressure, slow breathing, and slow pulse rates, doctors also listen to lungs and heart. An examination of your abdomen may take place. Since eating disorders damage the body and cause problems with vital organs,such as blood count, a liver, kidney and thyroid function tests, and a urinalysis.
Treament: Treatment plans often are tailored to individual needs and may include one or more of the following: Individual, group, or family psychotherapy. Medical care and monitoring. Nutritional counseling. Medications (for example, antidepressants).
Epidemology: The occurrence of bulimia nervosa might have decreased since the early nineties of the last century. All eating disorders have an elevated mortality risk; anorexia nervosa the most striking. Compared with the other eating disorders, binge eating disorder is more common among males and older individuals.