Eating Disorders: Ways to Properly Deal With Food Anxiety

Eating Disorders

Food has no doubt, become a part of the human’s psyche. They utilize it as a health, punishment, or reward, depending on how you feel about it.

Are you one of those individuals suffering from food anxiety? If that’s the case, it’s possibly more connected to the way you perceive food than the food itself. Therefore, understanding how to handle your emotions when it comes to food will make it simpler to eat for nourishment and health, without having to stress over the meals. 

What Triggers Food Anxiety? 

Did you know that food anxiety comes because of cultural and individual factors? CDC shows that 49.1% of adults in America had tried to lose weight within the past twelve months from 2013 to 2016. Hence, it would help if you learned the vital factors you can deal with your food anxiety efficiently.

Here are the factors that research has linked with food anxiety: 

Early experiences 

Persons who suffered from childhood abuse might utilize food as a means to recover control. That could develop food anxiety in the long term.

Cultural Messages

The broader culture values thinness and might even perceive it as a good option. That message could cause individuals to feel stressed about their body shape and food options.

Community Messages

These are messages about body image and food in the community of people that might trigger food anxiety. 

Genetics

Scientists have connected eating disorders to people sharing genes that might feel more anxiety about food. A review recommends that eating disorders are more likely to run in families. 

Negative Self Talk 

Self-talking negatively supports the concept that a particular body type is wrong. Individuals often engage in what medical researchers refer to as fat talk. That’s where they emphasize they’re fat even if they don’t believe themselves to be so. 

Negative Messages on Appearance or Eating 

Social media has lots of messages and images supporting people to lose weight. However, many also shame people who don’t eat right. 

Common Disorders to Food Anxiety

An individual can encounter momentary food anxiety without having any primary diagnosis. Some individuals might also utilize food as a means of surviving with anxiety. Did you know that adults often had consumed too much or picked unhealthful foods because of stress? 

Nonetheless, an individual might be an underlying mental condition, especially if their anxiety is on food. That causes them to make unhealthy decisions, eats their thoughts, obstructs with their life, and undermines their relationship with other people.

Possible diagnoses are the following: 

Anxiety Disorders

Generalized anxiety disorder causes an individual to feel stressed in different cases where the anxiety is unreasonable. Others channel anxiety towards the food they eat. In serious situations, that could result to eating disorders.

For instance, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder is a kind of anxiety-causing anxiety of food. Individuals with this condition have overwhelming obsessions like losing somebody they love or fear of dying. 

Orthorexia

Orthorexia is a type of eating disorder that is categorized by being obsessed with healthy foods. Take note that an obsession with consuming only pure foods and healthy dieting or clean eating becomes rooted in the way of thinking of the person. It comes to the point that it obstructs their regular life. 

If it goes untreated, the eating disorder could cause lasting health repercussions to happen. 

Binge Eating

Anxiety and binge eating are strongly connected. Most binge eaters either have been depressed or have been before. Some might have difficulty dealing with or showing their feelings and have impulse control. 

Body dissatisfaction, loneliness, and low self-esteem might also contribute to binge eating. 

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is another eating condition and could be life-threatening. It is categorized by binge eating and then following by purging. Remember that purging can happen through taking diuretics or laxatives, too much exercise, or forced vomiting. 

People suffering from this condition are fascinated by their weight. These people often have an idealistic body image. 

Anorexia Nervosa

The condition is categorized by an irrational fear of food and too much, life-threatening weight loss. Patients suffering from this eating disorder have a distorted body image. Often, they have too much and obsessive fear of obesity. That’s especially true, even if they are substantially underweight. 

Other Mental Health Conditions 

Most individuals suffering from food anxiety or eating disorders have other underlying mental health conditions. It includes schizophrenia, alcohol or drug user disorder, or depression. Others who suffer from serious health conditions might utilize food as a means to obtain a sense of control. 

Do you know a person who is suffering from an eating disorder or other mental health conditions? Then it would be a good option if they get treatment for both. 

Management & Treatment 

The treatment for food anxiety and an eating disorder is the same, even though the signs of different forms of food anxiety are diverse.

Lifestyle Changes

Particular lifestyle changes might comfort food anxiety. 

Support Groups

Did you know that support groups could help people understand their sentiments about food? They could receive practical advice from individuals who are suffering from the same challenges.

Nutritional Counseling 

People might need nutritional support to reach a more moderate size if they are outside their suggested weight range. 

Medication

Different medications could help an individual deal with the emotions, which cause them food anxiety. For instance, OCD patients commonly seek relief from anti-depressants. 

Therapy 

An individual will work to determine the reason they feel anxious about food. They might discuss their stress, relationship, and history. The therapist could support them to find safer coping tools, handle their emotions better, and make approaches for averting compulsive thoughts about food and diet. 

When to Visit a Physician

You should visit your physician about your condition if:

  • feelings of food are so intense you can’t concentrate 
  • feel overpowered by depression or anxiety
  • often binge eat big amounts of food
  • throw up and use laxatives
  • causes you to eat fewer calories than is healthy 

Bottom Line 

Anxiety about food could be risky and crippling at the same time. However, it doesn’t need to be long-lasting. Make sure you seek treatment immediately to help the person live a longer and healthier life. 

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