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Eating Disorder

Eating Disorder: Preoccupied with a Thin Body or Social Pressure About Weight?

These factors are particularly relevant when a person’s self-esteem is tied to weight and perceived attractiveness.

Athletic and Artistic Endeavors That Emphasis Leanness. These activities may include ballet, gymnastics, and figure skating, running and wrestling.

More people die from eating disorders than from any other eating disorders are serious mental health disorders with life-threatening physical and psychological complications.

The effects of malnutrition, and other results of behaviors associated with eating disorders, can lead to serious organ damage and sudden death. In addition, half of all deaths related to eating disorders are from suicide. If you have an eating disorder, it’s important to recognize the serious of your condition.

You should seek professional help, preferably from someone who is an expert in helping people with eating disorders more people die from eating disorders than from any other category of psychiatric conditions.

Types of Eating Disorder

Eating disorders are disturbances in your relationship with food that are severe enough to cause problems with your health or your social relationships. Some common eating disorders include:

Anorexia Nervosa This condition is characterized by severe restriction of food, even if you’re dangerously underweight.

If you have Anorexia Nervosa, you may deny that a problem exists, even if people tell you how underweight you are.

You may tie your self-worth to being thin and be terrified of gaining g weight. Many people with A have a distorted body image. They believe they’re fat even though they’re underweight.

The median age of onset for A.N. is 18, and it’s more common in girls and woman than in boys and men.

Bulimia Nervosa This eating disorder is characterized by episodes of bingeing (eating a lot in a short amount of time) and then practicing behavior to compensate for the binge, like vomiting or using laxatives.

During a binge episode, you may feel unable to stop eating or control what you’re eating.

People with BN may try to compensate for the binge behavior by vomiting, abusing laxatives, diuretics or enemas fasting or exercising excessively.

The median age of onset Bulimia Nervosa is 18 and it’s also more common in females than in males.

Binge eating disorder, this disorder is like BN in that large amounts of food are eaten at once, bit not purging (making yourself vomit or abuse laxatives) diuretic drugs or enemas) or performing any other compensation behavior. If you have binge disorder, you may be overweight. You may be at a higher risk for diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Binges are more likely if you’re depressed, having trouble coping with difficult emptions, or depriving yourself of food (such as dieting) People with binge eating disorders were often overweight before their eating disorder began. People with binge eating disorder are more prone than the general population to feel disconnected from their communities.

In the United States, 2 percent of the population has binge eating disorder, and it’s slightly more common in woman than in men.

Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder

This disorder involves food avoidance based on a lack of interest in food or the sensory characteristics of food, or a negative or experience with food (such as choking).

Avoidance/restrictive food intake disorder is more common in males than is Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa.

This disorder often begins in infancy or early childhood and can persist into adulthood.

PICA this disorder involves eating nonfood substances such as chalk, dirt, or yarn. RUMINATION DISORDER This condition involves repeated intentional regurgitation of food that is then re-chewed, re-swallowed, or spit out.

Other Specified Feeding or eating disorder

This diagnosis may be given to people with symptoms of an eating disorder that causes distress or impairs social functioning but doesn’t fit the specific diagnostic criteria for any of the disorders listed above.


A combination of biogeological, psychological, and environmental factors appears to contribute to eating disorders. These include:

Genetics Inherited genes appear to play some role, with AN and BN present in more stress of identical twins than fraternal twins.

Family Distress Family characteristics that may raise the risk of eating disorders include poor communication, high perceived parental expectations for achievement or appearance, material tension, difficult managing conflict, and devaluing the maternal role.

Sexual Abuse People with a history of sexual abuse are more likely to develop eating disorders

History of Dieting One-third of “normal” dieters’ progress to pathological eating habits, and 20 to 25 percent of pathological dieter’s progress to having an eating disorder.

Preoccupation with a thin body or social pressure about weight

These factors are particularly relevant when a person’s self-esteem is tied to weight and perceived attractiveness.

Athletic and artistic endeavors that emphasizes leanness

These activities may include ballet, gymnastics, figure skating, running, wrestling.

Eating Disorder Statistics

According to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), 20 million women and 10 million men currently living in the United States will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives.

In the United States, the prevalence of most eating disorders is similar among non-Hispanic whites, whites, blacks Hispanics and Asians, but AN is more common in non-Hispanics white.

The incidence of AN in young woman ages 15 to 19 has increased each decade since 1988 and 1993.

In the United States, 40 to 60 percent of girls aged 6 and 12 already worry about their weight.

Girls who diet frequently are 12 times as likely to binge as girls who do not diet. Perceptions of what constitutes a desirable body have most likely changed over the years, potentially contributing to eating disorders.

For, example the average body mass index (BMI) of Miss America contest winners fell from about 22 in the 1920s to 16.9 in the 2000s.

The World Health Organization classifies as a normal BMI as between 18.5 and 24.9.


Common symptoms include:

  • Fluctuations in weight
  • Eating patterns unrelated to hunger (such as not letting yourself eat when you’re hungry or binge when you’re not hungry)
  • Purging food to regain a sense of control after binging
  • Impaired psychosocial functioning because of your relationship with food or feeling of shame about your body
  • Eating in private, often with accompanying feelings of shame or being disgusted with yourself
  • Exercising to maintain your weight, even in bad weather or when you’re injured
  • An estimation of your self-worth that’s strongly influenced by your body shape and weight
  • Other signs of eating disorders may include:
  • Muscle loss or weakness
  • Decreased bone density
  • Fatigue, fainting and dizziness or seizures
  • Dry hair and skin or hair loss
  • Growth of a downy layer of hair (called lanugo) all over your body, as your body tries to keep you warm
  • Damage to your stomach, esophagus, and teeth from vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Abnormal lab values when your blood is drawn

Healthcare providers sometimes use a five-question screening tool called the SCOFF to assess the psychological symptoms:

  1. Do you make yourself sick because you feel uncomfortably full?
  2. Do you worry you have lost control over how much you eat?
  3. Have you recently lost more than 14 pounds in a three-month period?
  4. Do you believe yourself to be fat when others say you’re too thin?
  5. Would you say that food dominates your life?

Two or more yes answers in a SCOFF screening may indicate that you need further assessment for an eating disorder.

Eating Disorder Treatment

The types of treatment available for eating disorders often depend on how medically stable you are when you reach treatment.

If your life is in imminent danger from your illness, you may need to be admitted to a hospital.

Some signs that you may be medically unstable and require immediate hospitalization include:

  • Signs of kidney failure, liver failure or heart failure
  • Severe dehydration
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Extremely low blood pressure
  • Abnormal electrolyte or mineral levels in your blood
  • Heart palpitations, dizziness, or trouble breathing
  • A suicide plan or suicide attempt

If you’re medically stable and you’re motivated to change your behavior, outpatient treatment may be a good option.

If you’re medically stable but you need intensive therapy and support, residential programs are available to provide 24-hour assistance.

An eating disorder treatment team usually includes a mental health professional, another medical professional; and a nutritionist. If you want, your family can also be involved in your treatment.

Your treatment team will work with you to regain your health, both emotionally and physically.

Treating an eating disorder isn’t just about changing your eating. It’s about treating the underlying psychological causes of the eating disorder. Many people with eating disorders also experience anxiety or social anxiety. Phobia, PTSD, depression, or personality disorders.

Dependence on or abuse of alcohol is also more common in people with eating disorders

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