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Orthorexia > Health and Wellness.

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It orthorexia is a disorder of eating behaviour consisting in the obsession with eating the affected considered healthy, rejecting all those who can not be included in this category from your point of view.
At first, orthorexia can seem that it's appropriate behavior (eating only healthy and natural products), and that it will be beneficial for the organism of which practice it. However, it can become a serious problem and cause serious repercussions, both on the quality of life and health.

Who affect orthorexia?

Anyone can develop this pathological inclination, but the most vulnerable are those very demanding with themselves and with others, with a character straight and strict, who like to plan and implement comprehensive control over their lives and their daily activities.
Women and young people are also more likely and, in general, all those overly worried about his physical, since the decision to eat "only healthy food" is associated to achieve and maintain a good body image. This desire for physical beauty through diet is reminiscent of other disorders such as anorexia and bulimia eating.
People suffering from an obsessive-compulsive disorder to some degree, as well as those suffering from anorexia nervosa, also are more likely to fall in the orthorexia.
Athletes are another group of risk since they care especially their food, or adapted to your type of training, so they end up eating only foods that are considered appropriate to strengthen their muscles or improve physical performance.

Effects of orthorexia

Orthorexia has negative consequences on the health of the patient, but also on their social life. To restrict the number of allowed foods, the daily menu becomes a real problem, you should plan and prepare in advance. As they need to have the safety of the products used in the kitchen are appropriate, they cannot eat outside the home, not only in restaurants, but they can not do it at home of family or friends, unless they follow the same rules when it comes to prepare the menu. If we take into account that eating is a real social event, accompanying numerous celebrations (birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, Christmas celebrations, business meetings...), the fact to be considered harmful to the majority of the food prevents these people to enjoy any event of this nature, leading them to social isolation.
If on occasion are permitted to transgress its own rules, feelings of guilt overwhelms them and produces a great frustration to them. His obsession, also goes beyond food and ends up also include form that is preparing the food, and utensils and vessels used for this purpose.
Although reject fats, foods that contain additives and artificial substances, or vegetables and fruit grown with pesticides and chemical fertilizers, is not bad in itself, since ideally, food to be as natural as possible, at the end of the ortorexicos excluded from its nutrient diet which are considered necessary for the proper functioning of the body, and this can lead to, more or less serious disorders, including anaemia, lack of vitamins and minerals, malnutrition, osteoporosis, increased incidence of infections with a decreased function of the immune system, etc. Specialists insist that we must eat everything in perspective, and that vitamin supplements can or should replace a balanced diet.
Orthorexia is a serious problem for vital anguish, but an ortorexic can reach the end of starve rather than eat food that does not consider healthy; Therefore, although the motivation is different, orthorexia, in extreme cases, can be as dangerous to health as anorexia.

Diagnosis of orthorexia

The American doctor Steven Bratman suffered PTSD, and appointed as orthorexia in the late 1990s. According to Bratman, the ortorexicos think that they'll get great physical and psychic benefits thanks to their eating behavior, and this can lead them to a unit of the health food similar to that other addicts with drugs.
In addition to the benefits that healthy foods now expect, the ortorexicos also intended to get rid of threats in food rejected as anisakis, salmonellosis, or the evil of mad cow disease, and in this sense, his attitude is similar to that of a schizophrenic, who fears being poisoned, or a hypochondriac, intending to collapsible a disease if it does not take the necessary precautions.
Bratman established a series of guidelines that will help determine what behaviors or behaviors toward food could indicate the presence of this type of obsession, and developed a test to facilitate diagnosis. Some of the questions that will make you the patient are:
w would spend more than three hours a day thinking about your diet?
w do plan meals several days in advance?
w do consider that the nutritional value of a food is more important than the pleasure that brings?
Has w decreased their quality of life while increasing the quality of your diet?
has w become stricter with itself at this time?
Has w improved their self-esteem eating healthily?
Has w given up eating foods he liked to eat 'good' food?
w your diet is a problem when it comes to eating out, and this distance you from your family and friends?
w do you feel guilty when his regime is jumped?
w feels at peace with itself and believes that everything is under control when you eat healthily?
If the patient answers Yes to four or five of these questions, it means that it starts to obsess more account with the diet, and that it should pay less attention to what you eat. If you respond affirmatively to all questions, it is necessary to worry because this indicates that feeding healthy has become an obsession for him.

Treatment and prevention of orthorexia

The treatment of those affected by orthorexia aims to replenish nutritional deficiencies which it incurs the patient to exclude certain foods from your diet, establish correct dietary habits, and treat possible organic complications stemming from poor nutrition. To complete the treatment, it is necessary to also address the possible psychological disorders, as well as the social and family problems that each patient.
Fundamental is the collaboration of the patient, although in these cases it is easier to that when it comes to other eating disorders such as anorexia, already that the attitude of the patient before the food is not the desire to lose weight, but to the living healthier, that it is actually the result of a balanced diet. However, it should modify the behaviour that has been adopting the ortorexic over time, as well as the obsessive thoughts, social isolation, and changes in mood.
It is important to explain to the patient the need to have a varied and complete power, and inform you of the negative health consequences that can have the lack of certain nutrients, which must be reintroduced in the menu progressively, until you get a balanced diet that includes protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals.
Psychotherapy You can help the patient modify their behavior and encourage self-esteem, correcting their vision distorted about the harmful effects of certain foods.
Prevention of orthorexia
As in the case of any disorder of eating behavior, instilling healthy habits in children, both in the family and in the school, it will strengthen the appropriate behavior, minimizing the negative effects that fashion or advertising to exert over his personality.
It is important that children can become familiar since childhood with foods that should be part of a balanced diet, and explaining them the nutrients they provide, what they are and why.
In addition, should pay attention to any signs that make you suspect that there is a deviation from the feeding behavior, since early detection of orthorexia or any similar condition is essential to correct the problem before you go to more.
In the case that it is people with obsessive compulsive behavior, should be especially alert, since they are very susceptible to orthorexia
Published for educational purposes
Health and Wellness

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