Associated Problems – with eating difficulties

HEALTH HAZARDS OF STARVATION

  • Severe weight loss.
  • A growth of downy hair across the body.
  • Hair loss
  • Visual difficulties
  • A drop in body temperature which might cause you hands and feet to turn blue.
  • Loss of sex drive.
  • Dizzy episodes.
  • Insomnia because the body cannot rest when it’s hungry.
  • Dry and flaky skin.
  • Constipation.
  • Water retention causing swelling in your hands and feet.
  • Sensitivity to light and noise.
  • A loss of bone density and risk of osteoporosis (bone thinning)
  • Anaemia caused by blood cells being produced too slowly.
  • Depression from lack of nutrients.
  • Lack of concentration due to a constant preoccupation with food and weight.
  • Distorted body image.

Have you experienced any of these symptoms? Remember that your body also has to deal with any other weight control methods that you may use such as exercise, vomiting and laxatives and abuse of other medication. Can you imagine the strain that this will put on an already weak body?

THE DANGERS OF BULIMIA NERVOSA

Sufferers of bulimia suffer serious health issues. Many of the physical problems are similar to those of anorexia sufferers. There are also some additional problems caused by bingeing and purging.

OVEREXERCISE

  • Dangerously low sugar levels can lead to coma and death.
  • Bones are thin so can easily break.
  • Muscles and joints can be damaged from increased strain.
  • Destroys muscle and shape as your body eats its own flesh.

VOMITING AND LAXATIVES

  • Teeth can be ruined by constant vomiting since the stomach acid passing the teeth erodes the enamel. If the sufferer also drinks a number of fizzy diet drinks, this can make the teeth even worse.
  • Water and salt imbalance can affect your heart, kidney and brain.
  • Potassium levels can become very low and affect the electrical activity of the heart and brain leading to heart attacks and fits.
  • The glands in the face can swell up making you feel as if you look fatter.
  • Severe dehydration can lead to kidney failure and stones.
  • Laxatives can damage the bowel and stop it from working normally, this can lead to constipation and lots of wind – these effects can be irreversible.
  • Straining due to use of laxatives can result in piles and prolapse (where your bowel leaves the body).

DIET PILLS AND DIURETICS

  • Diuretics (water tablets) cause dehydration and salt imbalance and damage the circulation and kidneys in a similar way to laxatives and vomiting.
  • Slimming drugs and appetite suppressants used to control appetite and prevent binges may work in the short term but can cause irritability, anxiety attacks, depression, constipation and blurred vision.
  • Diet pills taken to excess can cause the body to become overactive and excitable.
  • Sleep difficulties.
  • You become on edge and jumpy.
  • The mind becomes overactive and you become suspicious and agitated.
  • Eventually, epileptic fits may develop.

THE DANGERS OF COMPULSIVE OVEREATING

The main problem linked to compulsive overeating is obesity. Obesity can cause many other health problems including:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Certain cancers such as bowel, breast and cervical

Obesity itself doesn’t cause any more psychological problems that being an average weight. These issues arise because of a wider prejudice and discrimination that can gradually lower self esteem.

Our society believes that ‘thin is beautiful’. This leaves people who are overweight feeling inadequate and insecure. In other cultures, being larger is actually considered to be more desirable because it represents wealth. In these cultures, the psychological problems of obesity do not exist to the same extent.