5 Essential Diagnostic Features of Orthorexia Nervosa
Orthorexia Nervosa is a healthy eating disorder where' a person consumes high-quality food. Although it might seem like a healthy way of living but have you ever thought about the consequences? But that does not necessarily mean that people who prefer a healthy diet suffer from the disorder.Preferring a healthy diet and having an obsession with it are 2 completely different things. Therefore, getting a proper medicated treatment is a must if a person is obsessed with this way of diet. Because it can cause further and more serious complications if not treated timely.
Besides Orthorexia, there is another eating disorder where' a person is picky with his food. He/ she does not like to eat everything but rather they pick the ones they like. This eating disorder is ARFID.
This article contains all the details that will help you out in learning the difference between- both disorders.
Diagnostic features of Orthorexia Nervosa
People who suffer from this eating disorder are picky eaters. They do not eat everything rather they are obsessed with the quality of the food. This might be a completely organic diet with little to no pesticides and fertilizers. Or it might be eating fruits and vegetables in raw form to remain healthy.
But in the long run, this disorder makes the person anxious if his food. That person cannot eat with others and thus his social circle becomes limited. Here is a list of some of the diagnostic features that can help you detect the disorder in someone around you (if you are having a doubt).
1 – Anxiety disorder
People who suffer from this disorder will also show signs of anxiety. This is because they are afraid of eating something which is unhealthy. For instance, that food that is grown in an unhealthy -environment. Furthermore, the anxiety level increases manifolds if they have to eat at an unfamiliar place. They are not sure about the ingredients.
Therefore, if they have to eat something at an unfamiliar place, they might vomit out the food. Moreover, they will be afraid of not following the strict diet rules that they made for themselves.
For example, they have to attend a business meeting and cannot tell others about their obsession. Thus, they might force themselves to eat a little bit in front of everyone.
Thus, their anxiety level increases and they will become seriously ill. Consequently, they will think that their illness is because of not eating healthy food. Eventually, their obsession with the strict diet plan will further increase.
2 – Achievement-oriented
This also seems like a good sign but is it really? A person should have self-discipline and must have a clear orientation. But it is also a fact that addiction to anything is bad. Even if you are eating healthy or you work through a proper plan, obsession over these things will complicate your life.
People who suffer from Orthorexia Nervosa are extremely achievement-oriented. Therefore, they can stick to their strict diet plan. The taste and palatability do not matter to them. They are only focused on the food quality.
That is why, if a person is suffering from thins problem, he will show extreme self-control. And if he is not able to abide by his rules, this will be a failure for him. Thus, they will become anxious and eventually, that will affect them psychologically. Consequently, they will feel ill only with the thought that they did eat something that they were not supposed to. It will seem like a sin to them.
3 – Creating their own healthy criteria
Yes, this is another major diagnostic feature in some of the cases. Orthorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder that has a psychological impact on the person. Therefore, they have their own criteria for making their diet plans.
Furthermore, every case is different because the persons involved are different. So if one person is obsessed with an organic diet, another might follow a vegetarian plan. Likewise, another person might make a plan to avoid eating raw foods completely. And another one will eat only the raw foods.
To sum it shortly, they will show a lack of flexibility when it comes to their food. So when their desired plan is not followed, they will feel discomfort. In a serious situation, they might get hospitalized.
For example, a person is obsessed with eating only organic foods. But the basic taste of food is the same. So if they accidentally eat something inorganic and they find out later, it will instantly wake up their mind. The feeling of discomfort will increase and so does their stress and anxiety level. Thus, they can only eat the things that seem healthy to them. If their mind makes something unhealthy, that thing will remain unhealthy.
4 – Nutrient deficiencies
As mentioned above, eating disorders lead to picky eating. Thus, eventually, people suffer from both micro and macronutrients. They make long-term eating plans for themselves that do not fulfill their nutritional requirement.
For example, if the obsession is about eating vegetables, that person won’t touch meat or eggs. Thus, it is highly likely that he won’t pay attention to the nutrients that meat provides. So if they make their own plan, it is also quite likely that they will ignore the nutritional part. Although there are other sources of protein but they are not conscious of these things.
5 – Weight loss
Of course, if you are only eating raw vegetables and fruits, how can you gain weight? Furthermore, you are only paying attention to the food quality and not quantity and taste. Thus, your weight won’t be in balance.
In addition to this, that person might not have another source of oil. Thus, the fat content of the body will also lower. But that’s not a good thing at all. Our body needs fats to provide energy and we also have good fats.
Therefore, if you have this disorder or someone you know, proper treatment is a must.
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