What You Need To Know About Eating Disorders
This article was first published at The Doctor Weighs In on Feb. 24, 2017.
Over 30 million people in the United States will suffer from a life-threatening eating disorder at some point in their lifetime, according to the National Eating Disorders Association. Eating disorders are a serious psychiatric illness, where patients frequently battle a myriad of symptoms—physical, emotional, and behavioral—and share extreme beliefs about food, weight, and body image. It is not a “lifestyle choice”, a desire to be thin or achieve a certain weight.
Matt Keck, MFT, Clinical Director and Founder of Cielo House, a group of comprehensive treatment centers for eating disorders located in Northern California stated,
“90% of eating disorder patients also struggle with a co-occurring mental health problem. Eating disorders have close connections to substance abuse, trauma, and other mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).”
Who is at risk
Eating disorders may affect anyone regardless of age or gender. A person’s risk of developing an eating disorder depends on a number of factors which include psychological, physical, social, and environmental. Your risk of developing an eating disorder may be higher if a family member has had one, as eating disorders tend to run in families. A recent study conducted by Boston University Medical Center discovered a genetic risk factor for binge eating.
While women are more prone to eating disorders, adolescent boys, middle-aged women, and elderly males may also develop some form of eating disorder. Like women, men who have an eating disorder may experience a distorted self-body image or another condition called “muscle dysmorphia, a type of disorder marked by an extreme concern with becoming more muscular.”
Types of eating disorders
There are many forms of eating disorders. They all share a commonality in that they are characterized by extreme behaviors and attitudes surrounding food and weight issues. The most common types are … Continue reading at The Doctor Weighs In