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5 Facts to Know about Eating Disorders

As the desire to be perfect is continued in our societies, it isn’t surprised that an array of eating disorders have appeared. The body image is of such importance that seven million women will die each year from eating disorders and over one thousand from anorexia nervosa complications. Our social pressures perpetuate the concept of perfection and this is exhibiting itself through eating disorders in our children at alarmingly younger ages. Ninety percent of the people suffering from eating disorders are women, which is a pretty sad statement about the attitude of our society. There are some facts about eating disorders that you may not be aware of and these could potentially help either you or someone you know overcome the devastating effects.

eating disorders

Eating disorders begin at very early ages and be seen in girls as young as twelve years old. Seventeen is the typically average age for it to appear and between five and ten percent of young women suffer from this disorder. An astounding fact is that eighty percent of female college students admit to some form of binge eating and purging. The list of medical issues and problems that are associated with binging and purging as well as anorexia include: high blood pressure, the shrinking and devastation of organs, teeth erosion, gall bladder disease, heart failure, diabetes, and ruptured esophagus, irregular heartbeat, bowel damage, liver and kidney problems (to name a few).

Anorexia is linked with lowered self-esteem. They are often the last people you would suspect as they are usually well liked and are consistently seeking approval. Food is their method to cope with their stress in life.

Eating disorders are classified as a mental illness. As such, they will continue throughout life without proper treatment. The positive news is, with treatment, women do continue and have satisfied and fulfilled lives.

Anorexia can be treated in a number of ways: with or without medication. The treatment for anorexia can involve a variety of levels, including psychological counseling, family therapy, nutritional counseling and when needed, antidepressant medications. Many people go untreated due to the fear of their secret being exposed as well as thinking they will be required to go on medication. There are treatment options and help that can accommodate their needs. The damaging effects of anorexia can cause osteoporosis due to the lack of nutrients needed by the body.

Bulimia is associated with depression. The percentage of women suffering from bulimia and depression correlates to the fact that both must be addressed in a treatment program. In these cases, antidepressants can be used in conjunction with cognitive therapy. The use of antidepressants alone only lists an eighteen percent success rate.

As long as our society promotes the idea that our girls and young women must look and appear as the airbrushed models on the cover of magazines, this will continue to be a growing health problem and every parent’s nightmare. With the right treatment and attitudes, things can be turned around. Reinforcement of positive self-esteem and acceptance of body and self is the message we need to be sending.

Sources: http://health.howstuffworks.com/mental-health/eating-disorder/10-facts-about-eating-disorders.htm

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.