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How Do Eating Disorders Develop

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What Are The Types Of Eating Disorders

Why Do People Develop Eating Disorders?

Common types of eating disorders include

  • Binge-eating, which is out-of-control eating. People with binge-eating disorder keep eating even after they are full. They often eat until they feel very uncomfortable. Afterward, they usually have feelings of guilt, shame, and distress. Eating too much too often can lead to weight gain and obesity. Binge-eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the U.S.
  • Bulimia nervosa. People with bulimia nervosa also have periods of binge-eating. But afterwards, they purge, by making themselves throw up or using laxatives. They may also over-exercise or fast. People with bulimia nervosa may be slightly underweight, normal weight, or overweight.
  • Anorexia nervosa. People with anorexia nervosa avoid food, severely restrict food, or eat very small quantities of only certain foods. They may see themselves as overweight, even when they are dangerously underweight. Anorexia nervosa is the least common of the three eating disorders, but it is often the most serious. It has the highest death rate of any mental disorder.

What Forms Of Treatment Are Effective For Bulimia Nervosa

Most uncomplicated cases of bulimia nervosa can be treated on an outpatient basis although inpatient treatment is occasionally indicated. The best psychological treatment is cognitive-behavioral therapy, which involves self-monitoring of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors related to the eating disorder. Therapy is focused on normalizing eating behavior and identifying environmental triggers and irrational thoughts or feeling states that precipitate bingeing or purging. Patients are taught to challenge irrational beliefs about weight and self-esteem. Several medications have also been shown to be effective in decreasing bingeing and purging behaviors in bulimia.

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Treating Eating Disorders In Young Children

There are many components of treating eating disorders among young children. Regaining weight is an essential component so that the childs physical and nutritional health is restored. Because parents and caretakers play such a significant role in the childs life, family-based intervention and treatment is usually recommended. Parents often blame themselves for the childs eating disorder, so when parents can become more confident and empowered to help their child, the outcome is often better. Children may also receive behavioral interventions to help expose them to foods they avoid and to help them regain a healthy relationship with eating.

If you are the parent of a child with an eating disorder, its important to reach out to your childs pediatrician, nutritionist, or other mental health professionals to help you feel supported and get the best care for your child. Setting the course for a healthy relationship with food will benefit your childs entire life. So even if you are uncertain whether there may be a problem, it never hurts to reach out to professionals. Whom can you talk to today to get help for your child?

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How Do Eating Disorders Develop And What Can You Do

adminEating Disordersanorexia, binge eating disorder, bulimia, eating disorders

Almost everyone knows someone who has struggled with an eating disorder or has struggled with one themselves. This is not surprising, considering an estimated 30 million people in the United States suffer from an eating disorder. Unfortunately, far fewer come forward to seek help because it is a taboo subject. This is mostly due to the fact that how eating disorders develop isnt well understood and is commonly seen as a condition that those suffering from can control. However, this is far from the truth. Eating disorders are just as much an illness as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc. and should be treated as such. Lets take a look at the most common eating disorders, how they develop, and what you can do if you or a loved one is struggling.;;

Ways To Prevent Eating Disorders

Early Signs and Development of Eating Disorders

Written by Casa Palmera Staff

Eating disorders and disordered eating are dangerous behaviors that hurt not only a persons health, but their self-esteem and self-worth as well. Its especially heartbreaking when eating disorders manifest at a young agethe overwhelming majority of people who have an eating disorder, more than 90%, are females between ages 12 and 25. That doesnt mean that males cant suffer from an eating disorder; in fact, these disorders can happen to anyone, regardless of their gender, age, race, or socioeconomic background. That is why eating disorder prevention is criticalif not treated promptly and properly, these disorders can have devastating effects.;

There are signs to look for that could indicate an eating disorder. These include a strict, too-restrictive diet; avoiding meals; constant talk about being too fat; regular use of laxatives; avoiding social activities that may involve food; often eating large quantities of not-as-healthy foods such as sweets; loss of tooth enamel from vomiting; eating secretly or consuming more food at one time than is considered normal.;;

Eating disorders are dangerous, complex disorders that arise from a variety of issues. One of the best ways to prevent or stop eating disorders in yourself and others is to adopt healthy attitudes and behaviors about body shape and weight. Here are eight tips from the National Eating Disorders Association on how to prevent eating disorders.

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Where To Get Help

If you or someone you know has the symptoms of an eating disorder, it is important to seek professional help as early as possible. Eating disorders are damaging to the body and can even be fatal but they are treatable.

Visiting your doctor is the first step to recovery. If you don’t have a GP, you can find one near you using the healthdirect Service Finder.

You can speak confidentially to an adviser on the Butterfly Foundation National Helpline .

You can also call Eating Disorders Victoriafor advice, support and information on 1300 550 236 .

If you are in crisis and need counselling now, you can call:

Bipoc Eating Disorder Statistics

  • BIPOC are significantly less likely than white people to have been asked by a doctor about eating disorder symptoms.3
  • BIPOC with eating disorders are half as likely to be diagnosed or to receive treatment.2
  • Black people are less likely to be diagnosed with anorexia than white people but may experience the condition for a longer period of time.4
  • Black teenagers are 50% more likely than white teenagers to exhibit bulimic behavior, such as binge-eating and purging.3
  • Hispanic people are significantly more likely to suffer from bulimia nervosa than their non-Hispanic peers.3
  • Asian American college students report higher rates of restriction compared with their white peers and higher rates of purging, muscle building, and cognitive restraint than their white or non-Asian, BIPOC peers.5
  • Asian American college students report higher levels of body dissatisfaction and negative attitudes toward obesity than their non-Asian, BIPOC peers.5

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How Common Are Eating Disorders

The eating disorders anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, respectively, affect 0.5 percent and 2-3 percent of women over their lifetime. The most common age of onset is between 12-25. Although much more common in females, 10 percent of cases detected are in males.;Binge eating disorder and OSFED are more common and rates of ARFID are not yet known as this diagnosis was defined relatively recently.

Health Problems From Eating Disorders

How to Develop an Eating Disorder in 5 Easy Steps!

Eating disorders may be spurred by a number of factors, such as pressure to lose weight or a desire to be in control. Those with eating disorders are more likely to present signs of other psychiatric disorders, including anxiety and depression. Substance abuse rates are higher among people with eating disorders; drugs may even be used to aid in extreme weight loss efforts. Learn about Diet Pills and their impact on people with an eating disorder.

Tragically, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder. Without proper nutrition, people with an eating disorder face bodily deterioration and damage to major organs.

The suicide rate among people struggling with an eating disorder is 50 times higher than that of the general population.

Specific health complications caused by an eating disorder may include:

  • Bone loss
  • Reduction in the size of the heart muscles
  • Nerve damage

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Psychology Plays A Role Too

Psychological factors contribute to how eating disorders develop. People with an eating disorder often also struggle with depression and/or anxiety. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is particularly common, occurring in 25-69% of women with anorexia.;

Other psychological factors include:

  • Feeling a sense of hopelessness
  • Perfectionism

Certain personality temperaments put a person at higher risk for an eating disorder. Traits like reward-dependence, harm-avoidance, and sensation-seeking may be part of that perfect storm. Obsessive-compulsiveness too.

Gene And Environment Interplay

Neither genes nor environment cause eating disorders on their own. Eating disorders are likely the result of a complicated interplay of these factors. Even when a precipitating factor can be identified, there is almost always a combination of other contributing factors. The precipitating factor is most likely the trigger that tripped a cascade of events.

Genetic susceptibility may influence their response to certain stressors. For example:

  • A person who is genetically susceptible to an eating disorder may be more sensitive to weight-related teasing and have a heightened reaction to it .
  • A person who is genetically vulnerable may continue dieting much longer than peers who diet and then stop.
  • A person who has the temperament that commonly underlies anorexia nervosa may seek out the types of social environments that contribute to the onset of dieting.

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Risk Factors For Eating Disorders

We don’t know why some older children , particularly adolescents, develop an eating disorder and others don’t. However, many factors might influence an adolescent to develop an unhealthy eating pattern or to become afraid of gaining weight. These factors may be psychological, social, environmental or biological.

Often, a combination of things may trigger an eating disorder in a vulnerable person.

The Different Causes Of Eating Disorders

How Do Eating Disorders Develop and What Can You Do ...

Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.

When a person gets sick, it’s natural to want to understand why. With eating disorders, which are associated with many myths and negative stereotypes, the question of causation can be especially confusing.

The culture at large commonly blames eating disorders on oversimplified explanations, such as the medias promotion of unrealistically slender models or on bad parenting. Even some health professionals buy into these explanations.

But research shows that familieslongtime scapegoatsdo not cause eating disorders, at least not in any simple, straightforward manner.

While growing up in a dysfunctional home could increase the risk for a number of psychological problems, including eating disorders, it does not condemn a child to an eating disorder or any other psychological disorder.

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Reconnect With Who You Are

Disordered eating can be tough and at times you might forget there is more to you than these challenges. Reconnecting with the other parts of you can help to build up your identity outside of the disorder.

Part of the recovery process can be getting to know yourself again, or even re-defining yourself in some ways. Try getting back into things you used to enjoy or experiment with new things.

Types Of Eating Disorders

The most common eating disorders are:

Anorexia. People with anorexia starve themselves out of an intense fear of becoming fat. Despite being underweight or even emaciated, they never believe theyre thin enough. In addition to restricting calories, people with anorexia may also control their weight with exercise, diet pills, or purging.

Bulimia. Bulimia involves a destructive cycle of bingeing and purging. Following an episode of out-of-control binge eating, people with bulimia take drastic steps to purge themselves of the extra calories. In order to avoid weight gain they vomit, exercise to excess, fast, or take laxatives.

Binge Eating Disorder. People with binge eating disorder compulsively overeat, rapidly consuming thousands of calories in a short period of time. Despite feelings of guilt and shame over these secret binges, they feel unable to control their behavior or stop eating even when uncomfortably full.

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How To Get Help Or Support Someone Whos Struggling

When it comes to our mental health, people who struggle with negative body image feel that their bodies are inferior to others, and are more likely to suffer from feelings of depression, isolation, and low self-esteem. Beyond just mental and physical health, having an intensely negative body image can lead to lack of participation in and withdrawal from social plans, as well as shying away from intimacy, potentially eroding communication and trust in friendships and relationships.

Its extremely important to encourage loved ones who may be struggling with these issues to seek professional help or get help yourself. In most cases, eating disorders can be treated successfully by appropriately trained health and mental health care professionals. As always, if you feel out of control and need help immediately, text START to 741-741 or call 1-800-273-TALK .

Additionally, our article Tips for Body Positivity: Ways to Feel Better About Our Bodies, offers resources and information to help you or someone you know get help and feel better about themselves.

The Relationship Between Eating Disorders And Body Image

Developing an Eating Disorder

Anorexia is an eating disorder thats directly linked to body image. People who suffer from anorexia have body dysmorphia: a body image thats overwhelmingly negative and often distorted. They see themselves as overweight, even when theyre dangerously thin. They may refuse to eat, causing them to lose large, unhealthy, and sometimes even lethal amounts of weight.

People who suffer from bulimia nervosa also tend to have a negative and distorted body image; they eat excessive quantities, then purge their bodies of the food and calories they fear.

Its difficult to untangle body image from food because a negative body image generally entails an intense focus on body weight and shape, as opposed to strength and capability. Because of this, people with a negative body image are at risk of developing an unhealthy relationship to food; a relationship that prioritizes weight loss over health and wellness.

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What Is Anorexia Nervosa

People with anorexia nervosa avoid food, severely restrict food, or eat very small quantities of only certain foods. Even when they are dangerously underweight, they may see themselves as overweight. They may also weigh themselves repeatedly.

There are two subtypes of anorexia nervosa: a restrictive subtype and binge-purge subtype.

Restrictive: People with the restrictive subtype of anorexia nervosa place severe restrictions on the amount and type of food they consume.

Binge-Purge: People with the binge-purge subtype of anorexia nervosa also place severe restrictions on the amount and type of food they consume. In addition, they may have binge eating and purging behaviors .

Symptoms include:

  • Brain damage
  • Multiorgan failure

Anorexia can be fatal. Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any mental disorder. People with anorexia may die from medical conditions and complications associated with starvation; by comparison, people with others eating disorders die of suicide.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs immediate help, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK , 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

How Are Eating Disorders Treated

It is important to seek treatment early for eating disorders. People with eating disorders are at higher risk for suicide and medical complications. Some people with eating disorders may also have other mental disorders or problems with substance use.

Treatment plans for eating disorders include psychotherapy, medical care and monitoring, nutritional counseling, medications, or a combination of these approaches. Typical treatment goals include restoring adequate nutrition, bringing weight to a healthy level, reducing excessive exercise, and stopping binge-purge and binge-eating behaviors. Complete recovery is possible.

Specific forms of psychotherapy and cognitive behavioral approaches can be effective for treating specific eating disorders. For more about psychotherapies, visit .

Research also suggests that medications may help treat some eating disorders and co-occurring anxiety or depression related to eating disorders. Information about medications changes frequently, so talk to your health care professional and check the U.S. Food and Drug Administration website for the latest warnings, patient medication guides, or newly approved medications.

How Do I Find Treatment?

The NIMH is a federal research agency and cannot provide medical advice or practitioner referrals. However, there are tools and resources available at that may help you find a provider or treatment.

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Signs And Symptoms Of An Eating Disorder

Many people mistakenly believe that only young women are affected by eating disorders. But anyone can develop an eating disorder, regardless of gender, age, or social status.

Some of the signs of an eating disorder include:

  • Significant and sudden weight changes
  • Talking about being overweight despite being a normal weight or underweight
  • Avoiding situations that involve eating
  • Frequently overeating, even when not hungry or to the point of discomfort
  • Forced vomiting after excessive eating
  • Abuse of Diet Pills or Stimulants to lose weight

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How Is An Eating Disorder Diagnosed

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Healthcare providers, such as physicians and mental health professionals, diagnose eating disorders. Your primary care provider may review symptoms, perform a physical examination and order blood tests. A mental health counselor, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, conducts a psychological evaluation to learn more about your eating behaviors and beliefs.

Providers use the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders to make a diagnosis. The DSM outlines symptoms for each type of eating disorder. You dont have to have every symptom to receive an eating disorder diagnosis. And even if you dont have a specific DSM-listed eating disorder, you may still need help overcoming food-related issues.

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