What is an eating disorder?

An eating disorder is characterised by abnormal eating behaviours, that are detrimental to health. The most common and known eating disorders are:

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa occurs when a person starves themselves excessively, in order to control weight.

Bulimia

When a person participates in binge eating, and then making themselves sick, or using laxatives.

Binge Eating Disorder

When a person over eats large amounts of food.

What causes an eating disorder?

This answer is very complex. Many eating disorders can be blamed for societies preoccupation with ‘thinness’ and its associations with beauty. However an eating disorder maybe the cause of biological, environmental or genetic factors, or emotional upset, depression and anxiety.  It can be a combination of one, two or even more of these factors.

How do I know if I have an eating disorder?

  • A doctor is trained to ask these five following questions to ascertain an eating disorder:
  • Do you make yourself sick because you feel uncomfortably full?
  • Do you worry you have lost control over how much you eat?
  • Have you recently lost more than one stone (six kilograms) in a three-month period?
  • Do you believe yourself to be fat when others say you are too thin?
  • Would you say food dominates your life?

If a patient answers yes to two or more of these questions further action is required. If you think you may be suffering from an eating disorder the best advice is to seek help from your GP or health care professional straight away. Counselling can help, and the sooner a disorder is spotted, the greater chance of recovery.

If you are interested in finding out how counselling can help, please call Fegans on 01892 538 288.

For more information on eating disorders and seeking help, visit Beat – the UK’s Eating Disorder Charity.

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