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Basics of Eating Disorders

In Health, Healthcare, Medicine on September 17, 2012 at 8:00 am

Terms and definitions:

 

Anorexia, Bulimia, & Binge Eating Disorder: What is an Eating Disorder?

Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder include extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues.

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss.Binge Eating Disorder
Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a type of eating disorder not otherwise specified and is characterized by recurrent binge eating without the regular use of compensatory measures to counter the binge eating.

Bulimia Nervosa
Bulimia Nervosa is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by a cycle of bingeing and compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting designed to undo or compensate for the effects of binge eating.

Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS)
A person does not have to be diagnosed with Anorexia, Bulimia or BED to have an eating disorder. An eating disorder can include a combination of signs and symptoms but not meet the full criteria. Read more about the individual signs and symptoms in this handout.

 Prevention:

Eating Disorders can be Prevented!
Eating disorders arise from a variety of physical, emotional, social issues, all of which need to be addressed for effective prevention and treatment.

50 Ways to Lose the 3Ds: Dieting, Drive for Thinness, and Body Dissatisfaction
Individuals involved with youth and adolescents, such as educators, parents, health professionals, and physicians can prevent the further development of issues and concerns regarding weight through their own actions and words of encouragement toward healthful eating practices and attitudes.

Factors that may contribute to eating disorders:

Factors that May Contribute to Eating Disorders
While eating disorders may begin with preoccupations with food and weight, they are most often about much more than food. NEDA acknowledges there may be a difference of opinion among experts and the literature on this topic and we encourage readers to explore the topic further, using all means available to them. 

Body image issues:

Body Image
Body image is how you see yourself when you look in the mirror or picture yourself in your mind.

Every Body is Different
Genetics influence bone structure, body size, shape, and weight differently in every person.

Listen to Your Body
Eat what you want, when you are truly hungry. Stop when you’re full. And eat exactly what appeals to you. Do this instead of any diet, and you are unlikely to ever have a weight problem, let alone an eating disorder. Eat when you are truly hungry. Stop when you are full.

No Weight!
Signing this declaration of independence from a weight-obsessed world may help you accept your body’s natural shape and size.

Ten “Will-Powers” for Improving Body Image
Taking care of your body and doing things you enjoy will enable you to enjoy a happy, participatory life.

Ten Steps To Positive Body Image
One list cannot automatically tell you how to turn negative body thoughts into positive body image, but it can help you think about new ways of looking more healthfully and happily at yourself and your body. The more you do that, the more likely you are to feel good about who you are and the body you naturally have.

The Media, Body Image, and Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are complex conditions that arise from a variety of factors, including physical, psychological, interpersonal, and social issues. Media images that help to create cultural definitions of beauty and attractiveness are often acknowledged as being among those factors contributing to the rise of eating disorders.

Twenty Ways to Love Your Body!
Think of your body as the vehicle to your dreams. Honor it. Respect it. Fuel it.

Health concerns:

Eating Concerns and Oral Health
Dietary habits can and do play a role in oral health. Everyone has heard from their dentist that eating too much sugar can lead to cavities, but did you know that high intake of acidic “diet” foods can have an equally devastating effect on your teeth?

Health Consequences of Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are real, complex, and devastating conditions that can have serious consequences for health, productivity, and relationships.

 Dieting: Risks and Reasons to Stop
Americans spend more than $40 billion dollars a year on dieting and diet-related products. What do we get for our money?

Laxative Abuse: Some Basic Facts
Laxative abuse is serious and dangerous – often resulting in a variety of health complications and sometimes causing life-threatening risks.

Orthorexia

Orthorexia is a term coined by Steven Bratman, MD, to describe his own experience with food and eating.  It is not an officially recognized disorder, but is similar to other eating disorders – those with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa obsess about calories and weight while orthorexics obsess about healthy eating (not about being ‘thin’ and losing weight).
Diabulimia
Not a recognized medical diagnosis, diabulimia refers to the condition in which an individual with an eating disorder, who also has diabetes, manipulates insulin levels to manage weight. It carries serious health consequences.
For more information about diabulimia and where you can find help, please contact our toll free information and referral helpline at 800-931-2237Tests and Screening
Primary care providers may be the first person to recognize and offer assistance regarding a patient’s eating and weight concerns. These questions and tests can help doctors with initial screening and diagnosis.

 

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