How Eating Disorders Can Affect Physical Health
Eating disorders significantly harm the individual’s physical and mental health and, for this reason, they need to be treated as soon as possible. Although the cause of these disorders is unknown, they tend to appear in late adolescence and early adulthood. They are listed among the most common chronic diseases in youth.
These disorders are highly linked to psychological problems such as low self-esteem, perfectionism, anxiety and obsession. In addition to these factors, the pressure imposed by society on a “beauty standard” is also a strong trigger for the appearance of these problems.
It is vital that family and friends are on the lookout for warning signs so that the diagnosis can be made as quickly as possible. These are diseases that require long treatments and, in turn, the earlier it is discovered, the more likely the therapeutic treatment and medical follow-up have to be more effective.
The most common eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. Understand a little more about them:
This disorder is characterized by a reduction in the amount of food eaten by a refusal to eat. This happens due to the obsession with weight loss and the fear of gaining weight.
In addition, there is a distorted perception of the body: The person continues to see himself out of weight even if he is underweight. In this case, the main physical symptoms are: Obsession with weight control, excuses not to eat, aggressiveness and social isolation, excessive exercise, hair loss, nail stains, interruption of menstruation (in women) and loss of libido ( in men).
The disorder of bulimia is characterized by the compulsion to eat large amounts of food and then wanting to get rid of the calories gained by inducing vomiting or using laxatives right after the meal.
The main warning signs are: frequent caries, stomach wall ulcers, hand wounds, excessive use of laxatives and diuretics, change in meal times and their relative increase, aggressiveness, social isolation, depression and anxiety.
Periodic binge eating
Binge eating is characterized by the fact that a person eats large amounts of food quickly even when feeling full. But unlike bulimia, it does not induce vomiting or use laxatives later as a compensation mechanism.
This behavior is mainly related to situations of psychological pressure, when the individual feels diminished and, in turn, ends up taking out their frustrations on the food.
The main physical symptoms of binge episodes are: eating fast, eating without hunger, eating until you are full or feeling sick. Psychological symptoms refer to mood instability, impulsiveness, low frustration tolerance, anxiety, depression and compulsive behavior in other aspects of daily life.
Eating disorders and oral health
In addition to being factors that compromise the physical and mental health of human beings, eating disorders cause damage to oral health. In these cases, oral changes are diverse and, as the teeth have a characteristic appearance, the dentist can be the first professional to detect the disorder in question even before signs such as excessive weight loss and gain are visible.
People who suffer from anorexia, for example, have a deficiency in vitamins, minerals and nutrients in the body. This can lead to the development of osteoporosis as a result of the weakening of the maxillary bones that support the teeth, which can even lead to tooth loss.
Those who suffer from disorders such as bulimia often have problems related to loss of taste and salivary gland problems. In addition, vomiting creates an acidic environment in the oral cavity and erodes tooth enamel. In frequent inductions of the act, there can be destruction of the hard tissues of the tooth crowns, caries, discoloration and tooth loss.
Teething in patients with food seizures is characterized by sensitivity in the teeth, mouth lesions and dry, cracked mouth and lips. Convulsiveness also increases the propensity for tooth decay.
In cases where the vital quality of the teeth and mouth is compromised, it is interesting to look for a dental health plan that meets the needs of your treatment in the best possible way. Talk to your dental practitioner to find out the particular dental plan options that the clinic in question works with.
Another option is to do an internet search. Use keywords such as “dental plan” or “personal dental plan” to get better results in the search fields.
Psychotherapy is a fundamental step to help treat people with eating disorders. This is capable of modifying behavior patterns, enabling the increase of the patient’s self-esteem, in addition to providing emotional support, which allows the individual to have better conditions to live in the social environment.
If extended to family members, professionals in the area can guide the family on procedures that help improve the client who suffers from these disorders.
It is extremely necessary for both the individual and those in their daily social life. It is necessary to understand that an eating disorder must be treated with psychological support.
During the treatment, you need calm, persistence, discipline and the practice of physical activities and never forget that to have a healthy body, you first need a healthy mind.