The Permarexia Is the obsession to count the calories of all the foods that are ingested. Those who suffer from this disorder often deprive themselves of certain food groups for a long time, which can have harmful consequences for health.
People with permarexia are always on a diet and are very worried about gaining weight, so much so, that the habit of counting calories Transforms into obsession.
Characteristics of people with permarexia
They have low self-esteem . The lack of security in itself, in its virtues, makes the person gives too much importance to the physical aspect.
They demand too much. If you have permarexia, the idea of looking like an ideal body stereotype would make you feel better, but this is often difficult. achieve. You set impossible goals and therefore, you are permanently frustrated.
Passivity, defenselessness . Daily problems are avoided, keeping for yourself what you think or feel. When a discussion or misunderstanding arises, people With permarexia they think that this happens because they do not like him well or they do not appreciate him.
Their social relationships are unstable, they struggle to socialize . They avoid going to parties or meetings because there will probably be foods with many calories. Blame the organizer for not choosing a menu with less Calories; This makes him feel very bad mood, his answers are aggressive.
They have emotional problems. Often they are people with anxiety disorders, depression or other disorders.
They are not satisfied with their body . A person with permarexia fears not liking or not falling well because of his physique, even if he is not even overweight.
They hardly recognize that they have a disorder. They believe that their concern is only about maintaining good nutrition and a healthy weight.
They follow all kinds of diets. They are always testing a different regime, which is in fashion.
There is a big difference between healthy eating and exercise, obsessing about a diet, avoiding certain types of food or Counting calories, although it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish one situation from another.
Other symptoms that indicate that something is not right, are the following:
Low school or work performance.
Talk about food and diets all the time.
Know exactly how many calories of all foods.
Eat very little overall, or eat large amounts of food from time to time.
If you have these symptoms or you see them in someone close to you, then it may be permarexia.
Consequences of permarexia
Possibly the most worrisome of this disorder is that, generally, who has it is not aware of it.
He thinks that he simply cares about having Healthy eating habits , When in fact the obsession for counting calories may be having Negative consequences on your health.
The fact of undergoing different diets causes frequent variations in the corporal weight, without any control, which can provoke in some Moment a rebound effect.
In the medium and long term, this permanent change in weight is capable of altering the functioning of the thyroid gland (which is fundamental in the Regulation of metabolism).
If you have permarexia, you may also experience episodes of Hypoglycemia (Low blood sugar), causing dizziness, blurred vision, dizziness and In severe cases, loss of consciousness.
People with this eating disorder may also have constipation, gastric ulcers or nutritional deficiencies due to chronic deprivation of Food group.
Finally, if you suffer permarexia you are more likely to develop other eating disorders, such as bulimia or anorexy , Whose consequences Can lead to death.
Therefore, if you know someone or if you are permanently following some type of highly restrictive diet, if you are worried about the Aspect of your body or if you look like a celebrity, then it is best to consult a psychologist and a nutritionist, to get out Of this problem.
Is permarexia a recognized disorder?
As you may have read at the beginning of this article, permarexia is a term that has not yet been accepted by the medical community.
However, this does not mean that the disorder does not exist. Permarexia, as well as other alterations in diet, are grouped in the Which health institutions call"unspecified eating disorders".
In general, people who suffer from this type of disorder follow a strict diet, often also exercise hard and have a poor image Of themselves.
Studies indicate that one in 20 people suffer from these types of eating disorders, which are certainly not as well known as bulimia or Anorexia, but that can be very dangerous anyway.
It is important to keep in mind that in eating disorders, not everything is"white"or"black", but there are also"gray"areas. While a person May not present all the symptoms and signs of a known eating disorder, this does not mean that they do not have any disorder.
Moreover, most people with pathological alterations in their diet are diagnosed with"unspecified eating disorder". The The prevalence of this type of disorder is really worrying.
Research shows that in the population of women aged 25-45, with no history of anorexia, approximately 30% say they have"purged"their Body to lose kilos or not to gain weight, vomiting or using laxatives.
In addition, an alarming 75% of these women stated that concerns about their weight and body shape interfered in some way with
Among teenagers and young adult males, 18% said they felt"extremely concerned"about what their physical and their weight in adulthood would be.
A person is said to have an"unspecified"eating disorder when their concern about food, body shape or body weight Interferes with your daily life and your well-being.
Probably the characteristic that is present in permarexia as in other unspecified eating disorders is that the person who You feel that your weight or the shape of your body is a very important factor that determines the value of your person.
Causes of permarexia
There are many biological factors that can increase your risk of pemarexia or another eating disorder in your group.
It has been shown that the prevalence is higher in certain families and that in identical twins, if one of them suffers from one of these disorders, it is highly Probably the other also suffer.
At the same time, doctors point out that environmental, social and developmental factors also play a fundamental role in the development of Permarexia.
"Genes carry the weapon and the environment shoots it,"say researchers at the Center for Eating Disorders at the University of North Carolina.
Verbal messages transmitted by parents in infancy can have a significant influence on the eating habits of their children. It has been Since there is a relationship between disordered eating habits in young people and hurtful comments in the family related to body weight.
Close friends can also influence this. If you have a roommate who is on a diet or someone close to you Follow strict dietary regimens, this increases your chances of developing an eating disorder.
In predisposed people, there are some"triggers"that can mark the beginning of the disorder, such as removals, school changes, changes in Family, the death of someone very close, change of work, personal failures, etc.
Finally, the mass media undoubtedly have an effect on the adolescent and young adults population, favoring the emergence of Permarexia.
Research has found that when a person reads more magazines and articles on diets and body weight control, Eating disorder
In general, the media promote an"ideal"body image, a pretty body stereotype that is very difficult to achieve for most people.
Studies have found that today it is"normal"to feel dissatisfied with one's own body.
Surely you have said something like:
"Look how big my thighs are," "My arms are flaccid"or "I have a lot of belly."
These kinds of talks increase the discontent we have with our bodies, which makes us have more of these talks, it is a vicious circle.
And this general discontent favors the development of permarexia, no doubt.
Obviously, not all people who criticize your thighs begin to become obsessed with your body, follow a strict diet, spend hours in the gym or Use laxatives to control their body weight.
But it is clear that society focuses on weight and body shape as indicators of well-being and health for everyone.
This approach leaves aside other very important aspects, such as anxiety, poor sleep, depression or addictions that can arise when there is a Eating disorder
How to know if you have permarexia
Do you want to know if you have this disorder?
Answer this simple questionnaire:
Do you avoid eating with other people?
Are you always counting calories and figuring out how much fat there is in every food you eat?
Do you weigh yourself too often?
Are you worried about your weight?
Do you exercise just to lose weight? Do you exercise anyway, even if you are injured or sick?
Are you afraid of gaining weight?
Do you feel guilty when you eat something you do not think you should eat?
Do you spend many hours a day thinking about diets, calories and control of your body weight?
Do you feel embarrassment, guilt or disgust after eating?
Do you feel that no one will appreciate you if your body does not have certain measures or if you do not have a certain weight?
If you answered yes to most of these questions, you are likely to have permarexia.
It is best to consult a nutritionist or a psychologist (or both) as soon as possible.
Helping someone with permarexia
As you said at the beginning, if you know someone with permarexia, it will be difficult for him to recognize that he has a problem, but this is precisely the first step To get ahead.
You can start by letting her know that you are worried about your well being . Whether you deny it or get angry, you must remain calm and insist on another time with This idea:"I'm worried about your health, I think you should consult a specialist."
It could be a nutritionist, a psychologist, a general practitioner or a psychiatrist.
At some point, you will probably ask for help or agree to attend the consultation you suggest, although this may take quite some time.
The treatment to be followed will indicate the specialists, but usually includes:
- Incorporation of healthier eating habits, with the help of a nutrition expert.
- Psychological treatment for Improve self-esteem , in other aspects.
- Occasionally, psychiatric medication, such as antidepressants, anxiolytics, etc., may be necessary.
It is important to keep in mind that there was probably an emotional problem that triggered the disorder, and this problem will not disappear from night to night. morning. There may be improvements and relapses.
Permarexia is completely curable and there are many treatment options. But it is important that the person realizes that he suffers from a disease.
Many believe that those with an eating disorder must be extremely thin or obese. However, it is not necessary to reach these extremes to ask for help.
So you already know, permarexia is a disease and it is important to consult in time to avoid damage to health.