Although it is believed that eating disorders are typically portrayed to be induced by the impossible standards induced by the media, between 50%-70% of people who have eating disorders have shown that they have a direct correlation to their a biological structure. However, this is not to say eating disorders are solely due to biological factors. Environmental factors do come into play. This post is to educate people on both biological and environmental factors of eating disorders and where the information is extracted from will be listed at the end of this post.
People with an eating disorder can have a genetic defect where an ESRRA gene is missing. This is an estrogen related receptor alpha gene. About one in 10 000 people have this mutation, but this mutation gives a 90% likelihood that you will eventually develop an eating disorder at some point in your life. The gene also creates isolated and withdrawn tendencies, traits seen in people who have eating disorders.
A common ground amongst all who have eating disorders is that they have an under active Endocannabinoid System. This is a neurotransmitter that is involved in some physiological processes like appetite, pain, and sensation. People tend to feel good after eating and this is the neurotransmitter responsible for that. Those how have eating disorders do not have as intense of a pleasure from food, if any.
Yearn for Control
This is an environmental factor where things in their life may not be going right. Something that has caused trauma, such as a family member dying or their cat running away. A loss of control may leave them desperate to have a grasp on their emotions. Something easy to control is the amount of food they consume and when they consume it. This can lead to self destructive habits that later form into eating disorders.
This is similar to having a yearn for control but could be due to a loss of appetite. Stress has plenty of negative effects and disrupted eating behaviours is one of them. Perhaps stress slows down their ability to complete tasks and that gets in the way of their eating or break time that later develops into a habit and addiction.
This is the environmental factor that most people come to the conclusion of when hearing someone has an eating disorder. A lot of people want to look and feel good by shedding off a few pounds, but dieting and weight loss can become an addiction. They will eventually hit a plateau or a point where they can no longer lose more weight so they begin to restrict their caloric intake and perhaps starve themselves.