Overcoming Eating Disorder

When Mental Illness Becomes Physical

Eating disorder is the term used to describe a group of serious mental health issues that are manifested through a person’s relationship with food. It affects over 30 million Americans and claims at least one person every 62 minutes. Eating disorder has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness and is an urgent and life-threatening condition at all stages. Although eating disorder affects both men and women, research indicates that women suffer from this condition at double the rate of men (20 million women and 10 million men). Research also suggests that nearly 50% of individuals with an eating disorder are also abusing drugs and/or alcohol at a rate 5 times greater than what is seen in the general population. The co-occurrence of these disorders affects both men and women with up to 57% of males with binge eating disorder (BED) experiencing lifelong substance abuse problems. If you or a loved one is suffering from eating disorder or substance abuse or both, you need quality professional help to unravel and overcome these conditions.

Physical Dangers of Eating Disorder

A Deadly Illness

In addition to the lasting psychological scarring and deep-rooted emotional trauma, every type of eating disorder brings its own set of acute, long-term medical risks. Whether a person is engaging in extreme binge eating or self-starvation, they are subjecting their bodies to a variety of medical risks that can last for years even after patients get treated. Some of the immediate physical dangers of eating disorder include:

  • Extreme Changes in Heart Rate
  • Hypertension
  • Low Blood Pressure
  • Severe Dehydration
  • Fatigue and Weakness
  • Heart Failure
  • Gastrointestinal Issues
  • Esophageal Inflammation
  • Osteoporosis
  • Tooth Decay
  • Irregular Bowel Movements
  • Peptic Ulcer and Pancreatitis
  • High Cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Gallbladder Disease
  • Loss of Strength

These problems are likely to worsen the longer eating disorder progresses, which is why it’s important that victims get help immediately.