Today, I want to talk about the issue of eating disorder awareness. Enjoy!
Given that May is the month of mental health awareness, I want to share valuable information on mental health with you all. Because my blog has dealt with eating disorders, I wanted to share information about that.
Now, I know that I’ve been very open about my food issues throughout my blog. I know that there are a lot of people especially young girls, who read my blog because they can relate to my story and personal struggles. I know that I have a huge responsibility on my hands. I want everyone to know that eating disorders are not glamorous and are serious mental illnesses that can cause death. As an eating disorder blogger, I have a duty to my followers to let you know about the seriousness behind them.
According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders
- 30 million people in the US are living with an eating disorder.
- Someone dies every 62 minutes as a direct result of an eating disorder.
- Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental health illness.
The most common types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.
Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder in which the individual does not eat the adequate amount of calories which results in weight loss.
Some of the symptoms of Anorexia include:
- An intense fear of gaining weight
- Having an obsession with food
- Moving food around the dinner plate without eating it
- Wearing baggy clothes to hide weight loss
- Hiding food
Some of the side effects of Anorexia include:
- Slow heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Hair loss
- Muscle loss
- Lanugo or a thin layer of hair that covers the body
Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder in which the individual goes through frequent periods in which they consume a large amount of food then, rids the body of the food which can occur through self-induced vomiting, over-exercising, or using laxatives or diuretics.
Some of the symptoms of Bulimia include:
- Frequently going to the bathroom after a meal
- Constant complaints of an upset stomach
- Eating in secrecy
- Eating a lot of food without an apparent weight gain
Some of the side effects of Bulimia include:
- Electrolyte imbalances
- Irregular heart which can lead to heart attacks and death
- Tooth decay
- Inflammation and potential rupture of the esophagus
Binge Eating Disorder is an eating disorder in which the individual has recurring episodes of binge eating.
Some of the symptoms of Binge Eating Disorder include:
- Storing food
- Not eating much in public
- Secretly going grocery shopping
- A change in eating habits
Some of the side effects of Binge Eating include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
While eating disorders are most common in young women, let’s not forget that anyone regardless of age, gender or race can develop an eating disorder. Men can certainly develop eating disorders just as well as older women. Also, athletes may be at increased risk of developing eating disorders.
People suffering from eating disorders are at increased risk of suffering from other mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, and drug abuse.
- People suffering from eating disorders are up to five times more likely to abuse alcohol or drugs.
- 30-35% of people suffering from an eating disorder are also struggling with substance abuse
- Two-thirds of people suffering from eating disorders also suffer from anxiety disorder.
Given that eating disorders are serious and complicated issues and have the highest mortality rate of any other mental illness, it’s important that we all share this information with the people around us to help spread awareness of eating disorders. Thank you!
For more information on eating disorders please visit: