When Eating Feels Like the Enemy
Eating disorders are a very frightening thing, not only for the person suffering from the disorder but for their family, friends and colleagues also. Most eating disorders develop gradually and are, therefore, an insidious threat to a person’s mental and physical health. To some people with an eating disorder, eating can feel like a dangerous or disgusting thing. For others, there is an underlying psychological reason for their illness. In either case, there are highly recognizable symptoms that should be watched for.
- Not eating at all
- Long periods of not eating followed by shorter periods of eating more than average (gorging)
- Extreme weight loss
- Wearing looser fitting or baggy clothing
- Making plans during mealtimes where food is not available
- Frequent trips to the restroom during mealtimes
- Weighing oneself frequently
- Jitters or nervousness
- Loss of skin tone (washed out looking)
- Loss of muscle definition
- Bleeding gums
- Dizzy spells or passing out
- Development of other health conditions
Any sign that a person may have an eating disorder must be taken seriously. A person who does not receive proper treatment and support could end up bouncing from one emergency room to another for a long time. Unfortunately, hospitals are not equipped for long-term management of patients with eating disorders. However, there are some very good treatments facilities, as well as private practitioners and community health establishments, around the country who offer specialized care for eating disorders.
If a person’s eating disorder is diagnosed and treated, through therapy and one-on-one counseling, they can then develop a new relationship with food and learn how the disorder is hurtful to them. Successful treatment of any eating disorder, no matter the severity of the case, also requires involving a nutritional therapist who is professionally trained to help develop a dietary regimen best suited to the individual. These people are then able to get well and regain control of life.