Eating disorders are diseases that are mostly seen in young adolescents or adult women (12-30 years old), resulting from excessive disturbance in thoughts and behaviors related to body appearance, sometimes causing serious health problems.

Eating disorders are diseases that are mostly seen in young adolescents or adult women (12-30 years old), resulting from excessive disturbance in thoughts and behaviors related to body appearance, sometimes causing serious health problems.

It is among the psychiatric diseases. Spiritual reasons are in the foreground. Diseases in this group include:

  • Anorexia nervosa,
  • Bulimia nervosa,
  • Binge eating disorder.

These people often cannot establish healthy relationships with family members and others due to their obsessive, negative thoughts and behaviors. They think that the people around them are usually trying to control their own behavior and thoughts. They avoid facing their own problems. They feel powerless against those around them. They are assertive and refrain from expressing their opinions openly.

 What are the causes of eating disorders?

The exact cause of eating disorders is not known. However, the reasons put forward are:

  • Inability to keep up with changes in adolescence,
  • Female psychology,
  • Strict traditional family structure,
  • Slim, slender female role models,
  • Wrong diet approaches
  • Desire to be more attractive
  • Difficulty coping with social problems,
  • Genetic predisposition,
  • Physical or psychological trauma, abuse,
  • Changes in serotonin, norepinephrine, cortisol levels,

 How is an eating disorder diagnosed?

There is no specific diagnosis or screening method. Diagnosis can be made by anamnesis and examination findings. The person’s eating habits are questioned. The damage caused by the eating disorder to the body is evaluated. Organ failure and immune status are investigated in the laboratory. Serotonin and cortisol levels are examined. Psychological evaluation is done.

 How are eating disorders treated?

Psychiatric approach is essential in treatment. Group therapies, behavioral therapy, family interviews can be tried. Severe cases are followed up in the hospital. Nutritional support is provided. Antidepressants may be helpful in some patients.

Psychotherapies aim to help people gain self-confidence, express themselves comfortably, change their eating behavior, and stay at peace with their own body. It is also aimed to improve the family’s approach to the patient.

What are the health problems encountered in eating disorders?

  • Cardiovascular system diseases (low blood pressure, rhythm disorders, fluid electrolyte imbalances, etc.),
  • Digestive system diseases (nausea, vomiting, bloating, constipation etc.)
  • Hormonal changes (menstrual irregularity, etc.),
  • Caries in the teeth, gum diseases,
  • Conditions related to anemia.