Month: April 2020

How to Overcome Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are mental disorders when consuming food. People with this disorder can consume too little or too much food, and are obsessed with body weight or body shape.

There are several types of eating disorders, but the three most common types are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and eating disorders. This disorder can occur at any age, but more often experienced by adolescents, around the age of 13 to 17 years.

The cause of this eating disorder is usually a combination of genetic factors, biological factors, and psychological problems. To handle this, psychiatrists can do psychotherapy, and give antidepressant or anti-anxiety drugs.

Symptoms of Eating Disorders

Symptoms felt by people with eating disorders vary, depending on the type of disorder. Symptoms of an overeating disorder usually include:

Bulimia nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder that makes sufferers want to immediately dispose of the food they consume in an unhealthy way, including by:

  • Vomit back food that has been eaten.
  • Use laxatives or drugs that dispose of body fluids.

The action was carried out because the sufferer felt guilty having eaten a lot and was afraid of excess weight. As a result of his behavior, people with bulimia can feel interference in the form of:

  • Inflammation in the throat.
  • Swollen salivary glands in the neck and jaw.
  • Severe dehydration due to lack of fluids.
  • Indigestion, such as acid reflux disease (GERD) or irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Tooth sensitive and damaged.
  • Electrolyte disturbance.

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Anorexia nervosa

This disorder makes sufferers limit their food intake because they feel excessive body weight, even though in reality, his body is slim or even too thin. Anorexia nervosa sufferers will also weigh their weight repeatedly.

Too little calorie intake in patients with anorexia nervosa can cause disorders such as:

The growth of hair or fine hairs throughout the body (lanugo).

  • Dry skin.
  • Muscle becomes weak.
  • Often feel cold due to low body temperature.
  • Menstruation becomes irregular, does not even experience menstruation.
  • Hypotension or low blood pressure.
  • Anemia or lack of blood.
  • Bone loss.
  • Some organs do not function (multiorgan failure).

The above disorders can be fatal so that the sufferer dies. Hunger can also cause sufferers to feel so hopeless that they attempt suicide.

Overeating disorders

On going to eat quickly and in very large portions, although not hungry. Overeating, sufferers often lose self-control when eating. As a result, people with this disorder will have excess weight or obesity. Symptoms of an overeating disorder usually include:

  • Eat large amounts of food.
  • Eat very fast.
  • Keep eating when the stomach is full.
  • Hide when you eat because you are embarrassed when you see someone.

When to see a doctor

If you feel you have one of the eating disorders above, consult a psychiatrist immediately, because eating disorders are generally difficult to overcome without the help of a doctor.

But unfortunately, people who experience eating disorders often do not feel that they need help. If you are worried about someone’s unusual behavior when eating, try to talk to him about the odd behavior and persuade him to consult with a psychiatrist.

Strange behaviors that need to be watched out for include:

  • Regarding eating is not an important thing and not eating is a natural thing.
  • Always worrying about weight and being very afraid of being fat.
  • Mirror often.
  • Use supplements, herbal remedies, or laxatives for weight loss.
  • Tend to avoid eating with family or friends.

Causes of Eating Disorders

So far, the exact cause of eating disorders is unknown. But as with other mental disorders, eating disorders can occur due to a combination of several factors, including:

  • Genetic
    Some cases of eating disorders are found in people who have certain genes. This gene can facilitate the triggering of eating disorders.
  • Heredity
    In addition, eating disorders are also generally experienced by people who have parents or siblings with a history of the same disorder.
  • Biological
    Changes in chemicals in the brain can play a role in causing eating disorders.
  • Psychological (mental state)
    Eating disorders are often found in people who also experience anxiety disorders, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder.

In addition to these causes, a number of conditions that can also increase a person’s risk of eating disorders are:

  • A teenager
    Adolescents are prone to eating disorders because they tend to pay more attention to their image or appearance.
  • Excessive dieting
    Hunger due to a diet that is too strict can affect the brain, so it actually creates an urge to overeat.
  • Stress
    Various problems that cause stress, both at work, family, and social relationships, can increase the risk of eating disorders.

Diagnosis of Eating Disorders

Someone can be said to have an eating disorder if the symptoms have been going on for at least 3 months. At the initial examination, the psychiatrist will dig deeper into the outlook, feelings, and eating habits of the patient to determine the patient’s attitude towards food and eating patterns.

If there is indeed an eating disorder, the psychiatrist will conduct another examination to determine the effects of the eating disorder.

The psychiatrist will check the height and weight, heart rate, and blood pressure of the patient. The psychiatrist will also observe the presence of dryness of the skin and hair and the fragility of the nails, which is the impact of bulimia. Further tests to be carried out include:

  • Blood and urine tests
    This examination aims to determine the number of blood cells, liver function, kidney function, and thyroid hormones.
  • Scanning
    X-rays can be taken to determine whether there is a fracture due to bone loss in anorexia or bulimia sufferers.
  • Electrocardiography
    Electrocardiography (ECG) is used to determine the patient’s heart condition.

Treatment of Eating Disorders

Management of eating disorders will involve a team consisting of doctors, psychiatrists, and nutritionists. The goal of treatment is to help patients re-implement a healthy diet. Handling efforts include:

This therapy can help sufferers to change bad eating habits into healthy eating patterns. There are two therapies that can be used, namely:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
    Cognitive behavioral therapy aims to recognize, understand, and change behavior, especially those related to diet.
  • Family-based therapy
    This therapy is carried out on children or adolescents involving the family. The aim is to ensure that the patient follows a healthy diet and maintains ideal body weight.


Drugs can not cure eating disorders. Even so, antidepressant and anti-anxiety drugs can be used to control the urge to overeat or prevent the urge to vomit food.

These drugs can also overcome excessive worries about certain foods or diets.

If the sufferer becomes malnourished, the doctor will advise the patient to be treated in the hospital.
Complications of Eating Disorders

Eating disorders can cause various complications. The more severe and prolonged eating disorders, the greater the risk of complications. Complications that can occur due to eating disorders are:

  • Stunted growth.
  • Mental disorders, such as depression and anxiety, even to the point of committing suicide.
  • Decreased school performance or work quality.
  • Disruption of social relations.
  • Impaired organ function.

Prevention of Eating Disorders

Although there is no sure way to prevent eating disorders, there are several efforts that can foster healthy eating behavior in adolescents, for example:

  • Prevent Diet Efforts
    To prevent this, parents can get used to eating with family and discuss the importance of a balanced diet with reasonable portions.
  • Take the time to talk
    This method can prevent dangerous lifestyles in adolescents. Talking to children can change their thinking so that they can understand healthy eating patterns.
  • Cultivating a Healthy Physical Appearance Image
    Parents need to develop self-confidence in children. In addition, do not mock or bad-mouth your own appearance in front of children, let alone ridicule the physical appearance of children, even if only joking.
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Let’s Start a Healthy Lifestyle

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), unhealthy eating patterns and lack of physical activity are the main global health risk factors. Increased production of processed foods, rapid urbanization and unhealthy lifestyles make you vulnerable to various types of health problems, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Starting a healthy lifestyle can keep you from these health risks.

A healthy lifestyle is a long-term commitment with overall health benefits for your body and life. Improved physical, mental and emotional health will help improve the quality of your life and bring positive influence to the people around you.

Application of a Healthy Lifestyle

Implementing a healthy lifestyle needs to be adjusted to your age, gender, physical activity level, health conditions, and even your eating habits. The results will also vary, you cannot run or expect the same lifestyle changes as someone whose body condition or health is different from yours, for example following an idol model or actor.

Here are some ways to start a healthy lifestyle that you can immediately implement and make new habits or routines.

Know your body’s health status and make a treatment appointment if needed.

Do an annual check (medical check-up) that you may not have done or rarely do and also check the list of vaccinations that must be obtained. Some types of vaccinations are given more than once with a special schedule. Immediately make an appointment with a doctor if the results of routine health checks indicate abnormalities or there are vaccinations that must be done.

Know your body mass index (BMI) and measure your waist circumference to check if there are risk factors for diseases, such as obesity. You can do this in conjunction with routine checks. Also recognize your level of physical activity, for example how much activity is done in a week and what kind of intensity. By knowing the physical condition and health of your body, you can determine the next step of a healthy lifestyle change that is appropriate to do. Discuss with your doctor about the types of activities and eating patterns recommended for your condition.

Fixing your diet or diet and stopping bad habits.

Start keeping a diary that lists what foods you consume every day. Yes, that includes fried foods that you consume while waiting for the train schedule, for example. Make it without having any judgment. Remember, you do this to find out what needs to be changed from the old diet. You can’t switch to a healthy lifestyle if you don’t know any old habits that need to be removed or maintained. Discuss with your doctor and a nutritionist about the type, amount of food intake, and other dietary tips you need.

Increase physical activity and manage stress.

Adults are advised to set aside at least two and a half hours per week for aerobic activities (eg walking and running) with moderate intensity. Or you can set aside an hour and 15 minutes a week to do high-intensity aerobic activities, plus muscle strengthening activities, such as push-ups and sit-ups, at least two days a week. Make a calendar of physical activity and weekly targets that are flexible, realistic, and fun.

Maintaining mental health is also included in a healthy lifestyle. Tuck in activities like yoga and meditation to deal with stress. Determine ways or activities that you can do when stress and emotions strike, for example by running up and down stairs or staying quietly in the toilet to refocus. Breathing exercises not only remind you to be grateful but also re-evaluate the perspectives and decisions that need to be taken. Remember the positive things that happen in life and you will realize how many things you have achieved or have.

Improve sleep.

Make a regular sleep schedule. Try your device, computer or television to die at least two hours before the specified bedtime. Heavy exercise before bedtime is also not recommended. You can take a warm bath and drink a cup of tea to relax your body and mind, which helps you get to sleep quickly. Do not underestimate sleep disturbance, immediately see a doctor to get the appropriate treatment, if you have trouble sleeping.

Improve relationships with people around you.

Lifestyle changes are not just about diet and exercise, social interactions with those around you also contribute to your mental and emotional health. You do not need to equate all aspects of your life with your neighbors or friends, but you still need to take the time to socialize, both virtually and face to face. Improving relationships with others will provide comfort for each party. However, if you find it difficult to socialize, or if you are in an unhealthy relationship, then you need to seek help immediately. Your doctor will help you find out the source of the problem and how to overcome it.

Expand also do activities that stimulate brain creativity with those around you. The goodness of this activity began as a child coupled with formal education that was mutually supportive. According to neurologists, doing activities like this will have more effect on overall brain and body health than computer games that are played individually.

Although it is difficult to turn away from old habits, you need to realize that by making a healthy lifestyle a new habit, the risk of various diseases will also be reduced, including chronic diseases. Physical appearance improves, mental health is maintained, and your energy increases.

A healthy lifestyle also increases your chances of living longer. A study shows that the habit of walking for at least 30 minutes every day can reduce the risk of dying at an early age significantly. So what are you waiting for? Do not delay continuing to change your old lifestyle to a healthy lifestyle.

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