ZocdocAnswersMy eating habbits are really strange. What should I do?

Question

My eating habbits are really strange. What should I do?

I always feel like purging even sometimes when I haven't eaten. I sometimes feel like self harmig at the thought of food. I have panic attacks when I'm facing my plate and I can't eat it. I either eat a large amount or go on for no food for a large period of time. Help.

Answer

Based on your described symptoms, it is very likely that you have an eating disorder, and it is extremely important that you see a healthcare professional immediately in order to provide treatment and help. Purging, self-harming and panic attacks associated with food are psychological in nature and are associated with pathological eating habits, in particular bulimia and anorexia. Both of theses conditions are extremely dangerous, and even life-threatening if untreated. Bulimia is associated with purging, gorging and intermittent starvation, and is usually associated with less weight loss than anorexia, which is characterized by self-inflicted starvation. Purging and self-induced vomiting can have multiple detrimental effects, including esophageal dysmotility, gastric dysmotility and severe damage to the teeth and gums from the acid concentration. Pathologic weight loss from self-induced starvation can cause cardiac abnormalities, such as slow heart rate, metabolic abnormalities, future difficulty with digestion, and it increases the risk of sudden death. If you are having thoughts of self-harm, you absolutely must seek help from medical professionals who can provide comprehensive psychological and nutritional support. Eating disorders not infrequent among young women and even men, and outcomes can be quite good with the timely and appropriate treatment.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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