Archive for the ‘Bolimia’ Category

Little Known Facts on The Importance of Self Image

Sunday, March 11th, 2007

It is not a surprise to most people that health studies point to
popular culture as a perpetrator of body image which has
corresponded to the self image and well being of women AND men.
What may surprise you is that this is not a new phenomenon.
Is the rail thin appearance of runway and magazine models a new
obsession which has started young girls and women on a path
towards starvation, malnutrition and disorders such as anorexia
and bulimia?
Actually, No.
The western world created a popular culture of ‘you can never be
to thin’ as early as the 20’s when flapper styles caused women to
starve and over exercise their bodies to attain the flat chested,
androgynous look that was popular at that time.
The fuller figure did make a comeback during the depression, but
quickly reverted in the 60’s with thinness being equated with
physical beauty.
Studies on self image indicate that women tend to consider
themselves heavier than they really are. This distorted body
image is linked to unhealthy dietary practices like anorexia and
bulimia.
Although distorted body image affects men and women of all age
ranges, it is middle and upper class women who are most commonly
affected in thinking they are too heavy and need to loose weight.
Girls as young as nine are following the paths set down by
mothers, sisters and others.
On the other hand, men with body image problems often feel they
are too thin and use of steroids by youths trying to build muscle
mass shows that they are also adversely affected by media
portrayals of the body.
Bad self image is learned. This can be clearly illustrated by a
study conducted by WHO with Canadian students. The study showed
that the confidence of children dropped dramatically through the
pre-teen years. The percentage of 11 year old boys and girls who
felt confident all of the time was 47% and 35% respectively. By
age 15 the percentage dropped to 30% for boys and a disappointing
14% for girls.
What are we teaching our children?
In a quote from Health Canada based on a research program for
VITALITY the following report was made: “Slimness in western
cultures is associated not only with success and sophistication,
but with character virtues. Conversely, obesity is the opposite
of all these things and, particularly in the case of women, is
associated with failure and a collapse of self-discipline.”
Self image is tied to several factors, only one of which is body
image. Self image is part of self awareness and starts early in
childhood, even before speech. As we become adults many tie their
self image to such factors as job success, relationships and
abilities. Body image – if a person has a negative view of
themselves physically – can be one of the most dramatic
influences.
Health Canada’s findings show that although self image may be
subject to change throughout our life, our “fundamental sense of
feeling worthy or unworthy (self-esteem) remains relatively
stable”. This means that it is while children are still young
that the most impact is made on their future self image. Creating
a safe, nurturing and loving environment can be the greatest
protection against negative body image and low self-esteem.
The information contained in this article is for educational purposes
only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any
disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any
health care program.

About the Author

Emily Clark is editor at Lifestyle Health News and Medical Health News where you can find the most up-to-date advice and information on many medical, health and lifestyle topics.

Food Addiction Can Lead to Death

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

Food has been described as ambrosia and the elixir if life. For some, eating is a biological necessity for others it is a passion that can turn into an obsession. Experts define food addiction to be a disorder where the addict is preoccupied with food, the availability of food, and the pleasure of eating. There are three recognized addictions:

• Overeating, where the addict has no control over the amount or the number of times he eats. The person has no concept of being overweight or the servings a person must eat normally. Being an overeater, the addict will indulge in uncontrolled eating binges. Being obese, the addict will be prone to hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases, arthritis, and cancer.

• Bulimisa Nervosa, where the addict binges and then tries to maintain weight by vomiting, using laxatives, excessive exercise, or even fasting. Such addicts will develop dental problems like thinning of enamel, excessive number of cavities, swollen salivary glands, fluid and electrolyte disturbances, as well as calluses and scars.

• Anorexia Nervosa, where the addict fears weight gain and so starves himself. Obsessed with weight gain and body shape anorexics will exhibit obsessive behaviors in maintaining themselves. In the process, they develop problems like disruption of menstrual cycle, emancipation, hair loss, unhealthy skin pallor, and a lack or fluids.

The most common health problems are obesity, alcoholism, diabetes, bulimia, food allergies, and food intolerance.

The signs that you are addicted to food are:

• Uncontrolled cravings for particular foods. Some are addicted to sweets, others to soft drinks, yet others to coffee.

• Continuous or frequent eating. No fixed meal times an addict will eat throughout the day.

• Sharpened hunger on consumption of specific foods.

• Anxiety attacks, feelings of nervousness, low sugar, a headache, stomach gripes and grumbles.

• Withdrawal symptoms.

• Fatigue.

• Extreme irritations.

• Intolerance to foods.

• Feelings of guilt at having eaten.

The very cornerstones to curing the addiction are to:

• Identify and avoid what are known to be trigger foods or drinks.

• Put into practice a diet that is nutrient rich, healthy, and helps maintain or loose weight.

• Make lifestyle changes. Adopt a healthier lifestyle and include plenty of fresh air as well as exercise.

• Focus on personal and spiritual development. Seek inner peace, calm, and joy. Practice meditation and deep breathing.

• Plan to have activity filled days to distract the mind from food.

Even if you have a niggling doubt that you may be a food addict you must seek help. Nip the problem in the bud before it grows into something unmanageable and serious. You must consult a nutritionist, doctor, psychologist, or an eating addiction center or specialist. There are programs run by groups like Overeaters Anonymous that run 12-step programs which are extremely beneficial.

Paul Wilson is a freelance writer for http://www.1888Discuss.com/food/, the premier REVENUE SHARING discussion forum for Food Forum, including topics on all about food, food network, food recipe, health food, food gift, different food and more. His article profile can be found at the premier Food Article Submission Directory http://www.1888Articles.com/food-and-drink-articles-13.html

Eating Disorders in Teens

Monday, March 5th, 2007

According to a survey eating disorders most often affect young women. Less than 10% of people with eating disorders are boys and men. Eating disorders affect a person’s physical and emotional health. They are very dangerous illnesses and can be fatal if they are not treated.

Eating disorder is a condition when teen refused to eat and gain in weight. Eating disorders are a harrowing addiction — affecting teens physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. These disorders are characterized by a preoccupation with food and a distortion of body image. There are two common types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa.

People affected with anorexia have an intense of being fatty. A person with anorexia may weigh food before eating it or compulsively count the calories of everything. The key elements of anorexia nervosa are losing weight below a normal weight. While people affected with bulimia, eats a large amount of food then gets rid of it quickly by vomiting or taking laxatives. People feel guilty and anxious and then they want to get rid of food by vomiting or by exercising.

Symptoms There are so many signs of eating disorder that are given below

Refusing to eat
Eating in secret
Distorted body image
Large changes in weight, both up and down
Hiding weight loss by wearing bulky clothes
Hoarding and hiding food
Muscle weakness
Disappearing after eating—often to the bathroom
Depression
Dizziness
Feeling cold all the time
Irritability
Sleep problems
Thinning of hair on head, dry and brittle hair
Muscle weakness
Dizziness
Feeling cold all the time
Sleep problems

Causes

Eating disorders are often associated with feelings of helplessness, sadness, anxiety, and the need to be perfect. This can cause a person to use dieting or weight loss to provide a sense of control or stability. The one other main reason is magazines, movies, and the tobacco industry promotes unrealistic role models for beauty and weight. So teens started Dieting to reduce their weight. It is not effective but harmful.

Eating Disorder Treatment

There is no proper treatment for the eating disorder; family therapy is one of the keys to eating healthily again. The main problem is to recognize this. They may be secretive about their eating habits so that even their family and friends are not aware that they have a problem. Eating disorder will not disappear overnight like many people wish for. Parents and other family members are important in helping a person see that his or her normal body shape is perfectly fine and that being thin doesn’t make anyone happy.

It takes a joint effort between parents and their son or daughter to fight this eating disorder (overweight). The doctor may recommend that a person stay in the hospital for a few days if the medical condition is unstable or dangerous.

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Eating Disorders: Anorexia and Bulimia

Sunday, February 25th, 2007

The incidences of eating disorders in our society have been steadily increasing over the last few years. It now occurs in 1 out of every 100 women. Nineteen out of 20 people who suffer from eating disorders are young women between 18 and 25.

Studies have found that our social habits and expectations increase the likelihood of the disorder in our young women. The emphasis on outward appearances and thinness are targeted daily through peer pressure and how our society markets its Health and Fitness Products and Services.

Yes obesity is definitely a problem in our society, and we have guidelines for Health and Nutrition, but the majority of young women fail to follow the guidelines in an effort to gain immediate gratification or have had abnormal eating habits throughout their lifetime.

Anorexia Nervosa:

Case Study:

Jennifer is 20 years old. She is very attractive and has always been an over achiever. From an early age she prided herself on her figure. She watched her diet, exercised daily and maintained a regiment of self-discipline. She has always been thin, but has never been satisfied with her weight or appearance. She continually strives to lose more weight. She is 5’ 6” and weighs 85 lbs.

Jennifer is unaware of the fact that she is undernourished, therefore she sees no problem with her appearance or weight.

How does this happen??

Learned behavior has a great deal to do with why this happens. Many young women develop anorexia-like patterns as our society is pressured with the pursuit of thinness. Many women are anorexic based on the eating patterns they have developed by trying to accomplish unrealistic weight goals.

Fashion models, long distance runners, women athletes and dancers commonly have anorexia-like traits.

  1. An intense fear of becoming obese. Even as they lose more weight.
  2. Inaccurate vision of how their bodies appear. Feeling fat when in actuality they are very thin and emaciated.
  3. Continual weight loss. 25% or more of their original body weight.
  4. Refusal to gain weight, which would place them in a normal body weight range.

Physical Dangers:

A rigorous dieting regime will send the body into starvation mode. Then the physical effects will start to manifest themselves:

Thyroid hormones will become abnormal. Adrenal, growth hormones and blood-pressure hormones also become abnormal.

Heart functions change. The heart pumps less efficiently, muscles become weak and thin. Heart rhythms many change. Blood pressure levels fall.

GI function can become abnormal. Diarrhea occurs as the lining of the digestive tract slow.

High levels of Vitamin A and Carotene in the blood.

Reduced levels of Protein.

An increase in fine body hair, skin dryness and deceased skin temperatures.

Brain activity becomes abnormal. Loss of sleep and feeling of never having enough rest.

Anorexia Nervosa is hard to diagnose, because almost everyone in our society is in pursuing thinness. Denial and deception are common place for young women with Anorexia, therefore it takes a skilled professional to diagnose Anorexia.

Bulimia

Bulimia occurs in women of all ages, but is more common among those under 30. Bulimia is more common than Anorexia and in males. Only a small percentage of people who are Bulimic show signs of Anorexia.

Case Study:

Carry is a women in her late twenties, she maintain a normal weight range and obsesses about food. She starves herself then binges, when she has eaten too much she vomits.

Carry, like 60% of people with Bulimia, starts to binge after a period of extreme dieting. The most popular binge foods are food that are high in sugar and fat, and are easy to eat in large amounts. (cookies, cakes, ice cream, and bread products)

The side effects of the binge eating are swollen hands and feet, bloating, fatigue, headaches, nausea and pain.

Physical Dangers:

Fluid and Electrolyte imbalances.

Abnormal Heart rhythms

Kidney dysfunction which can cause bladder infections and kidney failure.

Irritation to the pharynx, esophagus, and salivary glands.

Erosion of teeth and dental caries.

Use of laxatives can cause injury to the intestinal tract.

Bulimia has been described as a socially approved method of weight control. Practiced among women in the upper-classes because of social obligations which include many dinners and parties.

Both Anorexia and Bulimia are socially generated eating disorders generated by our need for the “perfect image”, resulting in self-destructive eating patterns.

Listen to your Body, it is Wiser than you Think. Respect your own unique traits and Diet sensibly.

Resources:

WebMD
http://my.webmd.com

Eating Disorder Treatment and Helpline
http://edhelpline.com

National Eating Disorders Association
http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

Anorexia and Bulimia Care
http://www.anorexiabulimiacare.co.uk

This article is freely available for reprint provided that the resource box at the end of the article is left intact and the article is published complete.

About The Author
Written by Tina M. Rideout, For more information about Health and Fitness visit:
http://clean-living-nutritional-supplements.com
gworkp@yahoo.com

Eating Disorders: Facts About Eating Disorders and the Search for Solutions

Sunday, February 18th, 2007

Eating is controlled by many factors, including appetite, food availability, family, peer, and cultural practices, and attempts at voluntary control. Dieting to a body weight leaner than needed for health is highly promoted by current fashion trends, sales campaigns for special foods, and in some activities and professions. Eating disorders involve serious disturbances in eating behavior, such as extreme and unhealthy reduction of food intake or severe overeating, as well as feelings of distress or extreme concern about body shape or weight. Researchers are investigating how and why initially voluntary behaviors, such as eating smaller or larger amounts of food than usual, at some point move beyond control in some people and develop into an eating disorder. Studies on the basic biology of appetite control and its alteration by prolonged overeating or starvation have uncovered enormous complexity, but in the long run have the potential to lead to new pharmacologic treatments for eating disorders.

Eating disorders are not due to a failure of will or behavior; rather, they are real, treatable medical illnesses in which certain maladaptive patterns of eating take on a life of their own. The main types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. A third type, binge-eating disorder, has been suggested but has not yet been approved as a formal psychiatric diagnosis. Eating disorders frequently develop during adolescence or early adulthood, but some reports indicate their onset can occur during childhood or later in adulthood.

Eating disorders frequently co-occur with other psychiatric disorders such as depression, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders. In addition, people who suffer from eating disorders can experience a wide range of physical health complications, including serious heart conditions and kidney failure which may lead to death. Recognition of eating disorders as real and treatable diseases, therefore, is critically important.

Females are much more likely than males to develop an eating disorder. Only an estimated 5 to 15 percent of people with anorexia or bulimia and an estimated 35 percent of those with binge-eating disorder are male.

Anorexia Nervosa

An estimated 0.5 to 3.7 percent of females suffer from anorexia nervosa in their lifetime. Symptoms of anorexia nervosa include:

• Resistance to maintaining body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height

• Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though underweight

• Disturbance in the way in which one’s body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight

• Infrequent or absent menstrual periods (in females who have reached puberty)

People with this disorder see themselves as overweight even though they are dangerously thin. The process of eating becomes an obsession. Unusual eating habits develop, such as avoiding food and meals, picking out a few foods and eating these in small quantities, or carefully weighing and portioning food. People with anorexia may repeatedly check their body weight, and many engage in other techniques to control their weight, such as intense and compulsive exercise, or purging by means of vomiting and abuse of laxatives, enemas, and diuretics. Girls with anorexia often experience a delayed onset of their first menstrual period.

The course and outcome of anorexia nervosa vary across individuals: some fully recover after a single episode; some have a fluctuating pattern of weight gain and relapse; and others experience a chronically deteriorating course of illness over many years. The mortality rate among people with anorexia has been estimated at 0.56 percent per year, or approximately 5.6 percent per decade, which is about 12 times higher than the annual death rate due to all causes of death among females ages 15-24 in the general population. The most common causes of death are complications of the disorder, such as cardiac arrest or electrolyte imbalance, and suicide.

Bulimia Nervosa

An estimated 1.1 percent to 4.2 percent of females have bulimia nervosa in their lifetime. Symptoms of bulimia nervosa include:

• Recurrent episodes of binge eating, characterized by eating an excessive amount of food within a discrete period of time and by a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode

• Recurrent inappropriate compensatory behavior in order to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting or misuse of laxatives, diuretics, enemas, or other medications (purging); fasting; or excessive exercise

• The binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviors both occur, on average, at least twice a week for 3 months

• Self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight

Because purging or other compensatory behavior follows the binge-eating episodes, people with bulimia usually weigh within the normal range for their age and height. However, like individuals with anorexia, they may fear gaining weight, desire to lose weight, and feel intensely dissatisfied with their bodies. People with bulimia often perform the behaviors in secrecy, feeling disgusted and ashamed when they binge, yet relieved once they purge.

Binge-Eating Disorder

Community surveys have estimated that between 2 percent and 5 percent of Americans experience binge-eating disorder in a 6-month period. Symptoms of binge-eating disorder include:

• Recurrent episodes of binge eating, characterized by eating an excessive amount of food within a discrete period of time and by a sense of lack of control over eating during the episode

• The binge-eating episodes are associated with at least 3 of the following: eating much more rapidly than normal; eating until feeling uncomfortably full; eating large amounts of food when not feeling physically hungry; eating alone because of being embarrassed by how much one is eating; feeling disgusted with oneself, depressed, or very guilty after overeating

• Marked distress about the binge-eating behavior

• The binge eating occurs, on average, at least 2 days a week for 6 months

• The binge eating is not associated with the regular use of inappropriate compensatory behaviors (e.g., purging, fasting, excessive exercise)

People with binge-eating disorder experience frequent episodes of out-of-control eating, with the same binge-eating symptoms as those with bulimia. The main difference is that individuals with binge-eating disorder do not purge their bodies of excess calories. Therefore, many with the disorder are overweight for their age and height. Feelings of self-disgust and shame associated with this illness can lead to bingeing again, creating a cycle of binge eating.

Treatment Strategies

Eating disorders can be treated and a healthy weight restored. The sooner these disorders are diagnosed and treated, the better the outcomes are likely to be. Because of their complexity, eating disorders require a comprehensive treatment plan involving medical care and monitoring, psychosocial interventions, nutritional counseling and, when appropriate, medication management. At the time of diagnosis, the clinician must determine whether the person is in immediate danger and requires hospitalization.

Treatment of anorexia calls for a specific program that involves three main phases: (1) restoring weight lost to severe dieting and purging; (2) treating psychological disturbances such as distortion of body image, low self-esteem, and interpersonal conflicts; and (3) achieving long-term remission and rehabilitation, or full recovery. Early diagnosis and treatment increases the treatment success rate. Use of psychotropic medication in people with anorexia should be considered only after weight gain has been established. Certain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs ) have been shown to be helpful for weight maintenance and for resolving mood and anxiety symptoms associated with anorexia.

The acute management of severe weight loss is usually provided in an inpatient hospital setting, where feeding plans address the person’s medical and nutritional needs. In some cases, intravenous feeding is recommended. Once malnutrition has been corrected and weight gain has begun, psychotherapy (often cognitive-behavioral or interpersonal psychotherapy) can help people with anorexia overcome low self-esteem and address distorted thought and behavior patterns. Families are sometimes included in the therapeutic process.

The primary goal of treatment for bulimia is to reduce or eliminate binge eating and purging behavior. To this end, nutritional rehabilitation, psychosocial intervention, and medication management strategies are often employed. Establishment of a pattern of regular, non-binge meals, improvement of attitudes related to the eating disorder, encouragement of healthy but not excessive exercise, and resolution of co-occurring conditions such as mood or anxiety disorders are among the specific aims of these strategies. Individual psychotherapy (especially cognitive-behavioral or interpersonal psychotherapy), group psychotherapy that uses a cognitive-behavioral approach, and family or marital therapy have been reported to be effective. Psychotropic medications, primarily antidepressants such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs ), have been found helpful for people with bulimia, particularly those with significant symptoms of depression or anxiety, or those who have not responded adequately to psychosocial treatment alone. These medications also may help prevent relapse. The treatment goals and strategies for binge-eating disorder are similar to those for bulimia, and studies are currently evaluating the effectiveness of various interventions.

People with eating disorders often do not recognize or admit that they are ill. As a result, they may strongly resist getting and staying in treatment. Family members or other trusted individuals can be helpful in ensuring that the person with an eating disorder receives needed care and rehabilitation. For some people, treatment may be long term.

Research Findings and Directions

Research is contributing to advances in the understanding and treatment of eating disorders.

• NIMH-funded scientists and others continue to investigate the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions, medications, and the combination of these treatments with the goal of improving outcomes for people with eating disorders.

• Research on interrupting the binge-eating cycle has shown that once a structured pattern of eating is established, the person experiences less hunger, less deprivation, and a reduction in negative feelings about food and eating. The two factors that increase the likelihood of bingeing—hunger and negative feelings—are reduced, which decreases the frequency of binges.

• Several family and twin studies are suggestive of a high heritability of anorexia and bulimia, and researchers are searching for genes that confer susceptibility to these disorders. Scientists suspect that multiple genes may interact with environmental and other factors to increase the risk of developing these illnesses. Identification of susceptibility genes will permit the development of improved treatments for eating disorders.

• Other studies are investigating the neurobiology of emotional and social behavior relevant to eating disorders and the neuroscience of feeding behavior.

• Scientists have learned that both appetite and energy expenditure are regulated by a highly complex network of nerve cells and molecular messengers called neuropeptides . These and future discoveries will provide potential targets for the development of new pharmacologic treatments for eating disorders.

• Further insight is likely to come from studying the role of gonadal steroids. Their relevance to eating disorders is suggested by the clear gender effect in the risk for these disorders, their emergence at puberty or soon after, and the increased risk for eating disorders among girls with early onset of menstruation

Anorexia Nervosa

——————————————-

Anorexia Nervosa is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss.

Anorexia Nervosa has four primary symptoms:

Resistance to maintaining body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height

Intense fear of weight gain or being “fat” even though underweight.

Disturbance in the experience of body weight or shape, undue influence of weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of low body weight.

Loss of menstrual periods in girls and women post-puberty.

Eating disorders experts have found that prompt intensive treatment significantly improves the chances of recovery. Therefore, it is important to be aware of some of the warning signs of anorexia nervosa.

Warning Signs of Anorexia Nervosa:

Dramatic weight loss.

Preoccupation with weight, food, calories, fat grams, and dieting.

Refusal to eat certain foods, progressing to restrictions against whole categories of food (e.g. no carbohydrates, etc.).

Frequent comments about feeling “fat” or overweight despite weight loss.

Anxiety about gaining weight or being “fat.”

Denial of hunger.

Development of food rituals (e.g. eating foods in certain orders, excessive chewing, rearranging food on a plate).

Consistent excuses to avoid mealtimes or situations involving food.

Excessive, rigid exercise regimen–despite weather, fatigue, illness, or injury–the need to “burn off” calories taken in.

Withdrawal from usual friends and activities.

In general, behaviors and attitudes indicating that weight loss, dieting, and control of food are becoming primary concerns.

Anorexia nervosa involves self-starvation. The body is denied the essential nutrients it needs to function normally, so it is forced to slow down all of its processes to conserve energy. This “slowing down” can have serious medical consequences.

Health Consequences of Anorexia Nervosa:

Abnormally slow heart rate and low blood pressure, which mean that the heart muscle is changing. The risk for heart failure rises as heart rate and blood pressure levels sink lower and lower.

Reduction of bone density (osteoporosis), which results in dry, brittle bones.

Muscle loss and weakness.

Severe dehydration, which can result in kidney failure.

Fainting, fatigue, and overall weakness.

Dry hair and skin, hair loss is common.

Growth of a downy layer of hair called lanugo all over the body, including the face, in an effort to keep the body warm.

Statistics About Anorexia Nervosa:

Approximately 90-95% of anorexia nervosa sufferers are girls and women (American Psychiatric Association, 1994).

Between 0.5-1% of American women suffer from anorexia nervosa.

Anorexia nervosa is one of the most common psychiatric diagnoses in young women (Hsu, 1996).

Between 5-20% of individuals struggling with anorexia nervosa will die. The probabilities of death increases within that range depending on the length of the condition ( Zerbe, 1995).

Anorexia nervosa has one of the highest death rates of any mental health condition.

Anorexia nervosa typically appears in early to mid-adolescence.

Anorexia Nervosa in Males

——————————————-

Anorexia nervosa is a severe, life-threatening disorder in which the individual refuses to maintain a minimally normal body weight, is intensely afraid of gaining weight, and exhibits a significant distortion in the perception of the shape or size of his body, as well as dissatisfaction with his body shape and size.

Behavioral Characteristics:

• Excessive dieting, fasting, restricted diet
• Food rituals
• Preoccupation with body building, weight lifting, or muscle toning
• Compulsive exercise
• Difficulty eating with others, lying about eating
• Frequently weighing self
• Preoccupation with food
• Focus on certain body parts; e.g., buttocks, thighs, stomach
• Disgust with body size or shape
• Distortion of body size; i.e., feels fat even though others tell him he is already very thin

Emotional and Mental Characteristics:

• Intense fear of becoming fat or gaining weight
• Depression
• Social isolation
• Strong need to be in control
• Rigid, inflexible thinking, “all or nothing”
• Decreased interest in sex or fears around sex
• Possible conflict over gender identity or sexual orientation
• Low sense of self worth — uses weight as a measure of worth
• Difficulty expressing feelings
• Perfectionistic — strives to be the neatest, thinnest, smartest, etc.
• Difficulty thinking clearly or concentrating
• Irritability, denial — believes others are overreacting to his low weight or caloric restriction
• Insomnia

Physical Characteristics:

• Low body weight (15% or more below what is expected for age, height, activity level)
• Lack of energy, fatigue
• Muscular weakness
• Decreased balance, unsteady gait
• Lowered body temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate
• Tingling in hands and feet
• Thinning hair or hair loss
• Lanugo (downy growth of body hair)
• Heart arrhythmia
• Lowered testosterone levels

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.

They are serious emotional and physical problems that can have life-threatening consequences for females and males.

ANOREXIA NERVOSA is characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss.

Symptoms include:

• Refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for height, body type, age, and activity level

• Intense fear of weight gain or being “fat”

• Feeling “fat” or overweight despite dramatic weight loss

• Loss of menstrual periods

Extreme concern with body weight and shape BULIMIA NERVOSA is characterized by a secretive cycle of binge eating followed by purging. Bulimia includes eating large amounts of food–more than most people would eat in one meal–in short periods of time, then getting rid of the food and calories through vomiting, laxative abuse, or over-exercising.

Symptoms include:

• Repeated episodes of bingeing and purging

• Feeling out of control during a binge and eating beyond the point of comfortable fullness

• Purging after a binge, (typically by self-induced vomiting, abuse of laxatives, diet pills and/or diuretics, excessive exercise, or fasting)

• Frequent dieting

Extreme concern with body weight and shape BINGE EATING DISORDER (also known as COMPULSIVE OVEREATING) is characterized primarily by periods of uncontrolled, impulsive, or continuous eating beyond the point of feeling comfortably full. While there is no purging, there may be sporadic fasts or repetitive diets and often feelings of shame or self-hatred after a binge. People who overeat compulsively may struggle with anxiety, depression, and loneliness, which can contribute to their unhealthy episodes of binge eating. Body weight may vary from normal to mild, moderate, or severe obesity.

OTHER EATING DISORDERS can include some combination of the signs and symptoms of anorexia, bulimia, and/or binge eating disorder. While these behaviors may not be clinically considered a full syndrome eating disorder, they can still be physically dangerous and emotionally draining. All eating disorders require professional help.

About The Author
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With Much Love,
Arthur Buchanan
President/CEO
Out of Darkness & Into the Light
43 Oakwood Ave. Suite 1012
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Eating Disorders: What Exactly Are They?

Saturday, February 17th, 2007

Eating disorders are the diseases caused due to the abnormal eating behavior of an individual. Many people suffer from such eating disorders. They indulge in eating more and more food, which is considered abnormal. A normal person cannot have the amount of food, a person suffering from an eating disorder can have.

Such abnormal patterns of food are not a result of increased hunger. Person having eating disorders have other problems. These problems are related to their lifestyle. Eating disorders are a sign of a problematic time in a person’s life. People eat more food to suppress extreme emotions and depression.

There are also different types of eating disorders. Some types of eating disorders are: anorexia, compulsive eating, binge eating disorder and bulimia. These eating disorders are completely curable. You have to detect them on time and seek a medical advice. Treatment may takes a long time. But if the patient is given good support by his family and friends, he can fully overcome the disease.

There are certain misconception about eating disorders. One common misconception is that the males who have any eating disorder are considered to be gay. The fact is that sex has nothing to do with eating disorders. Secondly, if a man has one eating disorder, he cannot have another. Whereas, many people have multiple eating disorders.

The most common misbelieve is that teenage girls are more prone to eating disorders. It is a fact that you can have an eating disorder during your teenage years but anyone, be it children, young girls, and boys, can develop an eating disorder.

If someone around you seems to be suffering with eating disorders, help them. Such people become emotionally very weak and use food as a way to relieve themselves. Emotional support is the most important thing to treat these individuals.

About The Author
Jeff Dedrick

Do you want more information on anorexia, bulimia, and eating disorders? Go to http://www.bulimiaandanorexia.com for articles and info.

Eating Disorders And The Use Of Yoga In Prevention And Treatment

Friday, February 16th, 2007

It was not so long ago that eating disorders, such as bolimia and anorexia, were thought to be purely the result of mental conditions. More recently, though, some physical factors have been attributed to these conditions. It is now thought that eating disorders can be triggered by a multitude of factors, in combination, including those of a psychological, behavioural, social, or biological nature.

How Can Yoga Help With Eating Disorders

As with many conditions, eating orders can better be dealt with through a calm and focused mind. Depression and low self esteem are problems often associated with eating disorders, and Yoga can help with both.

It has been proven that Yoga can reduce depression, restoring a state of balance and well being in the individual. Also, there are different yoga practices which encourage heightened levels of self esteem, and promote a positive view of your own body. These are crucial factors with eating disorders, and it has been shown that the application of yoga can significantly increase recuperation and healing. Through the elimination of self judgment, yoga establishes a strong connection between mind and body. This, of course, is the natural state of wellness. By re-establishing this strong connection, mind and body will work in harmony to repair the damage.

Regular yoga practice will increase the overall fitness level of the human body, improving the immune system and giving it a good chance of fighting illnesses. This is helpful with Anorexia, for example, because the sufferer’s body will experience lower energy levels, and the condition reduces bone density.

In dealing with eating disorders, the yogic system identifies them as a problem related to the first chakra. There are different yoga poses that can be used to balance it: eg. staff, crab, full wind, and pigeon. By using grounding postures (eg mountain, goddess, standing squat and prayer squat) strength and courage can be increased. What these postures do is to re-establish the strong mind-body connections, and through that connection help overcome many physical obstacles. For anorexia sufferers, most of the yoga back bending poses help reduce depression, while forward bends can calm the spirit and reduce anorexia’s effects.

Because the mental state has an important role in eating disorders, meditation can be used successfully to reduce negative and harmful thoughts and feelings. An active, well targeted, meditation practice should prove to be very effective. The yoga poses work best when external factors are shut out, and concentration is allowed to focus on your inner self. Giving special attention to breathing, and also to inner sensations, will transport you to a state of greater awareness and calmness. This new state will allow you to go on further to explore new concepts, and hopefully pursue new goals that may have been impossible before.

As with many medical conditions, being aware of the bulimia or anorexia problem, and showing a constant and strong desire to defeat it, is a great method to reduce their effect. It is likely that an early adoption of yoga practices would make the patient more aware of the problem, thus making a positive contribution to an early cure. However, these yoga techniques are more usually used in the recuperative stages of the illness. That is a pity because, as with all illnesses in which it can be beneficial, yoga works best in the prevention stage, when the negative effects are still low and easier to over come.

About The Author
Roy Thomsitt is the owner and part author of http://www.routes-to-self-improvement.com.

roy@change-direction.com

The Differences Between Anorexia And Bulimia

Friday, February 16th, 2007

The distinctions between eating disorders can be confusing. While anorexia and bulimia may have some issues in common, other factors make them distinct. For parents, understanding the differences can be crucial, as early detection and proper treatment significantly improve the chances a child will recover. Following is information to help distinguish between the two.

Definition:

Anorexia is more common in teenagers, while bulimia is more often seen in women in their 20’s. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking there is a set age for either of these diseases. Here are differences between anorexia and bulimia based on the American Psychiatric Association’s definition:

Bulimia Nervosa

•Recurrent episodes of binge eating (minimum average of two binge-eating episodes a week for at least three months).
•A feeling of lack of control over eating during the binges.
•Regular use of one or more of the following to prevent weight gain: self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives or diuretics, strict dieting or fasting, or vigorous exercise.
•Persistent over-concern with body shape and weight.

Anorexia Nervosa

•Refusal to maintain weight that’s over the lowest weight considered normal for age and height.
•Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though underweight.
•Distorted body image.
•In women, three consecutive missed menstrual periods without pregnancy.

Signs & Symptoms:

While both disorders focus on an obsession with thinness, anorexics display noticeable, often severe weight loss while bulimics usually maintain a healthy weight. Here are other signs and symptoms of these two eating disorders:

Anorexia
•Avoids eating
•Exercises excessively
•Weighs food and counts calories
•Wears baggy clothes
•Takes diet pills
•Has dry skin and thinning hair
•Has fine hair on other parts of body
•Acts moody or depressed
•Feels cold
•Has frequent sensation of dizziness

Bulimia
•Has a puffy face
•Exercises excessively
•Has swollen fingers
•Has cuts and calluses on the back of the hands and knuckles
•Discoloring or staining of teeth
•Goes to the bathroom a lot after eating (to purge)

Health Issues:
Both disorders can cause severe health issues. Bulimia damages the digestive system and can affect electrolyte balances, which in turn damages organs. The starvation of anorexia causes the body to slow down to preserve energy, which in turn has adverse consequences. In extreme cases, both can lead to death. Other health issues include:

Anorexia
•Reduction of bone density
•Cessation of menstrual periods
•Fatigue
•Depression
•Irregular heart rate, leading to possible heart failure
•Mild anemia
•Muscle loss
•Possible kidney failure due to dehydration
•Low blood pressure

Bulimia
•Possible rupture of the esophagus due to frequent vomiting
•Fatigue
•Depression
•Stomach pains
•Irregular heart rate, leading to possible heart failure
•Constipation
•Tooth decay from stomach acid

Treatment:
When seeking treatment, parents may find their child resists admitting they are ill. In dealing with a child suffering from an eating disorder, treatment for involves a team of specialists: doctors, dieticians, and therapists. Self-help groups and treatment centers are also effective. Following are treatment goals and options for anorexia and bulimia, based on recommendations from the National Institute of Mental Health:

Anorexia: The treatment of anorexia has three main phases:
•Restore weight loss
•Treat psychological issues such as depression, self-esteem, and interpersonal conflicts
•Achieve long-term recovery and remission

The use of anti-depressants for treating anorexia should be considered only after weight gain has been established.

Bulimia: The main goal in the treatment of bulimia is to eliminate binging and purging.
•Establish healthy and consistent eating habits, i.e. three meals a day at regular times
•Encourage healthy, not excessive, exercise
•Treat psychological issues such as mood or anxiety disorders

The use of anti-depressants for treating bulimia has been shown to be helpful for those with bulimia and may help prevent relapse.

About The Author

Rob Zawrotny is a copywriter for MWI web design. He has been assisting Avalon Hills Eating Disorder Treatment Center in developing content for those seeking information about Anorexia and Bulimia. Visit http://www.avalonhills.org for more information.