Archive for December, 2006

How Anorexia Or Bulimia Can Affect Pregnancy

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

The combination of an eating disorder and pregnancy is a
dangerous one for both the mother and the child. Eating
disorders can have a great deal of effects on the mother’s
body. Some of the effects may make it difficult or even
impossible to become pregnant, while others will allow a
pregnancy to happen, but can have drastic consequences for the
mother and child.

For an Anorexic or Bulimic that is suffering severely from the
eating disorder or that has had it for a number of years, their
body may have become affected to the point where they are no
longer menstruating or ovulating, which will both obviously
affect the body’s ability to become pregnant.

For those that do manage to become pregnant and that continue
to suffer from the eating disorder, there are a number of
complications that can occur such as:

– Miscarriage or stillbirth

– Trouble breathing or low-energy level due to nutrition that
is being taken by the fetus and away from the mother

– Increased risk of the mother developing depression and
suicidal ideation during the pregnancy due to the weight being
gained and emotional feelings of weight/body image being out of
control

– Increased bone loss due to calcium that is being taken by the
fetus

– Lack of appropriate nutrition for the fetus due to
compensatory behaviors used by mother, which can cause effects
on the development of key organs and systems

– Going into premature labor and increased likelihood of a
c-section needing to be performed

– Increased risk of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia –
both of which can be serious medical conditions that can affect
the mother’s health and risk of additional complications,
including survival, for the chld

– Low birth weight for the child, which can lead to low AGPAR
scores and development delays

– Higher risk of birth defects for the child

– Respiratory illnesses in the child after birth

– Additional medical risks to the mother, including kidney,
liver or heart problems due to the added strain on the body to
support the fetus

– Increase risk of the mother developing post-partum depression

There are several things that a person with an eating disorder
can do to have a healthy pregnancy including:

– be in counseling/treatment for the eating disorder to deal
with the eating disorder before becoming pregnant

– be back to a normal body weight and eating a healthy diet
including the use of prenatal vitamins

– stop compensatory behaviors, such as binging, purging,
excessive exercise or laxative use before pregnancy occurs

– consult with a doctor for regular checkups and make sure to
let your OB/GYN doctor know about the eating disorder at your
first visit if he/she is not aware of it already

– consult with a nutritionist to create healthy eating habits
and diets that are well balanced and nutritious for both you
and the baby

– be in counseling to deal with physical and emotional changes
that will occur during and after the pregnancy

– Continue healthy eating after pregnancy in order to have the
ability to breastfeed, which can have benefits for both the
mother and the child

– Ask your partner and friends/family to help you by watching
for signs that your unhealthy eating or compensatory behaviors
are returning or that you are suffering from post-partum
depression after the birth

– Join a support group for those that are pregnant and have an
eating disorder in order to have support and share experiences
with others

A woman with an eating disorder that wishes to have a baby
needs to understand the effects that having the eating disorder
during pregnancy can have on both her and the child. She may
find it extremely hard to become pregnant and if she does
manage to become pregnant, may be unable to sustain the
pregnancy or may face severe medical complications and dangers
for both herself and the child.

Therefore, it is very important to seek the help of medical and
mental health professionals prior to becoming pregnant in order
to receive treatment for the eating disorder and to reduce
possible complications that she or the baby will face during
the pregnancy or in the future.

About The Author: Please visit Avalon Hills website for more
information on eating disorders at http://www.avalonhills.org

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Eating Disorders – The Three Types

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

There are three main types of eating disorder; these are
Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder.
The term eating disorder is used to describe any eating
patterns that are obsessive and long lasting. In the last 20 to
30 years or so there has been a marked increase in the amount of
people troubled by these disorders. Let’s have a brief look at
the three variants.

Anorexia nervosa

Anorexia is an eating disorder where individuals starve
themselves of food, because they have an obsessive longing to
be thin. This disorder tends to affect mainly teenage girls,
but can also affect men, and it is serious and sometimes even
fatal. About half of the people with anorexia who have hospital
treatment still struggle with the disorder and have symptoms for
a long time afterwards. One trait of sufferers seems to be a
lack of self-esteem.

Bulimia nervosa,

Bulimia nervosa, usually shortened to bulimia, is an eating
disorder where individuals have a binge-eating session; this is
usually then followed by them making themselves sick. This
self-induced vomiting is because of feelings of guilt at having
eaten so much. People with bulimia tend to suffer from an
unnatural preoccupation with their own body, and as with
anorexic patients they have a fear of gaining weight.
Individuals who suffer with bulimia will devour huge quantities
of food in an attempt to reduce stress, and help them deal with
feelings of anxiety.

Binge eating disorder

Binge eating disorder involves bouts of overeating high calorie
foods on a regular basis, but unlike bulimia sufferers, they
don’t make themselves vomit. People with this disorder not
surprisingly, are usually overweight. This disorder was first
recognized about 45 years ago; but it is only in recent times
that it has been seen as a widespread problem. Studies have
shown that binge eating disorder seems to run in families, so
it looks like there is a genetic link.

The rather worrying news is that the big three eating disorders
– anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder, are reported to
be on the rise all around the world.

About The Author: James Hunaban is the owner of
http://eating-disorders.health-info4u.com/ a site full of
Eating Disorders information.

Please use the HTML version of this article at:
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Teen Eating Disorders

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

Eating disorders have long been a serious problem among people
of all ages. However, this disease usually begins somewhere in
the pre-teen stages of life, and although many adolescent boys
suffer with this disorder, it usually affects and is much more
severe in young girls.

People who do suffer from an eating disorder like to place
blame on factors such as television and family life-styles.
Although these situations do influence eating disorders, the
basis for this disease lies within the person whom it is
affecting.

Most girls and boys who suffer from an eating disorder usually
are unhappy with themselves and their own performance in life.
With girls, eating disorders may arise if they do not succeed
in activities such as cheerleading or gymnastics, or if they do
not seem to attract the attention of boys. Many girls believe
that they cannot be beautiful unless they are thin, sometimes
due to naturally thin girls that surround them both in real
life and in fashion. For boys, causes may also result from
sports that are weight orientated like wrestling.

There are two types of eating disorders called anorexia
nervosa, and bulimia nervosa. The person who is anorexic will
place herself on what she considers to be a “strict diet.” This
diet usually involves cutting down calorie intake to an absurd
level. The average person should consume around 1500 calories a
day. An anorexic person will gauge her daily intake anywhere
between a few hundred to less than 100 calories.

The bulimic person will usually try to restrict her diet.
However, if she feels that she has eaten too much, she will
induce vomiting or over-consume laxatives. Frequently, this
sets off a pattern of binge eating and purging.

What Parents can do

There is a way of preventing your teenager being susceptible to
these diseases. Allow your teenager to be on a diet, but monitor
the diet plan with her.

If you notice that your teenager is concerned with his weight,
do not brush it off as a phase. Instead, sit down with him and
work out a dietary and exercise plan together. Help by
purchasing healthy foods such as fruit, raw vegetables and
salads. Show your teenager that it is OK to eat – it is just
the types of foods he consumes that he must be careful about.

Understand that this is a mental disease, and grounding or
punishing your teenager for having these disorders will only
make things worse. If you believe your child may be suffering
from an eating disorder seek professional help immediately. As
the parent in situations like these, you may feel undermined or
helpless, but understand that this disease greatly affects your
teenager’s health and must be dealt with as soon as possible.

About The Author: Christina is a member of the National Writers
Association, is listed on Cambridge Who’s Who and is a proud
member of the National PTA, offering support to that
organization and other non-profit groups by offering her book
to use in fundraising campaigns.
http://www.helpwithteenagers.com/parentinghandbook.html
http://www.helpwithteenagers.com

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The Power of Moderation

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

The Power of Moderation

By Dr. Joan F. Marques

If you allow yourself you can drive everything to the extreme. Most of
the time that’s not a good idea. Even the pleasant things in life become
hazardous when applied excessively. Some examples? Excessive eating can
lead to obesity, excessive dieting to anorexia; excessive partying to
empty pockets, excessive working to stress; excessive traveling to
alienation of loved ones, and excessive home-boundness to boredom.

The art of living may very well lie in finding the right balance between
all extremes that are offered to us. Seen in that light, successful
living could easily be defined as applying the right degree of
moderation. “The right degree” is a very subjective amount, though,
because it will vary from one person to another, depending on variables
such as age, environment, preferences, and in many cases also financial
capacity.

All of the above may seem pretty straightforward when merely reading it,
and perhaps even unnecessary to mention, but it is far more difficult to
apply once you really get confronted with the choices in life. We often
get overzealous when we engage in enthralling activities, and lose touch
with our rational side until it’s too late and the damage is hard to
repair.

The other day I was visiting Las Vegas and found myself in a crowd of
people staring at the ceiling over Fremont Street. Those of you who have
been to Las Vegas know how high the top of this fancy street overarch
really is. There, on the top, stood a man, and the rumor went that he was
about to jump in an attempt to commit suicide. Why? He had gotten out of
touch with his sense of moderation and lost a large sum of money through
gambling. More money than he could justify – so his only way out seemed
to end it all.

This example may illustrate how difficult it is to remain moderate when
we face fascinating temptations. Our specific area of weakness determines
what we should be overly cautious about. If we like eating, we should
instate alert mechanisms in that area. If it’s gambling, dieting,
partying, working, drinking, smoking, or anything else that we are overly
zealous in, we should do the same with those. How? Here’s an idea:

1.. First determine your zone of weakness. You may very well find more
than one. Most people do.
2.. Determine what you consider “moderation” in this area. What level
should you apply to stay out of physical, psychological, legal, or
spiritual trouble? Consider this when you are sober and not around or in
desperate need of your object of weakness. So, for instance, don’t
determine what is moderate in eating if you are hungry.
3.. Set a time frame to your self-determined moderation. Your time
frame could be a day, a week, a month, or a year. If you want to moderate
your smoking, for instance, determine how many cigarettes you consider
reasonable per day.
4.. Decide on a control mechanism. If you feel strong enough to
moderate yourself, write down your resolution and keep track of your
actions. If you feel that you need external help, identify a buddy of
whom you’re willing to accept advise – and stick to it.
5.. Evaluate your achievements regularly. Monthly may be the best way
to go for most weaknesses.

As you may have concluded by now, it’s not as easy as it seems to
moderate ourselves. The numbers of obese and anorexic people, excessive
smokers, drug-, alcohol-, and gambling addicts, workaholics and other
excessive performers attest to this fact. Moderation, once achieved, is a
private but very rewarding victory – and can make a difference like day
or night about our self-perception.

About the author:

Dr. Joan Marques is a professor of business and management, and
co-founder/board member of the Business Renaissance Institute. She has
authored 2 books on the topics of Leadership and Global Awareness, and is
currently working on two additional ones on Workplace Spirituality, and
Leadership. She regularly co-organizes workshops for business and
non-profit organizations in Los Angeles.

Visit my website at: www.joanmarques.com

It is better to live in serene poverty than in hectic affluence.
Everything has a price. The price for nurturing your soul is turning away
from excessive stress, destruction of self-respect, and the constant
strive in lifestyle with the Joneses. But it’s worth it.