Eating disorders in teens


Many people often want to achieve an ideal body, but how can these ideal standards cause health issues? Eating disorders are very common in young women but they can also happen in young men. While there is no real cause for eating disorders, they may occur when a young teen has low self esteem, poor nutrition, and stress. Bullying may also be a cause of eating disorders causing more insecurities and stress.  At a young age it is typically found that a young woman believes she is too overweight or tries to lose weight drastically in order to have an ideal body. These ideal body standards may come from the internet or from other girls. 

There are different types of eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa. If someone is suffering from anorexia nervosa they will believe they are fat or overweight no matter how much weight they lose. Anorexia is a serious disorder since the patient starves themselves until they get too thin, leading to body damage and maybe even death or suicide. In anorexia cases the body will not get the nutritional value and food it needs, leading to serious damage and the patient will feel sick as they continue to starve themselves. 

Bulimia is a binge eating disorder followed by vomiting, exercise or laxatives. Someone who suffers from bulimia will eat lots of high calorie food as stress eating then will often feel guilty or unsatisfied after and vomit up all the food, use laxatives or exercise till they overwork themselves. People with bulimia often vomit, which can be dangerous leading to organ failure, dehydration and causes lack of nutrition and important materials the body needs.  

Aside from anorexia and bulimia there is also Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake disorder, or ARFID,  and binge eating. ARFID is when someone is an extreme picky eater and refuses to eat certain foods. ARFID can happen in younger children as also in teens, in many cases there will be significant energy and nutrition deficiency and not being able to gain weight. Binge eating is when someone eats too much but does not vomit it out like in bulimia. This binge eating can lead to being overweight and too much carbs. There are serious cases of binge eating that could lead to things like heart disease, obesity, and chronic disease. 

Some symptoms of eating disorders may be refusing to eat, being insecure, spending too long in restrooms, and overeating. If a teen suffers from an eating disorder their pediatrician or psychiatrist will provide help and treatment. The person suffering from an eating disorder may also need help accepting themselves are their body. It is important to recognize the person suffering from an eating disorder before they cause permanent damage to the body.