Tag Archives: Eating disorder

Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

Definition:
Almost everyone overeats on occasion, having seconds or thirds of a holiday meal or devouring an entire bag of chips while watching a scary movie. Sometimes, though, overeating becomes a regular occurrence, shrouded in shame and secrecy. It’s called binge-eating disorder(BED), a serious eating disorder in which you frequently consume unusually large amounts of food.

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Binge eating disorder is characterized by compulsive overeating in which people consume huge amounts of food while feeling out of control and powerless to stop.Even the best of us occasionally overeats, helping ourselves to seconds, and even thirds; especially on holiday or festive celebrations. This is not a binge eating disorder. It becomes a disorder when the bingeing occurs regularly, and the binger is shrouded in shame and secrecy. The binger is deeply embarrassed about overeating and vows never to do it again. However, the compulsion is so strong that subsequent urges to gorge themselves cannot be resisted.

Binge eating disorder (BED), is the most common eating disorder in the United States affecting 3.5% of females and 2% of males and is prevalent in up to 30% of those seeking weight loss treatment, Although it is not yet classified as a separate disorder it was first described in 1959 by psychiatrist and researcher, Albert Stunkard and was first termed Night Eating Syndrome (NES), Binge Eating Disorder was coined to describe the same bingeing type eating behavior without the nocturnal component. BED usually leads to obesity although it can occur in normal weight individuals. There may be a genetic inheritance factor involved in BED independent of other obesity risks and there is also a higher incidence of psychiatric comorbidity, with the percentage of individuals with BED and an Axis I comorbid psychiatric disorder being 78.9% and for those with subclinical BED, 63.6%.
Some experts say that binge-eating disorder is the most common of all eating disorders. Estimates suggest that up to 4 percent of the U.S. population has binge-eating disorder, with girls and women slightly more likely than boys and men to develop the condition. Both children and adults can develop binge-eating disorder, but it’s most common when in your 40s and 50s.

In many parts of the world binge eating disorder is not considered a distinct condition. However, it is the most common of all eating disorders. Perhaps as more research is published and scientists learn more about it, this may change.

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Signs & Symptoms:

You may have no obvious physical signs or symptoms when you have binge-eating disorder. You may be overweight or obese, or you may be of a normal weight. In fact, most obese people don’t have binge-eating disorder.

On the other hand, when you have binge-eating disorder you often have numerous behavioral and emotional signs and symptoms. These may include:

*Periodically does not exercise control over consumption of food.Eating large amounts of food
*Eats an unusually large amount of food at one time—more than a normal person would eat in the same amount of time.
*Eats much more quickly during binge episodes than during normal eating episodes.
*Eats until physically uncomfortable and physically feels like they’re on the verge of throwing up due to the amount of food just consumed.
*Eating even when you’re full
*Eats when depressed, sad, or bored.
*Eats large amounts of food even when not really hungry.
*Usually eats alone during binge eating episodes, in order to avoid discovery of the disorder.
*Often eats alone during periods of normal eating, owing to feelings of embarrassment about food.
*Feels disgusted, depressed, or guilty after binge eating.
*Feeling that your eating behavior is out of control
*Frequently eating alone
*Hoarding food
*Hiding empty food containers
*Feeling depressed, disgusted or upset about your eating.

After a binge, you may try to diet or eat normal meals. But restricting your eating may simply lead to more binge eating, creating a vicious cycle.
Causes:
No one knows for sure what causes binge eating disorder. As many as half of all people with binge eating disorder have been depressed in the past. Whether depression causes binge eating disorder, whether binge eating disorder causes depression, or whether the two have a common cause, is not known for sure.

The trigger point can be emotion such as happiness, anger, sadness or boredom. Impulsive behavior and certain other emotional problems can be more common in people with binge eating disorder. However, many people also claim that bingeing occurs regardless of their mood.It is also unclear whether dieting and binge eating are related. Some studies show that about half of all people with binge eating disorder had binge episodes before they started to diet.

As with many mental illnesses, it’s thought that a variety of factors are at play in binge-eating disorder and may include:

*Biological. Biological vulnerability may play a role in developing binge-eating disorder. Both genes and brain chemicals may be involved. In addition, researchers are studying appetite regulation of the central nervous system for clues, along with gastrointestinal changes that might shed light on causes.

*Psychological. Psychological and emotional characteristics may also contribute to the condition. You may have low self-worth and trouble controlling impulsive behaviors, managing moods or expressing anger.

*Sociocultural. Modern Western culture often cultivates and reinforces a desire for thinness. Although most people who have binge-eating disorder are overweight, they’re acutely aware of their body shape and appearance and berate themselves after eating binges. Some people with binge-eating disorder have a history of being sexually abused.

Researchers also say that binge eating disorder is more common among competitive athletes such as swimmers or gymnasts whose body form is regularly on public display. Affected athletes in these sports tend to compare their own bodies in a negative way with those of their teammates. There is a research into how brain chemicals and metabolism affect binge eating disorder, but this study is in its early stages.
Complecations & Risk Factors:

Complications that binge-eating disorder may cause or be associated with include:
*Depression
*Anxiety
*Panic attacks
*Substance or alcohol abuse
*Obesity
*High blood pressure
*Type 2 diabetes
*High blood cholesterol
*Gallbladder disease
*Heart disease
*Stroke
*Osteoarthritis
*Joint pain
*Muscle pain
*Gastrointestinal problems
*Headache
*Sleep apnea
Frequent consumption of large amounts of food in a short period of time usually leads to weight gain and obesity, even though sufferers can maintain a normal weight for extended periods of time due to naturally high metabolism. The most problematic health consequences of this type of eating disorder is brought on by the weight gain resulting from the bingeing episodes.

People with binge eating disorder may become ill due to a lack of proper nutrition. Bingeing episodes usually include foods that are high in sugar and/or salt, but low in healthier nutrients, and are usually very upset by their binge eating and may become depressed. Those who are obese and also have binge eating disorder are at risk for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol levels, gallbladder disease, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.

Most people with binge eating disorder have tried to control it on their own, but have not been able to control it for very long. Some people miss work, school, or social activities to binge eat. Obese people with binge eating disorder often feel bad about themselves and may avoid social gatherings. Those who binge eat, whether obese or not, feel ashamed, are well aware of their disordered eating patterns, and try to hide their problems. Often they become so good at hiding it that even close friends and family members don’t know they binge eat.

Mental health experts are still trying to understand what factors may increase the risk of developing binge-eating disorder. The risk factors may vary from those of other eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia. Risk factors for binge-eating disorder may include:

*Dieting. Dieting is often a risk factor for anorexia and bulimia, but it’s not clear what role it plays in binge-eating disorder. People with binge-eating disorder have a mixed history of dieting — some have dieted to excess dating back to childhood, while others haven’t dieted. Dieting may trigger an urge to binge eat.

*Psychological issues. Certain behaviors and emotional problems are more common when you have binge-eating disorder. As with bulimia, you may act impulsively and feel a lack of control over your behavior. You may have a history of depression or substance abuse. Binge eaters may have trouble coping with anger, sadness, boredom, worry and stress.

*Sexual abuse. Some people with binge-eating disorder say they were sexually abused as children.

*Media and society. A preoccupation with body shape, weight and appearance is common when you have binge-eating disorder. Messages in the media that equate thinness with success may heighten the self-criticism that’s common in binge eating.
*Biology – the development of binge eating disorder may be linked to a person’s biological vulnerability, involving genes as well as brain chemicals. Current research is looking at how the appetite regulation of the central nervous system may affect people’s eating habits. There may also be clues in how some people’s gut functions.

*Some jobs – there is some looming evidence that a higher percentage of sportsmen, sportswomen and models have binge eating disorder compared to other people. Although some people suggest that individuals who work in catering (making and serving food) may be susceptible, further studies are required.
Diagnosis:
Binge-eating disorder is not yet officially classified as a mental disorder, and not all experts think it should be. Mental health experts hope that ongoing research will determine if binge eating is a distinct medical condition, a nonspecific type of eating disorder, or simply a cluster of symptoms.

Binge eating is similar to bulimia nervosa, another eating disorder, and some experts think it may be a form of bulimia. But unlike people with bulimia, who purge after eating, people with binge-eating disorder don’t try to rid themselves of the extra calories they consume by self-induced vomiting, overexercising or other unhealthy methods. That’s why most people with binge-eating disorder are overweight. In fact, some experts say that binge eating may be a type of obesity disorder.

In any case, when doctors suspect someone has an eating disorder, they typically run a battery of tests and exams. These can help pinpoint a diagnosis and also assess any related complications.

These exams and tests generally include:

*Physical exam. This may include such things as measuring height and weight; assessing body mass index; checking vital signs, such as heart rate, blood pressure and temperature; checking the skin; listening to the heart and lungs; and examining the abdomen.

*Laboratory tests. These may include a complete blood count (CBC), as well as more specialized blood tests to check such things as cholesterol levels, thyroid functioning, electrolytes and blood sugar, which may determine if you have metabolic syndrome.

*Psychological evaluation. A doctor or mental health professional will discuss your thoughts, feelings and eating habits with you. You may be asked about binge-eating symptoms, including when they started, how severe they are, how they affect your daily life and whether you’ve had similar issues in the past. You may also be asked to complete psychological self-assessments and questionnaires.

*Other studies. Other studies may be done to check for health consequences of binge-eating disorder, such as heart problems, gallbladder disease or sleep apnea.

Criteria for diagnosis:-
All these evaluations help doctors determine if you meet the criteria for binge-eating disorder or if you may have another eating disorder, such as bulimia. The criteria to diagnose mental health conditions are set forth in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). This manual is published by the American Psychiatric Association and is used by mental health professionals to diagnose mental conditions and by insurance companies to reimburse for treatment.

The DSM says more research is needed before determining whether binge-eating disorder is truly a unique medical condition. However, it offers some criteria for diagnosing binge-eating disorder.

DSM diagnostic criteria for binge-eating disorder include:
*Recurrent episodes of binge eating, including eating an abnormally large amount of food and feeling a lack of control over eating

*Binge eating that’s associated with at least three of these factors: eating rapidly; eating until you’re uncomfortably full; eating large amounts when you’re not hungry; eating alone out of embarrassment; or feeling disgusted, depressed or guilty after eating.

*Distress about your binge eating

*Binge eating occurs at least twice a week for at least six months

*Binge eating isn’t associated with inappropriate methods to compensate for overeating, such as self-induced vomiting

Some people may not meet all of these criteria but still have an eating disorder. As researchers learn more about eating disorders, the diagnostic criteria may evolve and change. Don’t try to diagnose yourself — get professional help if you have any eating disorder symptoms.

Treatment:-
People with binge eating disorder, whether or not they want to lose weight, should get help from health professionals including physicians, nutritionists, psychiatrists, psychologists, clinical social workers or by attending 12-step Overeaters Anonymous meetings. Even those who are not overweight are usually upset by their binge eating, and treatment can help them.

Although mental health professionals may be attuned to the signs of binge eating disorders, most physicians do not raise the question, either because they are uninformed about the condition or too embarrassed to ask about it. Because it is not a recognized psychiatric disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, it is difficult to get insurance reimbursement for treatments.

There are several different ways to treat binge eating disorder. Cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches people how to keep track of their eating and change their unhealthy eating habits. It also teaches them how to change the way they act in tough situations. Interpersonal psychotherapy helps people look at their relationships with friends and family and make changes in problem areas. Drug therapy, such as antidepressants, may be helpful for some people.

Researchers are still trying to find the treatment that is the most helpful in controlling binge eating disorder. The methods mentioned here seem to be equally helpful. For people who are overweight, a weight-loss program to improve health and to build self-esteem, as well as counselling to pinpoint the root of their psychological problems triggering their binge episodes, might be the best choice.

Prevention:
While there’s no sure way to prevent binge-eating disorder, there may be ways to help. For instance, pediatricians may be in a good position to identify early indicators of an eating disorder and help prevent its development. During routine well-child checks or medical appointments, pediatricians can ask children questions about their eating habits and satisfaction with their appearance. Parents can also cultivate and reinforce a healthy body image in their children no matter what their size or shape. Be certain not to tease or joke about a child’s size, shape or appearance.

In addition, if you notice a family member or friend with low self-esteem, severe dieting, frequent overeating, hoarding of food or dissatisfaction with appearance, consider talking to him or her about these issues. Although you may not be able to prevent binge-eating disorder or another eating disorder from developing you can talk about healthier behavior or treatment options.
Lifestyle and home remedies:
Binge-eating disorder generally isn’t an illness that you can treat on your own. But you can do some things for yourself that will build on your treatment plan. In addition to professional treatment, follow these self-care steps for binge eating:

*Stick to your treatment. Don’t skip therapy sessions. If you have meal plans, do your best to stick to them and don’t let setbacks derail your overall efforts.
*Avoid dieting. Trying to diet can trigger more binge episodes, leading to a vicious cycle that’s hard to break.
*Eat breakfast. Many people with binge-eating disorder skip breakfast. But studies show that if you eat breakfast, you’re less prone to eating higher calorie meals later in the day.
*Don’t stock up. Keep less food in your home than you normally do. That may mean more-frequent trips to the grocery store, but it may also take away the temptation and ability to binge eat.
*Get the right nutrients. Just because you may be eating a lot during binges doesn’t mean you’re eating the kinds of food that supply all of your essential nutrients. Talk to your doctor about vitamin and mineral supplements.
*Stay connected. Don’t isolate yourself from caring family members and friends who want to see you get healthy. Understand that they have your best interests at heart.
*Get active. Talk to your health care providers about what kind of exercise is appropriate for you, especially if you have health problems related to being overweight.

Regular Exercise and Routine diet is the best form of  remedy for BED

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binge_eating_disorder
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/binge-eating-disorder/DS00608
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/binge_eating_disorder.htm
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/173184.php

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Psychotherapy for Eating Disorders

Researchers have developed a new form of psychotherapy that is effective in most cases of eating disorders in adults.

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“Eating disorders are serious mental health problems and can be very distressing for both patients and their families,” said Christopher Fairburn, professor and principal research fellow at the University of Oxford.

“Now for the first time, we have a single treatment which can be effective in treating the majority of cases without the need for patients to be admitted to hospital,” added Fairburn, who led the study.

These disorders are a major cause of physical and psycho-social impairment in young women, affecting at least one in 20 between the ages of 18 and 30. Eating disorders are less common in young men.

Three eating disorders are recognised: anorexia nervosa, (hunger signals are ignored to control the desire to eat), accounting for 10% cases in adults; bulimia nervosa, (repeated binge eating) which accounts for a third of all cases; and the remainder are classed as atypical eating disorders, which account for over half of all cases.

In these atypical cases, the features of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are combined in a different way, according to an Oxford release.

These disorders vary in their severity, but typically involve extreme and relentless dieting, self-induced vomiting or laxative misuse, binge eating, driven exercising and in some cases marked weight loss.

Common associated features are depression, social withdrawal, perfectionism and low self-esteem. The disorders tend to run a chronic course and are notoriously difficult to treat. Relapse is common.

This new “enhanced” form of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT-E) improves the current leading treatment for bulimia nervosa as recommended by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).

CBT-E is the first treatment to be shown to be suitable for the majority of cases of eating disorders. This new treatment derives from an earlier form of CBT. Both were developed exclusively for patients with Bulimia Nervosa by Fairburn.

Sources:The American Journal of Psychiatry

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Eating Disorder

Definition:
An eating disorder is a compulsion to eat, or avoid eating, that negatively affects both one’s physical and mental health. Eating disorders are all encompassing. They affect every part of the person’s life. According to the authors of Surviving an Eating Disorder, “feelings about work, school, relationships, day-to-day activities and one’s experience of emotional well being are determined by what has or has not been eaten or by a number on a scale.” Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are the most common eating disorders generally recognized by medical classification schemes, with a significant diagnostic overlap between the two. Together, they affect an estimated 5-7% of females in the United States during their lifetimes. There is a third type of eating disorder currently being investigated and defined – Binge Eating Disorder. This is a chronic condition that occurs when an individual consumes huge amounts of food during a brief period of time and feels totally out of control and unable to stop their eating. It can lead to serious health conditions such as morbid obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. ANAD, or the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders is a non profit organization aimed at fighting these disorders. They work primarily in areas such as research, educating the public and running a hotline which is dedicated to referring those afflicted by disorders to support groups, therapists, or inpatient/outpatient clinics.

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Eating disorders often are long-term illnesses that may require long-term treatment. In addition, eating disorders frequently occur with other mental disorders such as depression, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders (NIMH, 2002). The earlier these disorders are diagnosed and treated, the better the chances are for full recovery.

Who Is At Risk?
Eating disorders,many people believe, occur mainly among young white females. This is not the case. While eating disorders do mainly affect women between the ages of 12 and 35, other groups are also at risk of developing eating disorders. Eating disorders affect all ethnic and racial groups and while the specific nature of the problem and the risk factors may vary, no population is exempt. Younger and younger children seem to be at risk of developing eating disorders. While most children who develop eating disorders are between 11 and 13, studies have shown that 80% of 3rd through 6th graders are dissatisfied with their bodies or their weight and by age 9 somewhere between 30 and 40% of girls have already been on a diet. Between ages 10 and 16, the statistic jumps to 80%. Many eating disorder experts attribute this behavior to the effects of cultural expectations. Stress is also considered to be a factor in the development of eating disorders. According to Abigail Natenshon, a psychotherapist specializing in eating disorders, children as young as 5 show signs of stress related eating disorders. This includes compulsively exercising and running to burn off calories. Natanshon notes that as children reach puberty younger and younger, they are less equipped to understand the changes in their bodies. They understand the message of the media to be “thin” and try to fit in without comprehending the effects on their bodies. While eating disorders affect younger and younger children, not only girls but also boys suffer from eating disorders. Boys who participate in sports where weight is an issue and often boys who experience issues regarding sexual identity are at risk of developing eating disorders.

Anorexia nervosa :……..CLICK & SEE

Anorexia nervosa is deliberate and sustained weight loss driven by a fear of becoming overweight and a distorted body image. It is not to be confused with anorexia, which is its symptomatic general loss of appetite or disinterest in food. DSM-IV characterizes anorexia nervosa as:

* An abnormally low body weight (the suggested guideline = 85% of normal for age and height, or BMI = 17.5).
* For postmenarcheal females, amenorrhea (the absence of three consecutive menstrual cycles).
* An intense fear gaining weight or becoming fat and a preoccupation with body weight and shape.

Most anorexics become so as adolescents, with 76% reporting onset of the disorder between the ages of 11 and 20.The mortality rate for those diagnosed with anorexia nervosa is approximately 6%—the highest of any mental illness—with roughly half of those due to suicide.There is a third type of eating disorder currently being investigated – Binge Eating Disorder. People who suffer from this disorder experience chronic episodes where they consume huge amounts of food in a very brief period. They experience feelings of being out of control. Unlike bulimia nervosa, they do not purge. Binge eating can lead to serious health risks such as morbid obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and an increased likelihood of cardiovascular disease.

Anorexics are commonly perfectionists, driven to succeed; yet they set unattainable standards of performance for themselves. When they fail to meet these standards, they look for a part of their lives they can control; food and weight become that “control” for them. Low self-esteem and constant self-criticism cause anorexics to constantly fear losing control, and even consuming a small amount of food could be considered a loss of control.

Bulimia nervosa………..CLICK & SEE
Bulimia nervosa is a cyclical and recurring pattern of binge eating (uncontrolled bursts of overeating) followed by guilt, self-recrimination and overcompensatory behaviour such as crash dieting, overexercising and purging to compensate for the excessive caloric intake.

Bulimics often have “binge food,” which is the food they typically consume during binges. Some describe their binge episodes as a physical high they feel, numbing out, going into auto-pilot, losing all control, immediate comfort, etc. The reasoning or triggers behind a binge may serve different purposes for different people. This binge episode leads the individual to feel guilt, shame, embarrassment, and complete failure. Bulimics try to regain control of themselves and the situation by purging the food–making up for their mistake. This leads to feeling famished and empty again, and therefore, another uncontrollable binge, followed by feeling powerless, and the vicious binge/purge cycle continues. Bulimics have extreme eating and exercising habits, instead of demonstrating moderation. This compulsive behavior is often echoed in similar destructive behavior such as sexual promiscuity, pathological lying, and shoplifting. Some bulimics not only struggle with the eating disorder, but these other harmful behaviors as well.

Binge-eating disorder……..CLICK & SEE
People with this recently recognized disorder have frequent episodes of compulsive overeating, but unlike those with bulimia, they do not purge their bodies of food (NIMH, 2002). During these food binges, they often eat alone and very quickly, regardless of whether they feel hungry or full. They often feel shame or guilt over their actions. Unlike anorexia and bulimia, binge-eating disorder occurs almost as often in men as in women (National Eating Disorders Association, 2002).

Causes:

Environmental

The media may be a significant influence on eating disorders through its impact on values, norms, and image standards accepted by modern society.  Both society’s exposure to media and eating disorders have grown immensely over the past decade. Researchers and clinicians are concerned about the relationship between these two phenomena and finding ways to reduce the negative influence thin-ideal media has on women’s body perception and susceptibility to eating disorders. The dieting industry makes billions of dollars each year by consumers continually buying products in an effort to be the ideal weight. Hollywood displays an unrealistic standard of beauty that makes the public feel incredibly inadequate and dissatisfied and forces people to strive for an unattainable appearance.  This takes an enormous toll on one’s self-esteem and can easily lead to dieting behaviors, disordered eating, body shame, and ultimately an eating disorder.

Biological

Patients with severe obsessive compulsive disorder, depression or bulimia patients were all found to have abnormally low serotonin levels. Neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine are secreted by the intestines and central nervous system during digestion.

Researchers have also found low cholecystokinin levels in bulimics. Cholecystokinin is a hormone that causes one to feel full and decreases eating. Low levels of this hormone are likely to cause a lack of satiative feedback when eating, which can lead to overeating. Another explanation researchers found for overeating is abnormalities in the neuromodulator peptides, neuropeptide Y and peptide YY. Both of these peptides increase eating and work with another peptide called leptin. Leptin is released by fat cells and is known to decrease eating. Research found the majority of people who overate produced normal amounts of leptin but they might have complications with the blood-brain barrier preventing an optimal amount to reach the brain.

Cortisol is a hormone released by the adrenal cortex which promotes blood sugar and increases metabolism.High levels of cortisol were found in people with eating disorders. This imbalance may be caused by a problem in or around the hypothalamus. A study in London at Maudsley Hospital found that anorexics were found to have a large variation of serotonin receptors and a high level of serotonin.

Many of these chemicals and hormones are associated with the hypothalamus in the brain. Damage to the hypothalamus can result in abnormalities in temperature regulation, eating, drinking, sexual behavior, fighting, and activity level.

While scientists have determined that there are possible biochemical or biological causes leading to eating disorders because certain chemicals which control hunger, appetite or digestions are out of balance, experts such as Dr. Edward J. Cumella, executive director of the Remuda Treatment Programs, states that there are three components to eating disorders: 1. The genetic component; 2. The unique environmental factors, such as personal experiences; and 3) The shared environmental factors, such as culture. According to Dr. Cumella, “Some people are born with a predisposition to having an eating disorder and there are genetic markers that can push a person in the direction of anorexia or bulimia…but it does not guarantee that a person will automatically suffer from an eating disorder. The environment – a person’s life experience – still has to pull the trigger.”

Developmental etiology

Research from a family systems perspective indicates that eating disorders stem from both the adolescent’s difficulty in separating from over-controlling parents, and disturbed patterns of communication. When parents are critical and unaffectionate, their children are more prone to becoming self-destructive and self-critical, and have difficulty developing the skills to engage in self-care giving behaviors. Such developmental failures in early relationships with others, particularly maternal empathy, impairs the development of an internal sense of self and leads to an over-dependence on the environment. When coping strategies have not been developed in the family system, food and drugs serve as a substitute.

Trauma
Eating disorders should also be understood in the context of experienced trauma, with many eating problems beginning as survival strategies rather than vanity or obsession with appearance. According to sociologist Becky Thompson, eating disorders stemming from women of varying socio-economic status, sexual orientation and race, and finds that eating disorders and a disconnected relationship with ones body is commonly a response to environmental stresses, including sexual, physical, and emotional abuse, racism, and poverty. This reality is further detrimental for women of color and other minority women, since they are forced to live in a culture that embraces a narrowly defined conception of beauty: “people furthest from the dominant ideal of beauty, specifically women of color, may suffer the psychological effects of low self-esteem, poor body image, and eating disorders.

Gender wise:
“Frequent dieting and trying to look like persons in the media were independent predictors of binge eating in females of all ages. In males, negative comments about weight by fathers was predictive of starting to binge at least weekly.

Diagnosis:
Clinically, eating disorders are evaluated using instruments such as the Questionnaire of Eating and Weight Patterns (QEWP), which has specialized versions for adolescents and parents (QEWP-A, and QEWP-P). In addition to evaluating eating patterns, these tests also measure depression.

Medical problems that may arise as a result of eating disorders:

* Anorexia nervosa – Anorexia can slow the heart rate and lower blood pressure, increasing the chance of heart failure. Those who use drugs to stimulate vomiting, bowel movements, or urination are also at high risk for heart failure. Starvation can also lead to heart failure, as well as damage the brain. Anorexia may also cause hair and nails to grow brittle. Skin may dry out, become yellow, and develop a covering of soft hair called lanugo. Mild anemia, swollen joints, reduced muscle mass, and light-headedness also commonly occur as a consequence of this eating disorder. Severe cases of anorexia can lead to brittle bones that break easily as a result of calcium loss.
* Bulimia nervosa – The acid in vomit can wear down the outer layer of the teeth, inflame and damage the esophagus (a tube in the throat through which food passes to the stomach), and enlarge the glands near the cheeks (giving the appearance of swollen cheeks). Damage to the stomach can also occur from frequent vomiting. Irregular heartbeats, heart failure, and death can occur from chemical imbalances and the loss of important minerals such as potassium. Peptic ulcers, pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas, which is a large gland that aids digestion), and long-term constipation are also consequences of bulimia.
* Binge-eating disorder – Binge-eating disorder can cause high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. Other effects of binge-eating disorder include fatigue, joint pain, Type II diabetes, gallbladder disease, and heart disease.

Treatment:
* Anorexia nervosa – The first goal for the treatment of anorexia is to ensure the person’s physical health, which involves restoring a healthy weight (NIMH, 2002). Reaching this goal may require hospitalization. Once a person’s physical condition is stable, treatment usually involves individual psychotherapy and family therapy during which parents help their child learn to eat again and maintain healthy eating habits on his or her own. Behavioral therapy also has been effective for helping a person return to healthy eating habits. Supportive group therapy may follow, and self-help groups within communities may provide ongoing support.
* Bulimia nervosa – Unless malnutrition is severe, any substance abuse problems that may be present at the time the eating disorder is diagnosed are usually treated first. The next goal of treatment is to reduce or eliminate the person’s binge eating and purging behavior (NIMH, 2002). Behavioral therapy has proven effective in achieving this goal. Psychotherapy has proven effective in helping to prevent the eating disorder from recurring and in addressing issues that led to the disorder. Studies have also found that Prozac, an antidepressant, may help people who do not respond to psychotherapy (APA, 2002). As with anorexia, family therapy is also recommended.

.* Binge-eating disorder – The goals and strategies for treating binge-eating disorder are similar to those for bulimia. Binge-eating disorder was recognized only recently as an eating disorder, and research is under way to study the effectiveness of different interventions (NIMH, 2002).

You may click for more information :->BBC NEWS:20 Dec.2000

->National Institute Of Mental Health

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eating_disorder
http://mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/publications/allpubs/ken98-0047/default.asp

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Burn Those Calories

Sweet offerings...
In the festive seasons everyone is busy eating sweets, fried foods and other delicacies. Often after the festive spirit dies down, people become tired and sick. Too much stress and not the proper foods can cause one to get under the weather. Here are some tips on how to beat the blues.

Drink a lot of of water as this keeps the body hydrated and gives you more energy.

Stick with your regular exercise plan as much as you can.

Instead of sitting and watching television all the time, try to take a brisk walk around the neighbourhood looking at the decorations or dance to your favourite music.

Avoid overindulgence. Stay away from the buffet table and eat a meal before you go to become fuller. Also if you drink alcohol, limit your intake to prevent extra calories.

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables! When you have to take a dish, make it a healthy one.

If you  are looking for some simple advice to keep you from gaining calories, here are a few suggestions.

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Burn calories: If you  are going to be eating a huge meal, cut down on the treats ahead of time and start working out beforehand.
Snacking before the big meal. Eat plenty of vegetables and less of the chips.

Keep the food in the kitchen, the temptation won’t be as strong because you  wll be caught up in conversation elsewhere. Families tend to linger long at the dinner table, and if the foods in sight, it’s easier to keep eating.

If you are craving for the leftover kheer, wait for 10 minutes and let your body digest itself, your desire will most likely pass.
Limit the booze and drink more water. Alcohol stimulates your appetite and lowers your ability to resist temptation.

Stick to only one glass of wine or bottle of beer. Have a glass of water next along side of your beverage. For every sip you take of your alcohol, take a sip of water. The water will make you fuller faster so you won’t take in so much alcohol or crave more food.
After the dinner is over and done, it’s time to get physical. Plan a walk with your family. Avoid collecting calories, and burn them off instead.

Source:The Times Of India

Anorexia Nervosa: A serious eating disorder

..click & see is a developmental period fraught with the physical and psychological changes that accompany the transition from childhood to adulthood. Teenagers must cope with the establishment of independence from parents, the creation of personal identity, the development of intimate relationships with members of the opposite sex, and the bodily changes that herald adulthood. Often, the key to self esteem lies in feelings about physical attractiveness. In our society, the high premium placed on thinness can create anxiety during this metamorphosis. Considering the myriad of social, academic, and parental pressures adolescents must face, it s no wonder some adolescents develop physical and psychological disturbances….click & see

A common manifestation of such disturbances is the development of an eating disorder. The incidence of the three common eating disorders    anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and obesity have increased in the last decade. Among women aged 15 to 30, incidence rates are roughly 30 percent for obesity, 10 percent for bulimia, and one percent for anorexia nervosa. Although the least common of these three eating disorders, anorexia nervosa carries the gravest medical and psychological consequences.

Anorexia nervosa is a serious condition wherein a person systematically restricts food intake to the point of extreme emaciation. In 1689, a physician first described a patient with this illness as “a skeleton wrapped up in skin.” Anorexia nervosa is also characterized by an irrational fear of becoming obese, denial of physical discomfort, excessive physical activity, and high self expectations. Although “anorexia” means lack of appetite, people with anorexia nervosa may actually be concealing a large appetite. In fact, they are morbidity preoccupied with food and fear losing control and falling victim to binge eating.

Alarmingly, the incidence of anorexia nervosa has doubled over the past two decades. Most anorectics are white and come from middle class or upper middle class families. Some 90 to 95 percent of those with anorexia nervosa are female.

Anorexia nervosa usually begins in adolescence. A typical case is a mildly overweight teenager who believes herself to be overweight. She reduces her weight by 5 to 10 pounds. Rather than stopping there, she finds it becomes easier and easier to lose weight. Whether this continued weight loss stems from a boost to her self esteem or from physiologic changes secondary to starvation is unclear. The weight loss is maintained by severe restriction of caloric intake or food restriction alternating with periods of binge eating that end in self-induced vomiting or purging with laxatives and diuretics (“water pills”).

Regardless of the method of attaining the weight loss, the danger is that further emaciation may progress unremittingly until death. The overall mortality rate has been reported to be between two and 15 percent. One reason the patient allows herself to pursue this macabre wasting course is attributed to a “body image disturbance.” Specifically, patients with anorexia nervosa deny they are too thin or that they experience any physical discomfort from their self-imposed starvation. In fact, they may insist they are still slightly overweight even when severely emaciated. Surprisingly, the parents may also deny the existence of a problem. Therefore, teenagers with anorexia nervosa often come to medical attention in a severe state of inanition. The physical and psychological consequences can be severe.

Of the psychological consequences, the most feared is suicide. Although the incidence of suicide among anorectics is relatively low (two to five percent), it is high compared to the general population. Other psychological problems, such as depression, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and difficult family relationships may persist even after weight gain.

The most common physical manifestations of anorexia nervosa in women are amenorrhea (absence of menstruation) and estrogen deficiency. The latter may contribute to osteoporosis (brittle bones). A host of other hormonal disturbances often accompany anorexia nervosa. Imbalance in body chemistry can also have dire consequences. For example, starvation, vomiting. laxative, and diuretic abuse can all cause dangerous lowered levels of potassium in the blood. Low potassium can cause disturbances in the heart s rhythm and even cardiac arrest, the leading cause of death in anorexia nervosa. Additionally, many anorectics also have abnormally slow heart rates and low blood pressure.

Disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, such as constipation, are common. Anorexia nervosa also predisposes patients to kidney stones. Because malnourishment impairs the immune system, patients are at an increased risk for infection.

In short, the consequences of anorexia nervosa are diverse and many are serious. But, what causes anorexia nervosa? No one knows for sure. This disease can vary along a broad spectrum of severity ar-id may have just as broad a spectrum of contributing causes. Theories incorporate sociocultural factors, occupational and recreational environments. psychological causes, and neurochemical abnormalities.

Western society may play an important role because of the emphasis placed on thinness, especially for women. In a society where one is held personally responsible for one s body type (“you are what you eat”), obesity is tantamount to failure. Other societal pressure such changes in the ecology of food and eating (eg. high calorie fast foods), alterations in family and community life, and nuclear threat have also been implicated as contributing to rising rates of anorexia nervosa.

Occupational and recreational environments that put women at risk for anorexia nervosa are those that stress thinness such as ballet and athletics. Both the strenuous physical training and the restricted calorie intake contribute to the development of the disease.

Anorexia nervosa used to be viewed as primarily a psychological disorder. Now, the many physical complications are given equal attention. However, normal psychological functioning is often impaired. Patterns of early developmental problems and disturbed family interactions, accompanied by depression are often noted. Patients often experience a paralyzing feeling of ineffectiveness. Weight loss may be a defense against such feelings, a way to gain control over one s self.

Current research is focusing on a search for abnormalities in the hormones and chemicals that transmit nervous impulses in the brain. Whether these disturbances are the underlying cause of anorexia nervosa or are a result of starvation remains to be seen.

While the definitive cause of anorexia nervosa is unknown, treatment will probably continue to be largely unsatisfactory. Denial of the illness by the teenager and family alike impede compliance with treatment.

Current treatments include nutritional rehabilitation, individual, group, and family psychotherapy, and occasionally, antidepressants. In severe cases, the teen is hospitalized to correct physical imbalances or to prevent possible suicide. Unfortunately, relapses are common.

Anorexia nervosa is a serious illness with grave consequences. It is disturbing to health care professionals that the incidence is rapidly rising. Hopefully, in the future, the exact cause of anorexia nervosa will be discovered allowing for better treatment.

Click to learn about Alternative medical treatment of Anorexia Nervosa

Click to learn about Homeopathic remedy of Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia and Pregnancy
Source: www.kidsgrowth.com

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