After “The Crown” and Princess Diana, how much do you know about “Eating Disorder”?

By Anh Doan- According to figures released by Netflix, a total of 73 million households worldwide have watched the royal drama “The Crown” since it began in 2016. The most recent seasons, Three and Four have been in top trending on Netflix for several weeks proving the popularity of this series.

Through season Three and Four, “The Crown” especially depicts the life of Princess Diana when she was only around 20 entering one of the most famous royal families. She suffered from trauma, depression and ignorance from her in-laws, which led to the decision of hurting her mind and body. An eating disorder has occurred since then. So what is this mental health condition? How to cure and how to prevent?

Image source: The Daily Pensylvanian

Mayo Clinic defined that eating disorders are serious conditions related to persistent eating behavior that would impose negative effects on impact mental health, emotional health and physical health. The most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder.

The reasons leading to eating disorders is that a person focuses too much on weights, body shapes, foods or depression from social life and work, resulting in dangerous eating behaviors. Eating disorders can harm other organisms and body functions such as heart, bone, digestive system and will decrease the productivity of the immune system since a person could not obtain enough energy to protect their health against any mild diseases and illnesses.

There are a variety of symptoms regarding eating disorders, and each type would have their unique symptoms.

  • Anorexia nerviosa: is a life-threatening disorder characterized by abnormally low body weight, fearfulness of gaining weight, and a distorted perception of weight or shape. One suffers from anorexia excessively, limiting calories or using other methods to lose weight, such as skipping meals, misusing or overusing laxatives or diet aids, or vomiting after eating. This would sometimes reach a point of deadly self-starvation.

  • Bulimia nerviosa: an episode of bingeing and purging involves feeling a lack of control over eating behavior. Many people with bulimia also restrict the number of meals and amount of food during the day, which often leads to more binge eating and purging. One typically eats a large amount of food in a short time (like how Princess Diana did when she suffered from this disorder), and then tries to rid themselves of the extra calories in an unhealthy way such as vomiting endlessly, or using laxatives.

  • Rumination disorder: is that food is persistently and repeatedly regurgitated after being eaten, but it's not due to a medical condition or another eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia or binge-eating disorder. Food is brought back up into the mouth without nausea or gagging, and regurgitation may not be intentional. People sometimes re-chew, or re-swallow that regurgitated food which is really unhealthy.

These are the most three common types of eating disorders and their symptoms.

Eating disorders contain numerous risks. First of all, they are often associated with other mental health issues such as anxiety disorder, depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder, which would later worsen a health condition of a person and reduce their happiness and productivity in life. Secondly, they affect other systems in the body such as the cardiovascular system (consuming fewer calories than needed would break down its own tissue to use for fuel), gastrointestinal system (slow digestion or none dissections at all) or endocrine (when bodies do not have enough nutritions for hormones). Finally, mortality rates for eating disorders are relatively high. Dr Crow and colleagues from the National Death Index in 2015 found that crude mortality rates were 4.0% for anorexia nervosa, 3.9% for bulimia nervosa, and 5.2% for eating disorders not otherwise specified.

Once one realizes they have any of those listed above, do not try to overcome them on their owns, because an eating disorder can be difficult to manage by themselves. Seek medical help when any symptoms occur in life. Contact the nearest doctors for checkups or call the Helpline/ Hotline from your country’s National Eating Disorders Association for support. Last but not least, pay extra attention to your meals and family member’s meals to ensure they consume enough nutritions for the day.

Written by Anh Doan who is a Global Wellbeing Envoy as well as an intern of Reimagining Society from Vietnam and currently having her schooling in the US.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are borne by the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the Reimagining Society.

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