National Eating Disorders Awareness Week will take place February 27th through March 5th. Eating disorders are serious illnesses associated with changes in eating behaviors and disturbances in thoughts and emotions related to food. People with eating disorders may be highly concerned about diet, weight and body shape.National Eating Disorders Awareness Week will take place February 27th through March 5th. Eating disorders are serious illnesses associated with changes in eating behaviors and disturbances in thoughts and emotions related to food. People with eating disorders may be highly concerned about diet, weight and body shape.
Common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorder and avoidant restrictive food intake disorder.
Anorexia Nervosa: Symptoms include extreme restrictions to eating, extreme thinness, distorted body image and fear of gaining weight. Anorexia nervosa often begins during the teenage years but can also develop during childhood or later in life.
Bulimia Nervosa: Symptoms include episodes of eating unusually large amounts of food and feeling a lack of control over these episodes of binge-eating. Binge-eating is followed by behaviors to compensate for overeating such as forced vomiting or excessive exercise. Bulimia nervosa can occur at any time in life but often appears during the teen years.
Binge-Eating Disorder: Symptoms include loss of control, overeating and eating unusually large amounts of food. Unlike bulimia nervosa, binge-eating is not followed by behaviors to compensate like purging or excessive exercise. In the United States, binge-eating disorder is the most common eating disorder.
Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID): Symptoms include limiting the amount or type of food eaten. Unlike anorexia nervosa, a distorted body image or extreme fear of gaining weight is not present. ARFID is most common in middle childhood and interferes with the child’s healthy growth and development.
People with eating disorders are at higher risk for other mental health difficulties, medical complications and suicide. A study in 2011 found that Native American women have higher risks for developing an eating disorder.
Seeking treatment for eating disorders is important. Treatment may include therapy, medical monitoring, nutritional counseling and medication.
If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of an eating disorder, or for more information, please contact SCC Health Clinic Behavioral Health Department at 715-478-6410.