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What are eating disorders?

Eating disorders are serious eating behaviors, which can be fatal if left untreated. They include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating.

Anorexia nervosa is characterized as becoming too thin (see malnutrition) when persons do not eat enough because they think they are fat.

Bulimia nervosa involves periods of overeating followed by purging, sometimes through self-induced vomiting or using laxatives.

Binge eating is out-of-control eating, often to the point of being uncomfortable. It is similar to bulimia but without purging.

Compulsive overeating has been classified as a separate eating disorder by some and included with binge eating by others. It has been called an addiction to food. Persons with compulsive overeating use food to cope with their feelings, which leads to obesity. Like those who suffer from binge eating, compulsive over-eaters are at risk of heart attack, high blood-pressure, high cholesterol, kidney disease and/or failure, arthritis and bone deterioration, and stroke.

Who gets eating disorders?

Women are more likely than men to have eating disorders. They usually start in the teenage years and often occur along with depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse.

 Recovery from Eating Disorders

Physical recovery from an eating disorder takes time, patience, and strategy. Reintroducing foods and nutrients too quickly can cause additional problems. The eating disorder recovery process begins with rebuilding the body’s digestive system Once basic digestive functioning is on the mend, it may be time to begin reintroducing nutritional supplements.

If you are recovering from an eating disorders the first nutritional supplements to be reintroduced are potassium and zinc. The preferred form of potassium is potassium chelate in a powder capsule form. If you are still purging, wait at least an hour to purge after taking potassium. When you allow yourself to wait an hour after consuming something, you may find that your desire to get rid of the food is reduced.

Along with potassium, zinc must also be reintroduced in proper levels. A lack of zinc impairs the ability to smell and taste. When zinc levels have been increased in women suffering form anorexia, all reported an increase in appetite and renewed ability to experience taste.

Next comes the introduction of the B vitamins, along with amino acids. Amino acids are especially important, because they affect the body’s hunger and desire to sleep. The improper balance of amino acids can lead to depression, sleeplessness, fatigue, lack of hunger, or intense cravings

Along with the B vitamins already mentioned, there are a variety of other vitamins essential to proper digestion and physiological functioning:

Vitamin A: This vitamin aids in maintaining the proper functioning of the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, throat, lungs, ears and other organs. It aids in vision and is necessary for healthy skin, bones, and teeth.

Thiamine (Vitamin B1): Thiamine helps change glucose into energy or fat, assists with oxygen distribution to the body, aids in digestive functioning, and helps maintain proper functioning of the nervous and cardiovascular systems.

Choline, Inositol, and B6: These vitamins aid in the production of blood and the use of fats.

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): In combination with vitamin A, riboflavin promotes good vision and healthy skin. It also assists in metabolizing proteins and fats at a cellular level.

Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12): This B vitamin aids in the functioning of cells in the nervous system, bone marrow, and intestinal tract, increasing metabolism of protein, carbohydrates, and fats.

Biotin (Vitamin H): This vitamin also aids in metabolizing proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. Symptoms of deficiency include dry, peeling skin and depression.

Folic Acid: Folic Acid is necessary for cellular division and the production of RNA and DNA. It is also needed for the utilization of sugar and amino acids. Fatigue, dizziness, and grayish-brown skin are all symptoms of deficiency.

Niacin: Niacin is important for tissue respiration, brain and nervous system functioning, and healthy skin.

Ascorbic Acid:(Vitamin C): This powerhouse vitamin is important to the body’s connective tissues and for the development of healthy bones and teeth, cellular formation and maturation, resistance to infection, and an increased ability to heal.

Vitamin D:Vitamin D aids in the absorption, retention, and metabolizing of calcium.