3 Types of Eating Disorders
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Over 10 million Americans suffer from eating disorders. View this video to learn about the 3 types of eating disorders and how they can affect our bodies.
Transcript: Eating disorders can affect anyone, from tweens in elementary school to celebrity personalities, like...
Eating disorders can affect anyone, from tweens in elementary school to celebrity personalities, like Victoria Beckham and Elton John. According to the National Eating Disorder Association, as MANY as eleven million Americans suffer from some type of eating disorder. Simply put, an eating disorder is a mental illness characterized by an unhealthy obsession with weight and food. Left untreated, these obsessions cause great psychological and physical harm. Generally, eating disorders are broadly grouped into three categories: anorexia, bulimia and EDNOS. ANOREXIA is characterized by an extreme fear of weight gain and a distorted view of one's body size. People with anorexia seek thinness by limiting their food intake, either with excessive dieting or outright fasting. They are usually exceedingly thin, to the point of looking sickly, and are often malnourished, yet still feel as if they look "fat." BULIMIA, meanwhile, is characterized by frequent episodes of serious overeating, or binging, which are followed by purging behaviors meant to compensate for the binge. For example, people with bulimia often force themselves to vomit, and may overuse diuretics and laxatives. Bulimics are less likely than anorexics to be very thin. Instead, they usually maintain a fairly normal weight. The third category of eating disorder, EDNOS, stands for "eating disorders not otherwise specified." EDNOS encompasses all other eating conditions. For instance, a sufferer may experience episodes of binging and purging, but may not do so frequently enough to warrant a diagnosis of bulimia nervosa, or they may suffer from binge-eating disorder. Like bulimia, binge-eating disorder is characterized by intense and recurring food binges. But people with binge-eating disorder do NOT engage in purging. For this reason, they are often overweight or obese. Although society tends to stereotype eating disorder sufferers as adult females, these conditions affect ALL types of people. For example, the National Institute of Mental Health attests that MEN account for 5- to 15-percent of anorexics and up to 35-percent of those with binge-eating disorder. Eating disorders aren't just an adult issue, either. Among children and teenagers, as many as two in 100 suffer from some sort of eating disorder. These figures are particularly scary when you consider the long-term-and often irreversible-effects of eating disorders. Externally, these illnesses can cause hair loss, tooth decay, bloating and, of course, extreme weight loss. And the INTERNAL effects of eating disorders are even more severe. Females with eating disorders are more likely to stop menstruating, and to become infertile. These illnesses can cause heart and circulatory problems ranging from anemia to cardiac arrest, and major organ problems, like painful kidney stones, and potentially deadly pancreas inflammation. A high percentage of people with eating disorders DIE without treatment, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. While this is disheartening, treatment options are both numerous and effective! Many people with these illnesses find relief from ongoing psychotherapy, nutritional counseling, and medical supervision. If you believe that you or someone you care about is suffering from an eating disorder, PLEASE: Make an appointment with a doctor immediately!More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-04 | Tags »
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Do you have recurrent sessions of eating uncontrollably and then stopping abruptly? You may be suffering from binge eating disorder. Watch this video to know if you're binge eating and how to get help.
Transcript: When she gained 75 pounds, then lost them as a Jenny Craig spokesperson, then gained them AGAIN, many...
When she gained 75 pounds, then lost them as a Jenny Craig spokesperson, then gained them AGAIN, many speculated that actress Kirstie Alley had binge eating disorder. Binge eating disorder is a newly recognized condition that is actually believed to be the most common of ALL eating disorders. In fact, as many as 2% of Americans may be afflicted with this condition! People with binge eating disorder engage in recurrent, compulsive sessions of overeating, called binges. During a binge, sufferers will feel out of control, and unable to stop themselves from eating. Most individuals with binge eating disorder feel embarrassment, shame, and guilt about overeating. This means that many of them eat in secret, and even their friends and families are unaware that there is a problem with food. It's easy to confuse binge eating disorder with bulimia nervosa, which is ALSO marked by binges and guilt feelings. However, while bulimics PURGE the food they've consumed, people with binge eating disorder do NOT usually engage in this vomiting, laxative abuse, or excessive exercising. As a result, most binge eaters are obese, which means they weigh 20-percent or MORE than is healthy. Usually, this condition shows up in a person's late teens or early 20s, and it affects men as well as women. In fact, men make up 35-perecent of all binge eaters! It has been noted that almost half of people with binge eating disorder ALSO have a history of clinical depression. And people who overeat compulsively often come from families that put an unnatural emphasis on food as reward or comfort. As was the case with Kristie Alley, sufferers often have histories of dieting, then falling off the wagon. But, whatever the cause, binge eating disorder can lead to SERIOUS health problems related to obesity. These include: type two diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, gall bladder disease and heart disease. Binge eating disorder is also related to headaches, insomnia, joint and muscle pain, and menstrual problems. The good news is that a combination of talk therapy and drug therapy CAN help! Psychotherapy for binge eating disorder focuses on changing both thoughts and behaviors surrounding food. Often, nutritional counseling is necessary to teach normal, healthy eating patterns. In addition, antidepressants, like Prozac and Paxil can help control the anxiety and depression associated with the disorder. With commitment to their treatment programs, people with binge eating disorder often overcome the habit of binging. That's exactly what Alley hopes to do in front of the cameras in her new A&E television show, "Kristie Alley's Big Life." But binge eating disorder is NOT entertainment. If you believe you or someone you love has a problem with overeating, please see a doctor!More »
Last Modified: 2013-10-01 | Tags »
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Anorexia is a dangerous eating disorder that leads to extremely low body weight. Learn about anorexia's consequences and anorexia treatment options.
Transcript: When actress Brittany Murphy passed away at the end of 2009, many wondered if her death could have been...
When actress Brittany Murphy passed away at the end of 2009, many wondered if her death could have been prevented had she sought treatment for anorexia. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by extremely low body weight, distorted body image and an obsessive fear of gaining weight. People with anorexia severely limit their food intake in the hopes of lowering the number on the scale. Anorexics tend to become dangerously underweight and malnourished. Despite this, individuals with anorexia continuously want to lose MORE weight. Their distorted body image perceptions cause them to believe that they're overweight, DESPITE what the mirror and scale say. Because anorexics essentially starve themselves, the disease becomes more dangerous the longer it continues. Physically, anorexia leads to yellowed skin, bruising, bloating, thinning hair, and tooth decay. In women, the condition often causes the cessation of periods, as well as infertility. Even more alarming, anorexia can lead to kidney stones, or kidney failure as well as heart problems ranging from anemia to cardiac arrest. Without treatment, a high percentage of people with an eating disorder like anorexia will DIE from one of these complications. This is what many speculate happened to Murphy, who was very underweight at the time of her death at 32. This percentage drops when a sufferer seeks treatment! And that's exactly what celebrities like Mary Kate Olsen, Kate Beckinsale, and Victoria Beckham did when anorexia threatened THEIR lives. The first goal of anorexia treatment is to address any serious physical health issues like dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, or heart problems. Then, it's important to get the person back to an appropriate weight. For individuals 25-percent below of their healthy body weight this involves between two to six months of treatment in an inpatient program. For those with non-life threatening anorexia, though, treatment can occur on an outpatient basis. Regardless of WHERE it happens, ongoing treatment for anorexia focuses on three goals: to take control of one's eating habits, to learn emotional self-care and respect, and to develop trust in the people who are trying to help. To achieve these goals, a team of health care professionals will work with a person suffering from anorexia. A dietician will help an individual gain a solid understanding of good nutrition and healthy eating. Generally, the dietician will also develop meal plans that include enough calories to help a sufferer gain weight. Meanwhile, a mental health professional will teach a person with anorexia to treat both food and body image differently. Some therapists do this through COGNITIVE therapy, exploring the unhealthy THOUGHTS underlying the disorder, while others prefer BEHAVIORAL therapy, where goal setting, relaxation exercises, and other healthy BEHAVIORS are taught in place of destructive ones. Family therapy is another method that is ESPECIALLY helpful for teens and children with anorexia. It's important to understand that while there is no medication to treat anorexia explicitly, that antidepressants may be prescribed to patients suffering from clinical depression in addition to their eating disorder. Like Beckinsale, Olsen, and Beckham, many people who receive anorexia treatment make full recoveries, though therapy and medical care may be an ongoing process for a lifetime. Regardless, treatment help ensures that anorexia does not take lives! So, PLEASE see a doctor immediately if you or someone you love is struggling with the disorder.More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-04 | Tags »
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