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We ranted and taught you about the eating disorders caused due to body image issues, but did you know, there are many such eating disorders that are in fact, not related to body image at all? Of course, you do! We mentioned them in our ED blog before and we also promised to write another article on the different Non body image related EDs. Well guess who believes in keeping their promises. We certainly do! Here are a few eating disorders that have got absolutely nothing to do with what a person looks like.
- Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder or AFRID – AFRID was recognized as a different disorder only in 2013, therefore reporting the exact numbers of people suffering through this disorder is almost impossible. However, research show that almost 23% of the people diagnosed with an ED undergoing treatment are in fact affected by this eating disorder. The causes of this type of disorder range right from the fear of choking to literally anything. Sometimes, some affected children develop strong repulsion against certain textures, tastes, etc. They develop a list of “safe food” that keeps getting smaller and smaller with time. This might sound like a fussy or picky eater, however, there is more to this behavior than just being picky. Of course, by this we don’t mean all picky eaters have AFRID. Some kids are just fussy around food, doesn’t mean you should be worried about an eating disorder. The worry starts when there’s an obsessive fear or dislike towards most edible things, not eating anything apart from the items of the safe list. Some of the symptoms include abrupt weight loss, hair loss, weakness, nutritional deficiencies, dependence on nutrient supplements, etc.
- Pica – People diagnosed with Pica consume nonedible substances like ice, soap, clay, buttons, hair, chalk, etc. However, eating something out of curiosity does not mean you’re affected by pica. For it to be Pica, the behaviour must continue for at least for one month. There are no known causes of pica, however, sometimes a lack of iron, iron or any other nutrient can be related to pica. For example, anaemia, caused by iron deficiency, is one of the known causes of pica in pregnant women.
- Rumination Syndrome – In this eating disorder, people spit out consumed food, chew it again and then swallow it again. This food doesn’t taste like vomit as it is not digested and is therefore not acidic. This rechewing of food is unintentional and repetitive too. The cause for this disorder is also not very well known, but the recent studies have given proofs that rumination disorder can predict PTSD (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder) in most cases, and there are theories about it being a response to trauma.
- Orthorexia – This is when a person has an extreme obsession with eating healthy. In contrast to this, in most cases, orthorexia leads to malnourishment, loss of relationships and poor quality of life. These individuals often obsessively try to cleanse their diet, slowly restricting themselves from consuming many food items, simply with the aim of being healthy. They trust very few food groups as pure and healthy like in most cases organic foods, vegan diet, fresh and raw fruits and vegetables are only considered fit for eating. This is done with little or no intention of losing weight
Eating disorders caused by body image issues are more recognised and prevalent in today's world. However, one must not forget these silent, ignored EDs either because many of these can lead to conditions that might prove to be fatal in the long run. We will be back with yet another discussion on wellness very soon. Till then, stay healthy 💕