What Is Orthorexia And How Can It Affect Your Health?

“I shouldn’t that,” “I am trying to eat clean,” “This will make me fatter” I am sure you are familiar with these terms. You may have heard your friends saying it or probably say it yourself. No one would want to get out of shape that is why everyone strives to keep his or her body healthy as possible. Luckily today it is easy to access many clean eating diets, healthy juice cleanses, recipes and workout plans. With these diets, it is easy to achieve a healthy lifestyle. However, there is a line.

According to Dr, Steven Bratman, there is a line between healthy eating enthusiasts and individuals who are obsessed with eating nothing but clean food. This obsession is referred as Orthorexia. I’m sure that this something new to most of you because not very many people are talking about it. This condition can be defined easily as an unhealthy fixation on eating only healthy foods. Although this condition is related to anorexia, instead of the individual fearing to eat food because they fear to gain weight, these individuals fear eating anything unclean.

This is an obsession

Most people misinterpret this as a desire to eat healthy food, but it is not. However, this is an obsession where an individual can have a few cheat days without feeling guilty. This condition can damage the affected individual socially, emotionally and physically until they reach a point where all they think of is pure, healthy food.

One thing that worries me is that individuals who are affected by this condition are often diagnosed with anorexia. For instance, I say this blog from one of my friend who was wrongly diagnosed with Anorexia. When she visited the doctor, she was diagnosed with Anorexia, but she disagreed with the doctor because she used to eat. Unlike people who are anorexic, she didn’t starve herself, but she used to eat so healthily. She claimed that although she became afraid of unhealthy food, she could still eat. For instance, she says that she had to scream to her parent that she hated them just because she has eaten ice cream.

Health risks associated with Orthorexia

This might not sound such a big deal but it is enough to make you get worried. Although we assume that as long as we eat healthily, our body will remain healthy, this is not true if you have this condition. Orthorexia comes with various psychological problems including isolation from friends because of friend’s obsession, OCD and sometimes it can lead to malnutrition.
This condition is caused by several reasons. First, you may be looking for ways to get healthy and eventually become obsessed with it. Some other people may think that food is something they can control, and as a result, they control everything including the little things that go in their mouth. Regardless of the reason, it is crucial to recognize that you have the condition and seek medical help.

Ask yourself questions

If you probably think that you have this condition, asking yourself the following question can help you to know whether you have Orthorexia. These questions are provided by the National Eating Disorder Association. If you find that your answer is yes to most of these questions, the probability of having this disorder is high.

• Sometimes do you feel that you just want to eat without worrying about the quality of food?
• Do you feel that you are spending much time thinking about food than you do thinking about those who are close to you?
• Are you persistently trying to come with ways to help identify foods are unhealthy for you?
• Do you curse yourself or others when you do not follow your diet?
• Are you following a strict diet and often wonder how your friends can eat the foods they do?

Why we need to start talking about Orthorexia

Despite the fact that this condition has not been officially listed as a disorder In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, we need start talking about it seriously. It is important to remember that it does not necessarily mean that you are Orthorexia if you are trying to eat healthily. However, if you find this has turned to be an obsession, you should not be afraid of seeking for assistance. This article is worth sharing with others as it might help others who are struggling with it and let them know that they are not alone.

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