Eating disorders, closer than you think.

Eating disorders, closer than you think.

Every day we receive messages that make us want a slim figure, that promote and advertise slim bodies and flat bellies. Ads for miracle products that ensure weight loss … all related to having a body 10 that the only thing they cause are low self-esteem, depression and frustration. They can also cause eating disorders.

Table of Contents

  • 1 What are ACTs?
  • 2 Classifications
    • 2.1 Anorexia nervosa (AN)
    • 2.2 Bulimia nervosa (BN)
    • 2.3 Eating Disorders, Unspecified (TCANE)
  • 3 Triggers
  • 4 15 clues to detect anorexia
  • 5 Treatment
  • 6 conclusion

What are TCAs?

Eating disorders constitute a group of mental disorders characterized by altered behavior when facing food intake or the appearance of weight control behaviors. This alteration leads to physical or psychosocial problems of the individual.


Anorexia nervosa (AN)

AN is an eating disorder that manifests as an irrepressible desire to be thin, accompanied by the voluntary practice of procedures to achieve it: strict restrictive diet and purgative behaviors (self-induced vomiting, abuse of laxatives, use of diuretics, etc.). Despite progressive weight loss, affected people have an intense fear of becoming obese. They present a distortion of body image, with extreme concern about diet, figure and weight, and persist in avoidance behaviors towards food with compensatory actions to counteract what they eat (excessive physical hyperactivity, purging behaviors, etc.). They are not usually aware of the disease or the risk they run from their behavior. Your attention is focused on weight loss, what causes them nutritional deficiencies that can carry vital risks. Generally, there are previous personality traits with a tendency to conformity, need for approval, hyper-responsibility, perfectionism and lack of response to internal needs.

Bulimia nervosa (BN)

BN is an eating disorder characterized by binge-eating episodes (voracious and uncontrolled eating), in which a large quantity of food is ingested in a short space of time and generally in secret. Affected individuals attempt to compensate for the effects of overingest through self-induced vomiting and / or other purging maneuvers (abuse of laxatives, use of diuretics, etc.) and physical hyperactivity. They show unhealthy preoccupation with weight and figure. In BN, weight alterations do not necessarily occur; normal, underweight or overweight may be present. BN is usually a hidden disorder, as it easily goes unnoticed, and it is lived with feelings of shame and guilt. The affected person usually asks for help when the problem is already advanced.

Eating Disorder, Unspecified (ASDN)

TCANE are usually incomplete AN or BN tables, either due to their initiation or because they are in the process of being resolved. Therefore, in them we will see symptoms similar to AN or BN but without reaching a complete picture, although not for that reason less serious. Disorders such as habitual use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors (after eating small amounts of food, chewing and expelling food) and compulsive eating episodes on a recurring basis but without compensatory behaviors are also included in ASCTs. The binge eating disorder (TA)It is an entity in the study phase to be able to determine if we are facing a different disorder from the rest of ASCT or simply facing a mild form of BN. The main difference with BN is the absence of compensatory mechanisms for binge eating, so that over time the patient inexorably moves towards a problem of overweight or obesity.


The Eating Disorders Institute groups the factors into three groups:

  1. Predisposing factors for the disorder ; that is, those related to the vulnerability of the person: low self-esteem, influence of the canons imposed by society and the media, difficulties in the family environment and personality (obsessive, compulsive, self-demanding, controlling and / or hypersensitive) , among others.
  2. Triggering or precipitating factors , such as stressful situations: comments and ridicule about physical appearance, emotional breakdowns (partner, family or friends), feeling of loss of youth, perception of affective lack, feeling of failure in the face of a certain event, etc.
  3. Maintenance factors that occur when the disorder has already appeared: diet, greater obsession with food, lack of food control, decreased cognitive abilities and denial.

15 clues to detect anorexia

  • The amounts of food are getting smaller and smaller.
  • He avoids family meals, arguing that he has to study, that his head or stomach hurts, or that he has already eaten out.
  • His mood begins to change. Easily irritated. Alternate mood swings ranging from depression to euphoria.
  • Weight loss is becoming apparent and there is no specific cause to justify it.
  • She increases her physical activity, sports and is always active.
  • You want to prepare food and cook for the whole family.
  • You begin to have a high knowledge of food, its nutritional value, its calories, etc.
  • He incessantly denies that he has an eating problem.
  • He becomes increasingly isolated from family and friends.
  • He sleeps little and his ability to concentrate decreases.
  • He never admits that he is losing weight, and assures that he is fat.
  • Every time he eats, he goes to the bathroom.
  • Play with the plate and crumble the food.
  • You begin to restrict your diet, avoiding certain types of foods considered caloric.
  • He constantly weighs himself and has a remarkable obsession with his weight.


The treatment must be multidisciplinary by a psychologist in conjunction with a nutritionist dietitian, who will teach you to eat and perform food re-education.


Now you know a little more about these disorders. It is more common than it seems, so if you have teenage children, analyze their behavior well and under the slightest suspicion go to a specialist.

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