Every year, millions of men and women are stricken with the horrible reality of having an eating disorder. Certainly having an eating disorder has negative consequences but many are more far-reaching than most of the outside world could ever know. Sure, we know that having an eating disorder is not good for our health, but the consequences can go much deeper than that.
Let's look at some of the specific consequences of having an eating disorder both for those that have one and for their friends and family around them.
Failing health - Having an eating disorder will almost always lead to serious health consequences for the person suffering. While weight loss is an obvious side effect for many, this is often only the tip of the iceberg. Not getting enough nutrients is a common occurrence for those with bulimia or anorexia and this can lead to deterioration of muscle and bone tissue as well as problems in the overall functioning of the body's organs, often leading to organ failure. Dehydration is another serious side effect as is heart disease, heart attacks, or even strokes.
Depression - while depression is often the cause for some of some eating disorders, it is a common side effect of the condition as well. The person afflicted may become very reclusive because of their problems in dealing with this horrible issue and can lead them down a further path of despair and destruction. Depression associated with eating disorders can often be as harmful as the effects of the disease itself.
Alienation - alienation can occur because the sufferer of an eating disorder may choose to push away from friends and family because of their inability to deal with their problems. In addition, others around them may feel uncomfortable in dealing with it themselves and choose to alienate the person afflicted rather than trying to help them. This treatment can further worsen the symptoms can lead to more negative side effects.
Loss/lack of mental concentration - because the bodies of those suffering from eating disorders often don't get enough calories and or nutrients, they are often in a state of confusion and lack true mental awareness. They may forget conversations or calendar items or lose their train of thought in the middle of conversations. This can result in younger men and women doing poorly in school on tests and general schoolwork and can affect those who are older with their daily job performance. These symptoms can be extremely harmful to the sufferer especially in situations where they're driving an automobile or operating some other form of machinery.
The above represent just some of the very and dangerous side effects of having an eating disorder. While these symptoms and effects can be extremely harmful if not treated, detecting signs early and seeking treatment can do wonders for the patient. If you or someone that you care about thinks they have an eating disorder, seek help immediately to avoid any of these symptoms getting worse and leading to sickness, depression, or even death.