Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder that causes a person to see their body image in a way where they have an urge to lose weight, and because of this people may try to starve themselves in order to quickly lose weight. This can cause countless issues, such as organ failure, anemia, and heart disease. This illness can easily be deadly, as patients tend to have a very low body weight and suffer from the complications that come along with it.
Bulimia Nervosa is another type of eating disorder, which is similar to anorexia as it also derives from a poor body image and an extreme desire to lose weight. Patients suffering from bulimia tend to binge on food, eating far too much, and then force themselves to throw up or take large amounts of laxatives in order to remove the food they ate from their bodies. This illness also has numerous complications, such as kidney or liver failure, esophageal problems, and intestinal damage.
A third common eating disorder is known as Binge Eating Disorder, or BED. BED causes a person to have an urge to overeat. Unlike bulimia, the person does not purge after binging. This disorder can cause many long and short term side effects, such as heart problems, diabetes, or obesity.
Now, if you recognize symptoms of an eating disorder in your friends or family, there are ways you can help them. These illnesses can be recognized if someone is skipping meals, eating little to no food, eating an excessive amount of food, always talking about calories or obsessing over nutrition labels, or quickly losing/gaining weight. If you recognize some of these symptoms in a loved one, you should try to take action in order to help them get the aid they need. Talk with the person, and let them know the worry you feel. Don’t place blame or act aggressive toward them, and instead act calm and caring, in order to properly express your concern. Urge them to open up to their parents or a professional, and ask for help. Sometimes, however, they may not want help, and in this case, you may want to go to a trusted adult and let them know the situation, so that the person can get the help they need. Eating disorders can be deadly, so try your best to provide a safe, comforting space to those suffering, and urge them to seek help from a professional.