Assignment is for NUTR 30300 Disordered Eating / Eating Disorders- dissatisfaction pertaining to the weight

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NUTR 30300 Disordered Eating / Eating Disorders

Differences between disordered eating and an eating disorder

Developing an unhealthy relationship with food is very easy, but an eating disorder is not the same as having disordered eating habits despite the many similarities. Individuals with eating disorders generally exhibit disordered eating, but it is not always necessary for people with such symptoms to be suffering from an eating disorder.

Disordered eating is when a person has an abnormal pattern of eating on a regular basis. This excludes people who have to stick to a particular diet or leave out certain food items due to allergies or other health issues. This behavior is often the result of the inability to cope with one’s emotions and feelings. It could begin with dissatisfaction pertaining to the weight and hence the calories that are being consumed, which is essentially acts as a medium for distraction from other arenas where the individual might be feeling unhappy or inadequate. The goal is to reach a specific weight in order in to attain happiness, but once that target is achieved, the person usually tends to set an even lower one, and this can eventually lead to the development of a full-blown eating disorder. Associating one’s eating patterns with emotional changes can also lead to “emotional” eating disorders, such as bulimia nervosa and binge eating.

Symptoms as exhibited by Jane

As identified from the provided case study and the nedawareness.org video (NEDA, 2018), the main symptoms that Jane has been exhibiting can be outlined as follows –

             Withdrawal from usual social activities and personality changes: Jane was an outgoing girl who enjoyed social events and eating with friends. However, with the progression of her eating disorder, her behavior underwent a marked change.

             Avoiding eating with others and disappearing after eating: Jane would leave her friends and disappear alone as their social outing would draw towards the end, and this happened mostly when they had just had a hearty meal.

             Obsessing over weight: As her eating disorder worsened, all Kate could notice about her friend was how she would talk about her fluctuating weight all the time, especially when they were around food, during which Jane would frequently worry about calories and her weight.

Jane’s eating disorder and consistent behaviors

Disorder: As deduced from the given case study, Jane might be suffering from anorexia nervosa and unspecified feeding or eating disorder.

Symptoms: Intense fear of becoming fat or gaining weight (obsession with body weight and image) even when the person is not anywhere close to being overweight (National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, 2018), difficulty in recognizing the seriousness of the current body weight, eating patterns that are restricted in their nature, a distorted sense of body image (Petre, 2017) and excessive concern over the calories in the food that is being consumed, disappearing after having a hearty meal

Timeframe: Halfway through the first year of college

Concern for Jane’s health and well-being and the pathological complications

In case the behavior that Jane has been exhibiting continues without any intervention, the main concerns pertaining to her health and well-being would be that she might become underweight, which could subsequently lead to numerous health complications. Anorexia nervosa could have severe implications on her daily life, which could amount to –

             Discontinuation from college

             Disruption in the pursuit of her career objectives

             Isolation from Kristy, Kate and the rest of her friends

             Suicidal tendencies

Additionally, the medical or pathological complications that could develop eventually can be listed as follows –

             Extremely thin appearance due to excessive weight loss

             Abnormality in blood count and composition, leading to anemia, thrombocytopenia and leukopenia

             Abnormal levels of enzymes in the liver

             Fatigue and dizziness

             Brittleness of hair and nails

             Weakened immune system

             Gastrointestinal issues, such as acute gastric dilatation, which can lead to gastric perforation in the later stages (Westmoreland, et al., 2016)

             Sudden cardiac malfunctioning, including atrophy and fibrosis of the cardiac muscles (Westmoreland, et al., 2016)

             Osteoporosis due to deficiency of nutrients – this damage would be irreversible.

Five ways/statements in which Jane can be helped

Eating disorders are like any other medical condition, and can thus be overcome with effective treatment and support. Jane can be helped in the following ways –

             Her issues can be pointed out to her instead of trying to be polite or afraid of being mistaken, since she might be afraid to speak out and ask for help

             It is important to express the concern towards her illness, which would help her understand that the people around her care about her and are therefore worried.

             Comments related to her weight or appearance should be avoided since Jane is already obsessed with her body image.

             It would be undesirable to force her to seek treatment. It would be better to coax her into it and be supportive throughout the process.

             Emphasis should be laid on the fact that eating disorders can be treated effectively, and she must be dealt with patiently to avoid further aggravation of the illness.

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