The Hormonal and Genetic Causes of Eating Disorders

Internal Causes of Eating DisordersSome of the common eating disorders, such as bulimia, anorexia nervosa, and binge eating are linked with an unusual behavior towards consumption of food. The attitude towards eating is vastly modified in the aforementioned medical conditions. Eating habits are altered to an extent that a person can have significant bodily changes within weeks. However, there is no particular reason behind how it affects the body.

Researchers have found several different determining factors that are considered the causes of eating disorders. One emerging pattern has been central in all eating disorders and that is body shape and body weight, but these are not the only aspects of the body that are affected. Hormonal activity, digestive system, and cognitive functionalities are equally modified. Two of the most widely known causes of eating disorders are associated with hormones and genes. Nevertheless, the causes can range from psychological to biological or can be even more complicated and multifactorial.

Genetic Factors
Researchers studying the causes of eating disorders have found an interesting link between the attitude towards food and genetics. The genetic factor in most cases is the underlying cause of the eating disorder in many individuals who have reported to have eating disorder early in their lives. According to a longitudinal study, researchers have found that people with a first degree relative who suffers from an eating disorder or has a history with it, are more susceptible to developing an eating disorder, as compared to those individuals who don’t have any family history of this condition.

Besides this, studies have also found the genes that have a direct relation with hormones, which include ghrelin and leptin. They influence the development of eating disorders in most individuals. Health and psychological experts have also claimed genes as the factor that increases the risk of eating disorder significantly. Genes also have an impact on personality traits and behavior, which plays a prominent role in defining eating habits.

Hormonal Factors
Hormonal factors are among the many causes of eating disorders, specifically the bodily system known as hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA). HPA is responsible for regulations of appetite, mood and stress in the body via the hormones such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. Any abnormality or changes in the level of these hormones can lead to serious eating disorders. The chemical changes in the body can either make you feel hungry or you might suffer from loss of appetite. As is the case in anorexia, that people don’t derive any pleasure from eating food. This is primarily because of the low levels of serotonin and dopamine in the bloodstream.

These are some of the genetic and hormonal causes of eating disorders you should keep in mind.

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