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Eating Disorders Essay

1132 words - 5 pages

Eating Disorders

Week 14 Formal Assignment

Eating Disorders

Laura Thompson

Cerro Coso Online College

The body dissatisfaction displayed by both men and women may be due to social comparison processes involving media images of body types that few can achieve. Disordered eating patterns because of preoccupation with weight and body dimensions sometimes become extreme and lead to an eating disorder – anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or binge-eating disorder. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by low body weight, ...view middle of the document...

Other symptoms may develop over time include, thinning of the bones, brittle hair and nails, dry and yellowish skin, growth of fine hair all over the body, mild anemia and muscle wasting and weakness, severe constipation, low blood pressure, slowed breathing and pulse, damage to the structure and function of the heart, brain damage, multiorgan failure, drop in internal body temperature, lethargy, sluggishness, or feeling tired all the time.
Unlike anorexia nervosa, people with bulimia nervosa usually maintain what is considered a healthy or normal weight, while some are slightly overweight. But like people with anorexia nervosa, they often fear gaining weight, want desperately to lose weight, and are intensely unhappy with their body size and shape. Usually, bulimic behavior is done secretly because it is often accompanied by feelings of disgust or shame. The binge-eating and purging cycle happens anywhere from several times a week to many times a day. Other symptoms include chronically inflamed and sore throat, swollen salivary glands in neck and jaw, worn tooth enamel as a result of exposure to stomach acid, acid reflux disorder and other gastrointestinal problems, intestinal distress and irritation from laxative abuse, severe dehydration from purging of fluids, electrolyte imbalance which can lead to heart attack.
With binge-eating disorder a person loses control over his or her eating. Unlike bulimia nervosa, periods of binge-eating are not followed by purging, excessive exercise, or fasting. As a result, people with binge-eating disorder often are over-weight or obese. People with binge-eating disorder who are obese are at higher risk for developing cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. They also experience guilt, shame, and distress about their binge-eating, which can lead to more binge-eating.

Like females who have eating disorders, males also have a distorted sense of body image. For some, their symptoms are similar to those seen in females. Others may have muscle dysmorphia, a type of disorder that is characterized by an extreme concern with becoming more muscular. Unlike girls with eating disorders, who mostly want to lose weight, some boys with muscle dysmorphia see themselves as smaller than they really are and want to gain weight or bulk up. Men and boys are more likely to use steroids or other dangerous drugs to increase muscle mass.
Although males with eating disorders exhibit the same signs and symptoms as females, they are less likely to be diagnosed with what is often considered a female disorder. More research is needed to understand the unique features of these disorders among males.
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/eating-disorders/complete-index.shtml
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