By Alyssa Mink

Eating Disorders are commonly misinterpreted as chosen lifestyles when in fact, they are serious and sometimes fatal illnesses associated with disturbances of the eating behaviors, related thoughts, and other emotions. Preoccupation with food and body weight/shape may signal an eating disorder fo some kind. The most common eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating disorder. People with anorexia see themselves as overweight even when they are extremely underweight. They usually weigh themselves excessively, restrict their food intake, exercise too much, and they may even force themselves to throw up or use laxatives after eating. The long term symptoms of anorexia may include bone thinning, mild anemia, brittle hair/nails, low blood pressure, brain damage, multiorgan failure, lethargy, and infertility. It is crucial to get help with getting through an eating disorder as early as possible. The treatments are very individualized and can include personal or group therapy, medical care and monitoring, nutritional counseling, and medications. Researchers have found that eating disorders can be caused by a complex mix of genetic, biological, behavioral, psychological, and social factors. Through focusing on genetic research, researchers have found that eating disorders can be passed down through family lines. They have also found a way to scan the brains of women with eating disorders and women without and have found many differences in the images. Eating disorders are common but still somewhat a mystery. As with all illnesses and disorders, it is crucial to reach out for help.

If you find yourself in a crisis, please reach out for help.

Call 310-855-4673 or text TEEN to 839-863

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