The Long Term Health Risks Of Anorexia
Anorexia Nervosa is taken very seriously in the mental health community because the damage it inflicts extends to nearly every part of the body. These effects can range from minor infections and poor general health to serious life threatening medical problems. Because it often strikes young people, some of these conditions may carry over into adulthood and last an entire lifetime.
A lot of people -parents, and even some doctors- think that medical complications of anorexia only happen when youre so thin youre wasting away,Rebecka Peebles, MD, a specialist in adolescent medicine at the Lucile Packard Childrens Hospital, told WebMD: Practitioners need to understand that a good therapist is only part of the treatment for anorexia and other eating disorders, and that these clients need treatment from a medical doctor as well.
Recognize These 6 Warning Signs Of Suicidal Thinking
Regardless of the reason, people who are considering suicide often show similar signs and behave in similar ways. Some of those signs are more obvious than others. People with eating disorders who are experiencing suicidal thoughts may:
If I Take Medicine To Treat Bulimia Can I Breastfeed My Baby
Maybe. Some medicines used to treat bulimia can pass through breastmilk. Certain antidepressants can be used safely during breastfeeding.
Talk to your doctor to find out what medicine works best for you. Learn more about medicines and breastfeeding in our Breastfeeding section. You can also enter a medicine into the LactMed® database to find out if the medicine passes through breastmilk and any about possible side effects for your nursing baby.
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Teens Participating In The Summer Wellness Programs
Palo Alto Medical Foundation
At least 30 million U.S. people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder. There are different types of eating disorders with many different warning signs.
If you fall into any of these descriptions for an eating disorder, dont hesitate to contact your doctor or a counselor. If you have friends who might have an eating disorder, please encourage them to seek help you may save a life.
Anorexia Damage Starts Early
Even before a person with anorexia starts to look “too thin,” these medical consequences have begun.
Many young women who begin eating a severely restricted diet stop menstruating well before serious weight loss sets in. Since so many people with anorexia are teenage girls and young women, this can have long-term consequences on their ability to bear children.
“In truly, fully recovered anorexics and bulimics, it looks like the rate, frequency and number of pregnancies is normal,” says Mickley. “However, if you look at infertility clinics, and those patients in the clinics who have infrequent or absent periods, the majority of them appear to have occult eating disorders. They may think they’re fully recovered, but they haven’t gotten their weight up high enough.”
Many women with anorexia would rather seek fertility treatment than treatment for their eating disorder, Mickley says. And even among women who have fully recovered from their anorexia and bulimia, there may be a slightly higher rate of miscarriages and caesarean sections. “There also may be up to a 30% higher incidence of postpartum depression as compared to other women,” she says.
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Getting Help For Yourself Or Someone Else
If you have a friend or family member with an eating disorder who is showing signs of suicidal thinking and behavior, you can help by showing them support. If youre not sure what to do or say, call the confidential National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for help. Suicide is preventable and some form of help is always available.
There is often a fear that talking about suicide will make someone suicidal, but this is a myth. Asking someone if they are thinking about suicide does not put the thought in their head, so dont be afraid to specifically ask them whether theyre planning on hurting themselves or committing suicide. Ask the direct question: Are you planning to kill yourself? Remain calm and speak in a non-judgmental way. Tell the person you care about them, that their life is meaningful, and that you are willing to help them find a professional to work with. Stay with the person as long as you can but, for your own safety, do not try to negotiate with someone who has a weapon. If necessary, and when possible, call 911 or accompany the person to the nearest hospital emergency room.
If you ever have suicidal thoughts, it helps to develop a written crisis plan for the future, a reminder list that includes such guidance as engaging in coping behaviors that improve your mood, calling a hotline or a friend, or calling 911 to get yourself to the hospital.
Appearance And Body Image Symptoms
Dramatic weight loss. Rapid, drastic weight loss with no medical cause.
Feeling fat, despite being underweight. You may feel overweight in general or just too fat in certain places, such as the stomach, hips, or thighs.
Fixation on body image. Obsessed with weight, body shape, or clothing size. Frequent weigh-ins and concern over tiny fluctuations in weight.
Harshly critical of appearance. Spending a lot of time in front of the mirror checking for flaws. Theres always something to criticize. Youre never thin enough.
Denial that youre too thin. You may deny that your low body weight is a problem, while trying to conceal it .
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Do Eating Disorders Need Specialist Treatment
Eating disorders are incredibly complex and always require specialist treatment. We know that the earlier treatment is started, the more favourable the outcome. Early intervention is one of the most important decisions that families can make. Decisions to engage in Eating Disorder Treatment should not be based upon weight, BMI, academic performance or looking ok. A professional evaluation is always needed.
A specialist Eating Disorder Team will have psychotherapists, mental health professionals, dieticians, psychiatrists and nurses who will work together to provide treatment plans to meet the individual needs of young people and their families.
Eating Disorder Treatment can often be a lengthy process, and it is important to complete treatment. Full recovery is possible.
Eating Disorder Programs at The Wave are designed for teenagers, young adults and their families. The Wave Programs meet the differing care needs of young people with eating disorders, including:
- Higher-Level of Care for Eating Disorders.
- Inpatient Care for Eating Disorders
- Residential Programs for Eating Disorders
- PHP Secondary Care at Transitions House for Eating Disorders
- Outpatient Eating Disorder Treatments
- Group Therapy for Eating Disorders .
The Wave Eating Disorder Admissions Team can be contacted on:
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The Wave Clinic. The Specialists in Teen Eating Disorders
What Types Of Eating Disorders Are There
The most common types are:
1. Anorexia Nervosa
Also known as Anorexia. People living with anorexia are terrified of eating and gaining weight, and become obsessed with these worries. They usually restrict food intake to lose weight. They may also use exercise or vomiting after meals to control weight. Anorexia is a very dangerous illness. Anxiety and depression are common with anorexia.
- Taking laxatives
- Skipping meals, not eating enough, or using other methods to lose weight.
Bulimia is sometimes harder to notice in others, as people living with bulimia may be normal weight. Secrecy, feelings of shame, anxiety and depression are often part of bulimia. It is also a dangerous eating disorder, especially if the person is purging.
3. Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating means eating a large amount of food, but without the purging behaviours seen in bulimia. This is not the same as having a bad day and eating more ice cream than you usually would. People with a BED often describe feeling out of control during a binge, that they are often not aware of the food or the amounts they are eating. Binge eating is often triggered by an upsetting situation or difficult emotions. People often feel overwhelmed by negative emotions, and eating gives them a temporary feeling of comfort. But this feeling of comfort is followed by feelings of guilt and shame. People with BED are sometimes larger than an average sized person, but not always. They usually suffer from low self-esteem.
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Can An Eating Disorder Kill
Can eating disorders kill? This is a common question that is often on the mind of those who not only suffer from conditions such as anorexia or bulimia but for loved ones of those who are suffering from eating disorders. Sadly the answer to this question is yes, eating disorders can and do kill every year. The sad fact of the matter is that many people with eating disorders are suffering in silence and if they donât receive the proper help, support and treatment soon find themselves on a slippery slope.
Effects Of Eating Disorders: Why Eating Disorders Are Dangerous
Eating disorders are serious psychiatric conditions characterized by high rates of comorbidity, relapse, chronicity, and mortality.
Anorexia nervosa is characterized by a dangerously low body weight and body image distortions with an obsessive fear of weight gain.
Bulimia nervosa, on the other hand is characterised by recurrent episodes of binge eating in combination with inappropriate compensatory behaviours and an overvaluation with weight and shape.
Both disorders have devastating and potentially life-threatening consequences.
In fact, eating disorders are associated with the highest mortality rate of any other psychiatric disorder and are associated with a 57-fold increase in suicidality relative to the general population.
Lets take a closer look at the effects of both of these eating disorders and why they are so dangerous.
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, its 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.
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What Is An Eating Problem
An eating problem is any relationship with food that you find difficult.
Many people think that someone with an eating problem will be over or underweight. People might also think that certain weights are linked to certain eating problems. Neither of these points are true.
Anyone can experience eating problems. This is regardless of age, gender, weight or background.
Food plays a significant part in our lives. Most of us will spend time thinking about what we eat. Sometimes you might:
- have cravings
- try to eat healthier.
Changing your eating habits like this every now and again is normal.
But if you feel like food and eating is taking over your life, it may become a problem.
How Dangerous Are The Long Term Effects Of Anorexia
You hear the word anorexia, you think weight loss. If only the consequence of this illness was that limited, it can have Long Term Effects of Anorexia.
Although anorexia is a psychological disease, it behaves more like a physical disease, namely cancer.
A cancer cell may begin its life in the breast, brain or bone but given enough time, it will metastasize throughout the body with a singular goal of destroying all healthy tissue it encounters.
Similarly, anorexia may start with a simple diet and associated weight loss. But, once this disease gets a firm grip on its subject, it too metastasizes and it doesnt stop at merely ravaging a womans body.
Instead, it strives to destroy her mind, spirit, relationships, future, and ultimately, her life. Sadly, it is often successful on every front.
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Eating Disorders Kill One Person Every 52 Minutes
Researchers of this study found correlations between the pandemic and six unhealthy eating behaviors. According to them, the most concerning finding is a slight increase or the re-emergence of eating disorders, which kill roughly 10,200 people every year, which comes to about one person every 52 minutes. Eating disorders claim a lot of people every year and have one of the highest mortality rates across all psychiatric health concerns. According to researchers, it is important to try to make links between the consequences of the pandemic and disordered eating behaviors.
Physical Effects Of An Eating Disorder
An eating disorder can increase your risk for developing other health problems. In some cases, these problems can be a direct result of extreme food restriction or the result of binges and purging.
Eating disorders can cause general physical problems such as feeling cold, poor concentration, and feeling slow or sluggish. Some parts of your body are especially at risk if your eating disorder is not treated.
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The Critical Relationship Between Our Diet And Our Mental Health
The brain is made up of millions of cells . All that we do, our thoughts, feelings and actions, are reliant on the interactions of the cells, which is made possible by chemicals called neurotransmitters . These neurotransmitters are the bodys chemical messengers , and constantly work to keep our brains functioning, managing everything from our breathing and heartbeat to our learning and concentration levels . Neurotransmitters are directly affected by the quality of our nutrition, the food that we do or do not consume . Disordered eating behaviours directly affect our brain function and mental health.
Disordered eating is a disturbed and unhealthy eating pattern that can include restrictive dieting, compulsive eating or skipping meals. Dieting is one of the most common forms of disordered eating and is common among people with an eating disorder . Most fad diets prescribe far too little food, and/or not eating from all food groups, which tips the body into a state of semi-starvation and induces physical deprivation .
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What Are The Symptoms Of Eating Disorders
If you have an eating disorder, you will probably spend a lot of time worrying about how you look. You might feel guilty when you eat or think you haven’t exercised enough. You might feel bad about yourself when you think you weigh too much. Other people might tell you that you have lost too much weight, even though you think you weigh too much.
You might feel tired. If you are a woman, you might stop having periods. Fine hair might start growing on your body. If you use water pills or laxatives to lose weight, you might get muscle cramps or have heart palpitations.
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Tip : Learn To Tolerate Your Feelings
Identifying the underlying issues that drive your eating disorder is the first step toward recovery, but insight alone is not enough. Lets say, for example, that following restrictive food rules makes you feel safe and powerful. When you take that coping mechanism away, you will be confronted with the feelings of fear and helplessness your anorexia helped you avoid.
Reconnecting with your feelings can be extremely uncomfortable. Its why you may feel worse at the beginning of your recovery. But the answer isnt to return to the destructive eating habits you previously used to distract yourself its to learn how to accept and tolerate all of your feelingseven the negative ones.
How Do I Know If It’s A Problem
As it may feel like part of your everyday life, you might be unsure if your issue with food and eating is a problem. But if your relationship with food and eating is affecting your life, you can seek help. It doesn’t matter how much you weigh or what your body looks like.
Some people don’t seek help because they think their problem is not serious enough. Sometimes they do not feel âill enoughâ to have an eating problem.
It’s also possible to have problems with eating and keep them hidden. Sometimes this can be for very long time.
“I never looked âillâ. When I read about eating disorders it was always girls with acute anorexia. Because that wasnât me, I felt like my behaviour was just a bizarre quirk Iâd made up.”
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How Is Bulimia Treated
Your doctor may refer you to a team of doctors, nutritionists, and therapists who will work to help you get better.
Treatment plans may include one or more of the following:6
- Nutrition therapy. People who purge regularly should be treated by a doctor. Purging can cause life-threatening electrolyte imbalances. Some people with bulimia may need to be hospitalized if they have serious heart or kidney problems.10
- Psychotherapy. Sometimes called “talk therapy,” psychotherapy is counseling to help you change harmful thoughts or behaviors. This type of therapy may focus on the importance of talking about your feelings and how they affect what you do. For example, you might talk about how stress triggers a binge. You may work one-on-one with a therapist or in a group with others who have bulimia.
- Nutritional counseling. A registered dietitian or counselor can help you eat in a healthier way than binging and purging.
- Support groups can be helpful for some people with bulimia when added to other treatment. In support groups, girls or women and sometimes their families meet and share their stories.
- Medicine. Fluoxetine is the only medicine approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating bulimia, but only in adults.11 It may help reduce binging and purging and improve your thoughts about eating. Some antidepressants may help girls and women with bulimia who also have depression or anxiety.