Eating Disorders Warning Signs

Eating disorders are serious behavior problems. Eating disorders can cause heart and kidney problems and even death. Eating disorders are not a sign that a person has a problem with food, rather eating disorders are actually only the symptoms of underlying problems in that person’s life. Eating disorders involve serious disturbances in eating behavior, such as extreme and unhealthy reduction of food intake or severe overeating, as well as feelings of distress or extreme concern about body shape or weight. Researchers are investigating how and why initially voluntary behaviors, such as eating smaller or larger amounts of food than usual, at some point move beyond control in some people and develop into an eating disorder. Dieting to a body weight leaner than needed for health is highly promoted by current fashion trends, sales campaigns for special foods, and in some activities and professions. Eating disorders frequently co-occur with other psychiatric disorders such as depression, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders. These are also the three most common eating disorders. All three have severe consequences to a person’s immediate and long-term health and can cause death.

Eating disorders are characterized by an abnormal obsession with food and weight. Eating disorders are much more noticed in women than in men. Environmental factors have a large influence on developing eating disorders but more research is being performed on hormonal imbalances, brain lesions and their effects on eating disorders. Many types of eating disorder such as , anorexia nervosa , starvation diet ,binge eating disorder , bulimia nervosa , diabulimia and night eating syndrome. Girls and women are 10 times more likely than boys and men to suffer from anorexia or bulimia. However, eating disorders do seem to be getting more common in boys and men. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are more commonly known as anorexia and bulimia. The two disorders can be difficult to distinguish from each other because they have similar characteristics. Anorexics consider themselves to be fat, no matter what their actual weight is. Often anorexics do not recognize they are underweight and may still “feel fat” at 80 lbs. Anorexics close to death will show you on their bodies where they feel they need to lose weight.

Most people with eating disorders will try to avoid conflicts at all costs, so they usually don’t express negative feelings and try to wear a happy face all the time to try and please people. Treatment can include medical supervision, nutritional counseling, and therapy. Treatment of anorexia calls for a specific program that involves three main phases: (1) restoring weight lost to severe dieting and purging; (2) treating psychological disturbances such as distortion of body image, low self-esteem, and interpersonal conflicts; and (3) achieving long-term remission and rehabilitation, or full recovery. These medications also may help prevent relapse. The treatment goals and strategies for binge-eating disorder are similar to those for bulimia, and studies are currently evaluating the effectiveness of various interventions. Many parents worry about how to get their kids a healthy diet, and prevent them from becoming obese or overweight without giving them anxiety about food that might lead to an eating disorder. Take an active role in creating a healthy lifestyle for your child. Involve your child in the preparation of healthy, nutritious meals on a regular basis.

Eating Disorders Treatment Tips

1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – emphasizes the relationship between thoughts and feelings by focusing on a person’s thought processes.

2. Interpersonal therapy – focuses on addressing difficult relationships with others

3. Rational Emotive Therapy – focuses on a person’s unhelpful beliefs

4. Psychoanalytic psychotherapy – focuses on a person’s past experiences.

5. Family therapy usually involves those who live with the person with the eating disorder, such as parents, siblings, and partner or spouse.

6. Group therapy provides a supportive network of people who have similar eating disorders.

7. Support groups are led by trained volunteers or health professionals.