The human body is an amazingly designed, complex unit of living parts. These individual components may seem at times to be completely oblivious of the others, but the truth is that they all coexist in a symbiotic manner. That means that they all are dependent on one another to flourish and thrive. So when there’s an issue in one area, it affects the whole. A prime example is with eating disorders. Although food is consumed through the mouth and then digested, it affects the whole body. Thus, this condition can cause major health issues if not addressed. Your dentist in West Orange understands this all too well, so he’ll provide more clarity on the effects and possible remedies of this problem.
Why is Food Important?
Everybody can relate to the feeling of getting hungry. And it’s a natural reaction to satisfy that sensation by eating something. For the body, though, there are far more complicated chemical and hormonal reactions tied up in the simple drive to eat that one feels.
The brain and stomach remain in communication with each other through an intricate highway of neurons and nerves, that send the signal that it’s time to eat. This is because the body is the consummate scientist, forever recording and interpreting data to determine what it needs to survive.
Therefore, eating is not just an act of submitting to desire. Instead, it’s the fulfillment of a life-sustaining necessity. Food is a primary source of energy – life force. So any improper relationship with it, is actually counterproductive to staying alive.
What is a Food Disorder?
A food disorder is an illness characterized by irregular eating habits and severe distress or concern about body weight or shape. It can manifest in different ways. Here are three main types:
- Anorexia Nervosa – The person suffering from this disorder will typically have an acute fear of gaining weight. This will be accompanied by an exaggerated perception, where they always view themselves as being severely overweight, which may drive them to exercise excessively and restrict their food intake to dangerously low amounts. Because the body depends on receiving the right amount of nutrients to function properly, this condition can lower a person’s immune function, leaving them more susceptible to illnesses. It also causes damage to their teeth, as vital nutrients like Vitamin D and calcium will be low.
- Bulimia Nervosa – People who suffer from this condition will repeatedly binge eat and then try to accommodate for it by inducing themselves to vomit, engaging in extreme exercise or taking laxatives. All of these behaviors send their digestive system on a constant roller coaster ride and hinders their health, because one of the things the human body seeks is consistency. This also has effects on their oral health, as binge eating brings more bacteria into their mouths, and constant vomiting wears away the enamel on their teeth from the stomach acids.
- Binge Eating Disorders – This group of people will eat excessively but won’t make any attempts to rectify it. Thus, they become prime candidates for morbid obesity and all the associated problems like high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease. They can also have severe oral issues from the excess consumption of unhealthy foods. Some of the problems that can arise are cavities, gum disease and tooth loss.
How to Get Help
The first step to getting help with either one of these conditions is to admit and recognize that the problem exists. The next move is to seek counseling and make gradual changes to one’s food selections. Eating healthier begets making better decisions. The premise behind this is that the cleaner the foods, the more conducive the environment of the body will be to direct clearer thoughts and choices.
The road to recovery may be tough but having a life full of total wellness is well worth the effort. After all, the journey of a thousand steps starts with the first one.
About the Author
Dr. Medhat Dawoud received his education from Rutgers University, the State University of New Jersey and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. The consummate learner, he believes that education and prevention are essential for having excellent oral and overall health. He can be reached for more information through his website.