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How eating disorders can affect body integrity

By on August 11, 2015

Extreme diets, fasting and bad eating habits can permanently damage the system of people who urge to be as thin as possible

Severe limitations of food intake can have disastrous consequences on anyone’s health. Drastic weight-loss can permanently affect physiological body functions and vital organs. If the limits are pushed beyond the body capabilities to cope with such sudden restrictions, the overall health will be very often irreversibly affected. The metabolic effort will translate into permanent health problems and more weight gained after the extreme diet ends.

When adopting a crash diet or all-out fasting, you also adopt extreme health risks. Starvation and malnutrition can often be as bad as life-threatening.

The commitment of people to such drastic methods to lose weight also implies psychological disorders that should be considered when providing medical help. Poor or extreme dieting can be both the cause and the effect of mental illness.

Physical degradation includes: fatigue, dry skin, aging, teeth decay, low sugar levels which can lead to further hormonal problems, low energy levels, general muscular atrophy, dehydration and acidosis, reproductive system disorders, osteoporosis, severe anemia, heart failure and even seizures and neurological problems, due to a very low intake of vital nutrients.

Of course, the psychological effects cannot be overlooked: anxiety, depression, low libido, vulnerability to develop even more severe eating disorders, such as bulimia and anorexia.

Bulimia (Bulimia nervosa) is a very serious eating disorder. People suffering from bulimia binge eat on a daily basis, followed by purging, through vomiting or by taking a laxative. They become obsessed with losing weight, even though most bulimic people have a normal weight. To lose weight they will also use diuretics, stimulants, fasting or intensive exercise. Bulimia is frequently associated with high risk of mental disorders: depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug abuse and even suicide.

Anorexia (Anorexia nervosa) is characterized by a pathologically low weight, the desire of being even slimmer, an obsession of not gaining more weight that leads to severe food restrictions. People suffering from this condition are underweight, but see themselves as overweight. In order to keep their weight low, they will force themselves to vomit or use powerful laxatives. Anorexia leads to osteoporosis, infertility and vital organs damage. The imbalances as so serious, that women will often stop menstruating.

If you think that you or someone you know may have an eating disorder, urgently see a doctor for professional proper help. If you want to begin an aggressive weight-losing diet, consult your dietitian to make sure that the diet plan suits your needs and does not affect your future health.

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About Laura Parvan

Medical professional, blogging passionate, with a high interest in social media impact on health-care information.

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