Is It Hard To Gain Weight After An Eating Disorder Tumbling Over Eating Disorders: A Constant Threat for Athletes

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Tumbling Over Eating Disorders: A Constant Threat for Athletes

A good competition includes pivotal moments, which determine who wins and loses. Athletes face a lot of pressure that can lead to eating disorders, such as bulimia or anorexia. In some sports, athletes must be a certain weight to compete. Gymnasts, dancers and figure skaters have the highest prevalence of eating disorders because their sport focuses on appearance.

Most athletes believe that in order to win the competition and be successful their bodies must be thin. If that belief goes awry and unhealthy eating results, this can lead to poor performance because the athlete is not getting proper nutrients that the body requires. Those closest to athletes suffering from an eating disorder do not recognize the signs of anorexia and bulimia or do not believe that the athlete himself would be abused.

In addition to the physical effects of disordered eating, there is also a psychological component. As a former competitive gymnast, the pressure and stress of meeting a certain size became a challenge. I started watching everything I ate and drank while working out five to eight hours a day and competing once or twice a week. The scrutiny of competitors, coaches and judges kept me on my toes and I often wondered if my size became more important than how well I performed.

All athletes strive for perfection and will do whatever it takes, even if their lives are in danger. To illustrate, one of my competitors started losing weight without proper nutritional advice after being told she needed to drop a few pounds and ended up becoming bulimic. Anorexia and bulimia also afflict the American gymnast “Christy Henrich”. It is said that along the way a judge told Henrich that she was too fat to excel or succeed in gymnastics. To combat that negative mental view of her body, she began extreme diets and eventually developed an eating disorder. She died of multiple organ failure at the age of 22, weighing only 47 pounds.

Identifying the external signs of anorexia and bulimia are the first step to saving a loved one’s life. Some of those signs include:

Anorexia:

Excessive weight loss

Always think about food, calories and body weight

Wearing layered clothes

Mood swings

Avoiding eating activities

Bulimia:

Excessive weight loss or gain

Worrying too much about one’s weight

Visit the bathroom after dinner

Depression

Excessive dieting followed by binge eating

Always criticize the body

Eating disorders can be fatal if not treated quickly. To learn more about these two eating disorders or to find a medical provider who treats anorexia or bulimia, please visit http://www.iTriageHealth.com or download iTriage for your smartphone.

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