ARFID is a new term that just means "picky eating". A number of other eating issues can also cause this. People with this disease don't have anorexia or bulimia, but still struggle with eating as an outcome don't eat enough to maintain a well body weight. a few examples of ARFID are difficulty digesting certain foods, eating only very small portions, and losing their appetite. Sometimes they might avoid going out to eat or eating lunch at school. Some people with ARFID may go on to advance to another eating disorder, such as anorexia or bulimia.
Avoidance/Resistance Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
Some people with Anorexia might:
- Be extremely thin
- Obessed with eating and weight control
- Feel fat
- Feel depressed and cold a lot
Some Signs of Anorexia and Bulimia
Some people with Bulimia might:
- Fear gaining weight
- Make reasons to use the bathroom
- Only eat diet or low-fat foods (excluding in bingeing)
- Spend lots of their time working out or (try) to burn/work off calories
What Causes Eating Diseases?
No one is sure what causes eatng diseases, even though there are many thoughts about it. Most of the ages this happens to is 13-17 years old. This is because at this time there are physical and emotional changes, academic pressures, and a bigger level of peer pressure. Even if there is a perception of greater individuality during the teenage years, teenagers possibly feel that they're not in charge of themselves. For girls, although it's completely normal (and necessary) to gain some more body fat in puberty, some respond to this change by becoming very afraid of their new weight. They might wrongly feel pressured to get rid of it any way they can. Many people with eating disorders also can be miserable or worried, or have other mental health problems such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). There is evidence that eating diseases can run in families. Even if part of this may be genetics, it's also because we learn our respect and actions from our families.
Athletes and dancers are extremely vulnerable to developing eating disorders around the time of puberty, as they may want to stop or defeat growth (both height and weight). Coaches, family members, and others may motivate teens in certain sports to be as thin as possible. Some athletes and runners are also inspired to weigh less or get rid of body fat at a time when they are biologically intended to gain it.
Sports and Eating Disorders
Effects of Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are genuine medical illnesses. They often go along with other problems such as pressure, concern, sadness, and substance use. Eating disorders can lead to the growth of serious physical health problems, such as heart conditions or kidney failure. Someone whose body weight is at minimum 15% less than the average weight for that person's height may not have sufficient body fat to keep organs and other body parts healthy. In extreme cases, eating disorders can lead to critical starvation and even death.
With anorexia, the body goes into starvation mode, and the lack of nutrition can affect the body in many ways:
- a decrease in blood pressure, heartbeat, and breathing rate
- loss of hair and fingernail breakage
- loss of periods
- lanugo hair — a soft hair that can grow all over the skin
- dizzyness and helplessness to focus
- inflated articulation
- fragile bones
With bulimia, constant vomiting and lack of nutrients can cause these problems:
- sustained stomach ache
- harm to the stomach and kidneys
- rotting teeth
- "chipmunk cheeks," when the salivary glands constantly dilate from vomiting so often
- loss of periods
- loss of the mineral potassium
Fortunately, eating disorders can be treated. People with eating disorders can get better and gradually learn to eat well and more like their family and friends again. Eating disorders involve both the mind and body. So medical doctors, mental health professionals, and dietitians will often be connected with in a person's treatment and improvement.
Therapy or counseling is a very important part of getting better. Family therapy is one of the keys to eating healthily again. Parents and other family members are major in assisting people who have to regain weight that they are scared of, or to learn to accept the body shape that their culture, genes, and lifestyle allows for.
* If you want to talk to someone about eating disorders but are unable or not ready to talk to a parent or close family member, try reaching out to a friend, teacher, school nurse or counselor, coach, neighbor, your doctor, or another trusted adult.*
Remember that eating disorders are very common among teens. Treatment options depend on each person and their families, but many treatments incorporate journaling, talking to therapists, and working with dietitians and other professionals.
Learning to be agreeable at your healthy weight is a process. It takes time to unlearn some actions and relearn others. Be tolerant, you can learn to like your body, understand your eating behaviors, and figure out the relationship between feelings and eating — all the tools you need to feel in authority and to like and accept yourself for who you are.
Treatment for Eating Disorders
What are ways to treat eating disorders?