The Role of Genetics in Eating Disorders

Eating disorders affect people of every social level. Public opinion influences many individuals. Psychological and social factors often cause a person to limit food intake to please other people by becoming what they feel society expects from them. Interestingly, many eating disorders have a genetic connection. Family history and biology play a pivotal role in the diagnosis of many individuals with anorexia nervosa, binge eating, or bulimia.

Genetics often plays a role in obesity, anorexia, and bulimia. Metabolic testing measures the calories burned when the body is at rest to determine if it is less than average or more than average. This test is helpful when trying to obtain an overall picture of a patient's health, especially how it relates to overeating or under-eating. Improper eating may cause fluctuations that trigger eating disorders. TheKahm Center offers genetic testing and composition analysis for people wishing to restore their bodies nutritionally.

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What are Some Examples of How Genetics Affect a Person's Eating Habits?

When one speaks of a genetic connection associated with eating disorders, individuals with severe depression or anxiety problems have a higher risk of developing one. Both depression and anxiety run in families. Specific ailments, such as Prader-Willi Syndrome, cause an individual to eat all the time due to the body's inability to feel satisfied. Low self-esteem and obsessive-compulsive disorder, as well as the genes that determine taste differences like bitterness, savory, and sweetness, are all genetically wired into a person's eating habits.

Anorexia and Bulimia Have Much in Common

Mental health conditions are often the root problem of an eating disorder. Many mental health problems are hereditary. Individuals diagnosed with anorexia nervosa tend to refrain from eating anything at all. Bulimia causes individuals to consume large amounts of food and purge afterward. People with eating disorders have a preoccupation with body weight and self-image. The battle to be perfect is center stage in both bulimia and anorexia.

Food Consumption or the Restriction of Calories Cause Health Issues

Properly fueling one's body results in better overall health and more energy to perform daily tasks. Losing too much weight or the inability to lose weight at all may result in fatigue, hair loss, skin problems, illness, and even depression. A balanced diet is essential for healthy living.

When caloric intake is restricted, the result is loss of muscle, frequent sickness, malnutrition, and even infertility. When a diet is too high in calories, it results in an expanded stomach, an uncomfortable feeling of fullness, sluggishness, and possibly the development of other diseases, such as diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease. The amount of food a person consumes or fails to consume daily substantially impacts an individual's well-being.

You Are What You Eat or Don't Eat

The genetic relationship between personality, body weight, and what one eats goes hand-in-hand. An individual's personality affects what foods they eat to maintain a perceived body image. Body weight is the result of making healthy or unhealthy food choices. The association between genes and eating disorders is at the heart of many patients dealing with food-related conditions.

Everyone's metabolism is different. Genes that affect food cravings, body fat distribution, appetite, and the sense of fullness require a proper balance to maintain a healthy body weight. Each person is predisposed to a genetic basis from early on that may play a role in what they eat or don't eat. Metabolic testing provides insight to help restore one's nutritional health. When the body is nutritionally balanced, managing an eating disorder is well within reach.

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