Under the term of orthorexia is understood the condition when a person experiences obsessive behavior symptoms when it comes to eating – and eating healthy food in particular.
Anorexia nervosa or other eating disorders are frequently connected with this particular illness. They are actually often interconnected. Orthorexia symptoms can be confused as they often coincide with the signs of other eating disorders.
Orthorexia symptoms are characterized by a person’s obsession with everything that is around a perfect diet. It is not so much about losing weight and staying slim. It is not what matters in the first place. Feelings of purity and health are sought after. That is why people with orthorexia symptoms are very unlikely to consume such things as dairy or animal products; products what have got artificial coloring and flavor; the ones that were processed. In the same list are sugar, salt and fats as well as many other things.
Orthorexia symptoms presuppose certain particular alternations in behavior.
It is normal for such a person to think too much about the things he eats and the probable dramatic consequences such as allergies and asthma, also problems with digestion; bad mood and anxiety are considered very likely to appear as well. They can imagine having food allergies that are not really true and therefore tend to avoid eating some foods for this reason.
Another one in the list of orthorexia symptoms is the tendency in a person to consume more probiotics as well as supplements and herbal remedies. It is also very characteristic that after such a serious review of foods a person may end up with the list of very few actual foods, such as about 10. Another topic in the orthorexia patients is their obsession with food preparation techniques. This is something that can be very important for a person and in some way complicate his life and the life of the others around. Washing is a ritual as well as sterilization and usage of different utensils.
Orthorexia symptoms can develop actually as the ones of bulimia and anorexia. They start to interfere with life and affect a person and his character in a very considerable way. It is frequent that such eating habits lead to a person becoming unsocial and detached as well start suffering from depression and anxiety. When orthorexia symptoms aggravate it might be fraught with even worse condition development.
One of the first states that tend to develop is guilt. Guilt appears every time when there is any slight deviation from the rules stated. A person also starts thinking more and more about food; which can become obsessive thought indeed. Another in the list of orthorexia symptoms is the tendency of a person to plan all the meals ahead in order not to deviate anyhow. In case everything goes smooth, a person feels great and satisfied and healthy to the extend he imagines it should be. It is also symptomatic for a person to start thinking critically and judgmentally about other people who do not support the idea.
Also to orthorexia symptoms refers fear of eating out. A person is inclined to think that all these foods are unhealthy and can make himself starve for this point. As it was mentioned, a person tends to get detached from friends and family and refuses to eat any food rather than cooked by himself. With time orthorexia symptoms can get even more aggravated and complicated.