We live in a society where the physical is the most important thing, where we are valued for our physical appearance.
We are continually exposed to media that use advertising to set certain standards for what is beautiful and what is not, promoted also by the world of the catwalk, which often shows an unrealistic image of women, and also of men.
Physicality and appearance: a pathogenic concern
All this has caused the concern for physical appearance to be one of the great scourges of modern times . Although this fixation on beauty used to be attributed as something more common in women, the truth is that there are also many men who live by the scale marker or the proportion of their features.
What are the most common eating disorders?
This obsession with physical attractiveness can become a serious problem for our mental and physical health, especially when it comes to eating disorders. Today we will look at the main eating disorders and their main characteristics and the dangers they pose to our health.
1. Anorexia nervosa
anorexia nervosa is characterised by an abrupt and significant loss of weight , which is below the healthy minimums. This low weight is the effect of a pathological behaviour of the affected person, who carries out a meticulous control of food intake, due to his or her fear of gaining weight and a severe distortion of his or her body image, associated with low self-esteem.
People with anorexia eat very little and use certain rituals and mechanisms to keep from getting fat. They only eat a few foods, which causes a significant deficit of vitamins, minerals and macronutrients, which seriously affects their physical health.
It is a disorder that is strongly associated with an obsession with the physique and a slim figure. They may stop eating, take certain remedies to reduce their appetite or take laxatives to lose weight quickly. This eating disorder is usually suffered by adolescent women, although in recent times there has been an upsurge in cases of adult women and even men with this condition.
A little more information: “Anorexia may have a genetic origin”
2. Bulimia nervosa
bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by frequent eating binges . During these binges, people with bulimia eat a large amount of food in an uncontrolled manner, and then perform purging rituals to keep from gaining weight. These may include making themselves vomit, exercising for many hours, not eating, or using diuretic and laxative products.
This disease is also more common in women than in men, and usually debuts during adolescence. The person with bulimia is fully aware that his or her eating behavior is pathological.
The causes of bulimia have been studied in depth, yet there are no clear conclusions. It is often said that there are both genetic and psychological, family and/or cultural factors that may make some individuals more prone than others.
Learn more: “Bulimia Nervosa: The Binge Eating and Vomiting Disorder”
orthorexia is a disorder of eating behavior that affects more and more people. orthorexia is characterized by a pathological obsession with healthy eating . They are people who choose the food they are going to eat with great care, have meticulous control over the components of everything they eat and over the preparation of the food.
This obsession can lead to a really sick control over the ingredients, the cooking methods… It is often said that people who develop orthorexia are the ones who start to obsess about food little by little. In the early stages, they may avoid eating foods such as red meat or sugars, and gradually expand their ‘hobbies’.
Learn more: “Orthorexia, the obsession with healthy foods”
vigorexia is a disorder that involves not only a disorder of eating behavior, but also muscular dysmorphia, also known as Adonis syndrome or reverse anorexia. Vigorexia is the obsession with showing off powerful muscles and a strong physique .
In this obsession, the affected person is afraid of looking too weak or thin, and for that reason they exercise their body in gyms in order to increase their muscle mass. In addition, they take supplements such as proteins and anabolics to help them become more and more muscular.
permarexia is an eating disorder that has recently emerged and is beginning to concern health authorities. permarexia consists of the obsession with following diets and regimens on a permanent basis .
People with this eating disorder are continually following strict diets to lose weight, have bad habits, and engage in irrational eating behaviors. Permarexia is not considered a disorder in itself, but it is considered risky behavior that can be a prelude to serious illnesses such as bulimia or anorexia.
It is important to stay well hydrated, and drinking water is one of those universal recommendations that we all try to follow. Drink two liters of water a day, as the doctor tells us to.
Being hydrated makes our skin healthier, and facilitates digestion and fat loss, but there are people who go beyond the limits of this practice. And yes, drinking a lot of water is a bad habit for our health. This excessive consumption of liquid is often called potomania or hydrolexia, and it is a dietary imbalance that consists of drinking a lot of water, despite not being thirsty .
Drinking too much water can put our body functions at risk, since it saturates our kidney function and alters the normal components of the blood, among other things.
pregorexia is an eating disorder found in some pregnant women. These women in a state of good hope stop eating what is necessary for the fetus to develop without problems, and they often go on very intense diets and sports routines in order to maintain a slim figure.
This disorder, similar to anorexia (although less severe), is suffered by women who, being pregnant, have an intense fear of gaining weight during the nine months of pregnancy. This is biologically impossible and can put the health of the baby on the way at risk.
It has been well studied that women with pregorexia have a history of anorexia. But it also happens, on occasion, that women who develop pregorexia end up having anorexia.
Other factors that would cause pregorexia would be perfectionism, emotional instability and low self-esteem.
Learn more: “Pregorexia: Pregnant women who don’t want to get fat”
pica is an eating disorder that affects some children. It is characterised by the uncontrollable desire of the children of the house to ingest substances or objects that are not nutritious , such as earth, ants, bicarbonate, glue, insects, paper, small pieces of plastic or wood… All are objects and things that, in principle, have no food value and that, probably, it is not advisable to ingest.
Pica is linked to children with cognitive difficulties and other developmental disorders.
manorexia is an eating disorder that has some similarities to anorexia and vigorexia. Manorexia is also known as male anorexia. People suffering from this disorder are genuinely afraid of gaining weight, and this leads them to exercise their body excessively and to always be following unhealthy diets and fasts.
It is a disease that has been particularly represented in men working in the fashion industry and in sports where a very light figure is required, such as horse racing.
drunkorexia , also called ebriorexia, is an eating disorder that has been on the rise among adolescents and young adults. It involves the practice of stopping eating to counteract the excess calories produced by large amounts of alcohol consumed over several days.
Drunkenness is a terribly bad habit for a person’s psychic and physical health, as it is a halfway point between anorexia nervosa and alcohol addiction.