Orthorexia: When a healthy diet becomes a compulsion

Orthorexia: When a healthy diet becomes a compulsion

Many people try to eat as healthy and nutritious as possible. But it can also become an addiction and develop into orthorexia – an eating disorder.

Basically, it is good to eat as healthy as possible and to supply your body with all the important nutrients. But fixation on the health value of food can also lead to pathological features, which can lead to psychological and physical problems. Here you can find out what you need to know about an eating disorder by eating a lot of healthy food.

Orthorexia: An essentially healthy eating disorder

The term orthorexia is not outdated. American doctor Steven Bratman coined the term “orthorexia” or “orthorexia nervosa” in 1997. The name is based on the “anorexia nervosa”, the medical term for anorexia.

Orthorexia is commonly understood as an eating disorder in which the affected people eat a moderately healthy diet. They develop disturbed eating behavior because they are constantly concerned with its quality. Unlike anorexia, the focus here is not on the amount of food. Steven Bratman had observed unusual behavior in relation to food in himself and some of his patients, which he classified under the term “orthorexia nervosa”.

Important: Orthorexia nervosa does not yet have an official clinical picture, Is therefore not a disease in the traditional medical sense. Therefore, there is still no recognized form of diagnosis of orthorexia. Orthorexia can be seen as a precursor to eating disturbances, such as anorexia.

The cause of eating disorder orthorexia is usually the goal of eating as healthy as possible.. Unfortunately, the compulsory approach to nutrition leads to eating behavior that is unhealthy for those affected.

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Orthorexia: What are the symptoms?

If you insist and pay attention to the benefits of healthy eating, no one will oppose you, but what role do your eating habits play for you? Do you sometimes eat something that may not conform to the “ideal”, or? Do you pay full attention to a healthy diet? Affected people show the least signs and symptoms of the described eating behavior.

If the need to eat healthy is based on pathological symptoms, it can be e.g. After conservative symptoms give a performance:

  • The mind is constantly rotating to eat healthy.
  • It takes an odd amount of time to prepare a meal.
  • You feel good only when you eat healthy food. The slips are very disappointing and disappointing.
  • Orthoratics often do without sugar, white flour or foods such as gluten and fructose. However, affected people usually do not have any food intolerance that they need to do without.
  • Permitted food choices are shrinking due to self-imposed regulations.
  • When it comes to eating, the focus is not on enjoyment, but on the added value of food for health – and always.
  • Foreign food invitations are canceled. You isolate yourself socially because healthy food comes first.

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Orthorexia Nervosa Results

If you consistently focus only on those foods – especially in your own opinion – are the healthiest, over time there will be one The possibility of heavy weight loss. This is why doctors believe that orthorexia may eventually give rise to an eating disorder such as anorexia. Symptoms of deficiency may be another physiological result of orthorexia nervosa.

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Another problem is that you can Socially isolates itself through its continuity on food and can result in loss of friendship. Pathological fixation on healthy eating can make a person fall alone.

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Orthorexia: Therapy and Treatment

a There is no specific therapy for orthorexia.Because, as I said, it is not an official disease and does not give a correct diagnosis. Depending on how severe it is, treatment will begin with a patient’s stay in a clinic – with anorexia or bulimia. To restore a general affinity for food in affected people, treating physicians will rely on a combination of psychotherapy and nutritional advice.

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