Anorexia Nervosa Alert – Is Your Daughter Dying To Be Thin?

February 24th, 2007

Anorexia nervosa is a serious medical disorder that is statistically most prevalent in the adolescent teenage years of young women. It is estimated that 7% of the population suffers from eating disorders and if left untreated over 20% of them will die from it. Anorexia takes the lives of children everyday in this world and there are things you can do as a parent to identify anorexic behaviors and intervene to protect your children.

Anorexia nervosa is a condition where one becomes obsessed with losing weight and practices self-starvation in an attempt to achieve significant weight loss or to maintain extremely unhealthy level of body weight. Anorexics are terrified of gaining weight, and often believe they are very fat even though they are already very thin.

Anorexia is not just a condition related to food and eating, but takes its roots from a deeper psychological level. Food and eating becomes a destructive tool that one uses to deal and cope with other emotional problems. Anorexics will often reach out to other anorexics on the internet in “pro-ana” sites whereby they encourage each other to continue their weight loss journey. Pro-ana sites argue that anorexia is a lifestyle choice and not an actual disorder, and offer dysfunctional support to other victims of the disease. The risk to our youth from eating disorders is significant and there are things you can do as a parent to intervene:

WATCH FOR WARNING SIGNS

Excessive weight loss: A person suffering from anorexia is skinny and may end up losing more that 15% of their ideal body.

Diet restrictions: a person with anorexia continues to restrict foods and diet even when they are not overweight.

Food Obsession: an excessive preoccupation with food, calories, nutrition, or cooking methods is also a sign of anorexic behavior.

Distorted body image: complaints of feeling bloated, nauseated, or fat even when the person is thin or underweight, and also denying feelings of hunger.

Excessive exercising: Anorexia may cause a person to complain about feeling bloated or nauseated even when she eats normal—or less than normal—amounts of food.

Cold Sensitivity: A person suffering from anorexia may feel cold even though the temperature is normal or only slightly cool.

Fatigue: a person suffering with anorexia will often show signs of fatigue and inability to concentrate on most tasks (except food and related weight topics).

Lack of social interaction: living with anorexia nervosa can become complicated when trying to hide it in social settings involving food and eating. Avoidance of social activities that include food is a common sign.

Depressed immunity: a person suffering with anorexia may have a weakened immune system and have frequent colds, illnesses and a general feeling of not feeling well.

Depression: anorexics will often exhibit signs of depression, anxiety, guilt and sadness while struggling with their disorder.

Physical changes: a person with anorexia over time may exhibit tell-tall physical characteristics such as; downy hair growth on the face, loss of menstruation cycles, dry nails, dry hair, constipation, headaches and possible hair loss.

Internet behaviors: a person with anorexia may be visiting pro-anorexic sites on the internet that offers encouragement and support of this disorder. Check your computers browser cache to review the history of websites it has visited.

If you suspect that one of your family members is suffering from anorexia nervosa it is important to take action now to arm yourself with information about the disorder and steps you can work towards to provide help and assistance. For more information on the types of treatment methods available you can visit: http://www.anorexiabulimiahelp.com/eating-disorders-treatment.htm

About The Author
S.A. Smith is a freelance writer, correspondent, and contributing editor of the Anorexia Bulimia Help resource site and can be reached at http://www.anorexiabulimiahelp.com.

Anorexia – a Game of Control!

February 23rd, 2007

This article will help you see what lies behind the eating disorder called Anorexia Nervosa, giving Anorexia tips. Low self-esteem produces a game of control. It causes a person to suffer in silence – suffering that can lead to anorexia.

Do you struggle with painful feelings about yourself, as a person? We can have so much in our western world, but lack the one thing we most desire – acceptance and a feeling of self worth!

Tania was a beautiful teenage girl. She was given compliments, but felt unable to accept them. Her distorted image of her body led her to become anorexic. This article is not primarily about the signs and symptoms of anorexia. It’s purpose is to help the reader discover what lies behind the eating disorder called anorexia nervosa.

First of all, we need to understand how low self-esteem and anorexia are related.

The Link Between Low Self-esteem and Anorexia

A sense of low self-esteem can be caused through inadequate nurturing as a result of emotional, physical or sexual abuse as a child. Abuse is when a person uses their power or position to force another person to perform in order to meet their needs.

Emotional abuse is the subtlest form of abuse. Most of us at some time or other, whether to a greater or lesser degree, have been victims of emotional abuse. It could come from anyone who has a position of authority who requires you to perform in order to have his or her needs met.

Tania was a victim of emotional abuse. Her self-rejection grew as her parents were not able to meet her emotional needs even though she lacked nothing materially.

Emotional abuse usually begins as a generational problem. Tania’s parents did not know how to meet her needs as they themselves had unmet needs. They were what we call an ‘adult child’, searching for someone to nurture them and fulfil their needs.

Tania sensed these needs and subconsciously sought to fulfil them by ‘being there’ for her parents. As opposed to the adults ‘being there’ to meet her emotional needs! Tania listened as her parents shared their challenges but neither of them were able to spend quality time with her to allow her to open up and share her concerns. Tania had a false sense of security because she felt needed, but lacked someone to care for her own needs. This left her feeling abandoned and abused because she was not being affirmed.

As Tania did not have her own emotional needs met she was left with feelings of low self-worth, emptiness, loneliness, self-hate and depression. To compensate for her feelings of low self-worth she grew up putting more emphasis on `doing’ rather than being’. This set the scene for Tania to become anorexic!

Can you relate to Tania in some way? Do you feel empty inside wishing someone would meet your inner needs? Keep reading and you will discover how you can become all you can be.

Low Self-Esteem Is the Root of All Addictions- Including Anorexia Nervosa

It has been said that addictions are an attempt to hide the real ‘me’ from the outside world. Addictions can come in many forms to help you feel better, change your mood and avoid painful feelings. In an attempt to avoid pain one can subtly be led into deception, lies and denial. Anorexia Nervosa was Tania’s way of changing her perception of herself – her intense, irrational fear of being fat kept her in a cycle of deception and control. Let’s look at how this cycle works.

Low Self-Esteem Produces A Game of Control

Those with low self-worth often convey a sense of control. To avoid others seeing the real person, and in fear of falling victim again, they may either control others by being assertive, or control themselves by being non-assertive.

Tania’s mother’s commented to me that from her perspective she felt Tania used her eating disorder to control and manipulate her. It was like Tania was, consciously or subconsciously, trying to control both herself and her mother.

The Non-assertive Approach of Control

The person with a non-assertive approach sees self-worth as being based on what people think about himself/herself: it is important at any cost to gain the approval of others. Sufferers of anorexia go to extreme lengths to achieve their goal of acceptance.

It is important to note that in endeavouring to deal with low self-worth, a person can swing from being non-assertive to assertive, or visa versa. One can start out as an assertive achiever, as we will discuss in the next section, and swing to become a non-assertive, non-achiever or “loser”.

The non-assertive approach produces a cycle, which begins with denial and a desire to please because of fear of rejection. These people become resentful and angry with themselves and others when their goal is not achieved, which leads to depression and increased feelings of rejection of self or others. Then in order to feel better about themselves, they begin the cycle of control again.

The Assertive Approach of Control

The person with an assertive approach strives to feel good about himself/herself by meeting certain standards. Feelings of never doing well enough or being good enough can create a fear of failure, which results in both a drive for perfectionism and control of self and others.

Life becomes a problem to be solved for anorexia nervosa sufferers. They are constantly caught up in ‘doing’ rather than ‘being’ content, restful and enjoying life. If you have feelings of never doing well enough or being good enough you will know what I mean!

The perfectionist has inflexible rules on how people should act or think. Deep down, it is felt that self-value is only obtained through achievement; therefore new challenges or other people’s opinions are threatening, as the perfectionist feels that mistakes are to be avoided at any cost to prevent shame.

The assertive approach also produces a cycle, which begins with denial and a desire to control self and others through fear of failure. To achieve this goal the assertive person is legalistic and critical of self and others. These people become defensive and angry when their goal is not achieved, which leads to feelings of loneliness and depression. To feel better about themselves they begin the cycle of control again to achieve their goal.

Life becomes a game of control! How do we get out of this cycle we get ourselves into through low self-worth?

For all who struggle with low self-esteem, I invite you to visit our website (www.ydyc.org) and see a cartoon presentation that will give you hope and freedom from the cycle of deception and control. It will help you make a fresh start and become all you can be.

As a trained nurse I strongly recommend that you seek professional help if you are suffering from anorexia nervosa.

About The Author
Wilma Watson

Trained nurse, author, and speaker, Wilma Watson has been helping people overcome life’s challenges for over 35 years. Her encouraging words have helped thousands reach their full potential. Wilma is the producer of a unique website that makes spirituality fun and simple. Visit her site at www.ydyc.org.

Aurora divorce mediation

Eating Disorders And How To Treat Them

February 19th, 2007

Many people are having problems with their weight. These weight problems are the results of a person’s eating habits. In the United States, there are about 50 million of Americans are enroll weight loss programs. However, there are also people who wishes that they would have a lesser weight and resulted to suffering from eating disorders.

Eating disorders may be categorized as a psychiatric problem. Although many experts say that obesity is not truly a psychiatric problem, they consider that the state of being obese is also a form of eating disorders. Some people who are trying to lose weight may lead to the improper obsession of thinking of a person that his dieting becomes abnormal.

Another form of eating disorder is the anorexia nervosa. This form of eating disorder may happen to those people who may have a normal or a little above the average weight. These people think that their body is always overweight. This illness may begin to those who that have continuous diet regimens and eventually led to restraining the person’s balanced eating.

Anorexia nervosa can be identified to most women that are teenagers and are in their early adult stages. Although it is not common to males and to older adults, it can also occur to these types of people. The known classic dieters do not eat any food in a day which lead them to starvation. The self-starvation of a person is the point where he suppresses hunger sensations, which may lead an individual to become skeletal in appearance. These individuals are considered anorexic by type because they suffer from phobia on gaining weight.

Bulimia can be truly associated to many dieters especially to those individuals aged 17 to 25 years old. The process of bingeing and purging of most bulimics can make an individual addicted on what he has started in his diet regimen. Most of the time a person can no longer control the binge and spurge cycle that and led a person to be underweight and or even obese. However, most bulimics appear to be normal and have a normal body weight. Most of the time, the process in which they do their dieting is kept to themselves because most bulimics are shameful of their activities of bingeing and purging.

There are side effects an individual may suffer from for being bulimic especially for women that are actively in this process of dieting. An irregular menstrual cycle may occur to some women and the decrease of sexual interest may be experienced. Most bulimics have disturbing behavior on whatever things they would like to do. There are instances where bulimics have tendencies to be drug addicts and alcoholic. Some of which have records of shoplifting and other cases that are associated in such acts.

There are some different approaches on how to treat these forms of disorders. These ways may help bring back the proper eating and correct way to have a balanced diet. A well-known stage for bulimics could return the right eating pattern by not practicing the activity of bingeing and purging. They are able to control the incorrect dieting behavior on the diet regimen.

A consultative approach that would be advisable to those bulimics and anorexic is the therapy program. Many of the patients have been found to cooperate well and let themselves to be educated in psycho educational programs that will give them the information on the illness.

About The Author
Robert Thatcher is a freelance publisher based in Cupertino, California. He publishes articles and reports in various ezines and provides eating disorder resources on http://www.about-eating-disorder.info.

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

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
Listen to Arthur Buchanan on the Mike Litman Show!
http://freesuccessaudios.com/Artlive.mp3 THIS LINK WORKS, LISTEN TODAY!

With Much Love,
Arthur Buchanan
President/CEO
Out of Darkness & Into the Light
43 Oakwood Ave. Suite 1012
Huron Ohio, 44839
www.out-of-darkness.com
www.adhdandme.com
www.biologicalhappiness.com
567-219-0994 (cell)
arthur@out-of-darkness.com

Help for Anorexia Nervosa

February 17th, 2007

There are various approaches for the treatment of anorexia nervosa and what is appropriate will be specific to the needs and circumstances of each particular patient. Anorexia nervosa is a very difficult disease to treat as the patients do often not accept that they are ill, or doing anything that is inappropriate, or likely to have a detrimental effect on their health.If the sufferer’s do not have any success with treatment, then occasionally it can be helpful to have a brief or extended period of hospitalization. This can be beneficial as it removes any outside pressures and access to things such as pro anorexia web sites that can undermine treatment and encourage the sufferer to continue with their regime.

There are some specialist centers for anorexia nervosa that encompass treatments such as psychotherapy and counseling. This can help the patient to be able to see people that previously suffered from anorexia and so understand the illness and the mental and physical effects that this is having on them.

Doctors who treat anorexics will often prescribed psychotropic drugs that are thought to help the sufferer to cope with the symptoms and compulsions, that are associated with anorexia nervosa. Sometimes a course of antidepressants is prescribed to help the mood of the sufferer and help them cope better. One problem with anorexia nervosa is that patients often go back to their previous eating and behavioral patterns, after a seemingly successful period of treatment has been achieved. Some figures quote that over a third of all successfully treated patients have some form of regression back to their past behavior. Many anorexia nervosa suffers have relapses, often between six months and one and a half years of their treatment. It can be very helpful for the sufferer to be in contact with a support group for people with the same disorder. This way they are not left on their own to cope and have help and support if they need it. Understanding anorexia nervosa and finding out more about the disease and its effects and causes can go a long way towards helping the sufferer see the illness in context and not just from their own perspective.

Please understand that getting help for anorexia is very hard for the sufferer to ask for as they do not believe at first there is anything wrong with them and so they may already be well into the critical stages even before anyone realises whats happening.

Mayoor Patel has published a best selling book on “The Truth about Anorexia” which can be found at my website which can be found here http://www.BeatAnorexiaNow.com/

Eating Disorders: What Exactly Are They?

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

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

How To Handle A Child With Anorexia

February 16th, 2007

According to the National Institutes of Health, about 0.5 to 3.7 percent of girls and women will develop anorexia nervosa over a lifetime, and around 1.1 to 4.2 percent will develop bulimia nervosa. Nearly 0.5 percent of anorexics die each year from the illness, making it one of the top psychiatric illnesses to cause death.

Those suffering from anorexia are extremely fearful of gaining extra weight and may exhibit negative behaviors and actions leading to severe weight loss. Pounds are lost by over-exercising and restricting calorie intake. Anorexics view their bodies in a distorted way. When they look in the mirror, despite being dangerously thin, they see themselves as too heavy. For concerned parents who have children with anorexia, there is an array of assistance available from programs at hospitals, treatment centers, and clinics specializing in eating disorder recovery.

One of the problems in overcoming anorexia is that those with the illness don’t usually see it that way—that don’t think they are sick. If somebody with anorexia is in immediate danger, they might need emergency care for malnourishment, including dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.

Long-term treatment entails a team effort with professionals trained in eating disorders, including dieticians, mental health professionals, medical doctors, and treatment centers:

• Dieticians. A dietitian will create meal plans and monitor calorie intake to implement a healthy diet. However, there’s more to recovering from an eating disorder than changing one’s eating habits.

• Mental Health Professionals. People who suffer from anorexia suffer emotionally and mentally as well. They need change the way they view themselves to boost their self-esteem, and their mood can benefit from carefully prescribed and monitored antidepressants. Psychiatric treatment sessions typically last at least a year and take place one-on-one, with family, or with other people with eating disorders.

• Medical Providers. While those still in the early stages (less than 6 months) typically avoid hospital stays, for people with advanced cases, checking into a unit for anorexia or bulimia may be required. People with anorexia need constant monitoring of electrolytes, hydration levels, and vital signs. A doctor should be involved in the on-going medical treatment.

• Treatment Centers. Clinics across the country provide a live-in environment for children suffering from anorexia. These centers provide a treatment team—dieticians, psychiatrists, and doctors—under one roof. Such programs entail an extended stay.

While concerned parents can’t force children with anorexia to stop, it is imperative to support them in their struggles. More and more, doctors and patients advocate family-centered therapy—letting parents back into the treatment process. For decades, parents were seen as an anorexic’s biggest problem and were even blamed as the cause for the disorder. Research has shown that while parents can influence a child’s eating disorder, they are typically not the cause. Known as the Maudsley approach (after the London-based hospital it was developed in), family-centered therapy focuses on helping parents become a support system. Food is the “medicine” to treat the illness, and doctors coach parents and their child through meals and appropriate behavior in a clinical setting. After a few tries, families are then sent home to continue the treatment. Patients benefit from the love and support afamily network provides.

Regardless of the approach settled on, for any treatment program to be successful, those with anorexia need the continued support of family and friends. Following is advice for parents, courtesy of The National Eating Disorders Foundation (www.edap.org):

Educate yourself about eating disorders. Read as much material as you can in magazines, books, articles, and brochures.

Understand the differences between facts and myths about weight, nutrition, and exercise. Being armed with facts will help you reason with your child about the misconceptions they adhere to.

Be truthful. Don’t be afraid to voice your concerns to a child who struggles with eating or body image issues. Pretending the problem doesn’t exist does not help.

Be loving, yet firm. Loving your means you hold them accountable for their actions and the consequences of those actions. It does not mean you let them manipulate you. Do not make rules or promise you can’t or don’t intend to uphold, such as “I won’t tell anyone” or “If you do this anymore I won’t ever speak with you.”

Sincerely compliment your child on their terrific personality, accomplishments, or contributions. Reinforce the idea that beauty is not just skin deep.

Be a positive example in regard to your own eating, exercising, and self-acceptance.

Know when to share. It can be hard to know if you should share your concerns with somebody else, if at all. By addressing issues with eating or body image early, you stand a better chance of working through the issues with your child. Don’t wait to seek help until your child is extremely sick. They need as much support from you as possible.

About The Author

Rob Zawrotny is a copywriter for MWI. He has assisted Avalon Hills with developing content that is useful for parents who have children with eating disorders. Visit http://www.mwi.com and http://www.avalonhills.org for more information.

The Differences Between Anorexia And Bulimia

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.

Eating Disorders and the Narcissist

February 16th, 2007

Patients suffering from eating disorders binge on food and sometimes are both anorectic and bulimic. This is an impulsive behaviour as defined by the DSM (particularly in the case of BPD and to a lesser extent of Cluster B disorders in general). Some patients develop these disorders as a way to self-mutilate. It is a convergence of two pathological behaviours: self-mutilation and an impulsive (rather, compulsive or ritualistic) behaviour.

The key to improving the mental state of patients with dual diagnosis (a personality disorder plus an eating disorder) lies in concentrating upon their eating and sleeping disorders.

By controlling their eating disorders, patients assert control over their lives. This is bound to reduce their depression (even eliminate it altogether as a constant feature of their mental life). This is likely to ameliorate other facets of their personality disorders. Here is the chain: controlling one’s eating disorders controlling one’s life enhanced sense of self-worth, self-confidence, self-esteem a challenge, an interest, an enemy to subjugate a feeling of strength socialising feeling better.

When a patient has a personality disorder and an eating disorder, the therapist should concentrate on the eating disorder. Personality disorders are intricate and intractable. They are rarely curable (though certain aspects, like OCD, or depression can be ameliorated with medication). Their treatment calls for the enormous, persistent and continuous investment of resources of every kind by everyone involved. From the patient’s point of view, the treatment of her personality disorder is not an efficient allocation of scarce mental resources. Also personality disorders are not the real threat. If a patient with a personality disorder is cured of it but her eating disorders are aggravated, she might die (though mentally healthy)…

An eating disorder is both a signal of distress (“I wish to die, I feel so bad, somebody help me”) and a message: “I think I lost control. I am very afraid of losing control. I will control my food intake and discharge. This way I control at least ONE aspect of my life.”

This is where we can and should begin to help the patient. Help him to regain control. The family or other supporting figures must think what they can do to make the patient feel that he is in control, that he manages things his own way, that he is contributing, has his own schedules, his own agenda, matter.

Eating disorders indicate the strong combined activity of an underlying sense of lack of personal autonomy and an underlying sense of lack of self-control. The patient feels inordinately, paralysingly helpless and ineffective. His eating disorders are an effort to exert and reassert mastery over his own life. At this stage, he is unable to differentiate his own feelings and needs from those of others. His cognitive and perceptual distortions (for instance, regarding body image – somatoform disorders) only increase his feeling of personal ineffectiveness and his need to exercise even more self-control (on his diet, the only thing left).

The patient does not trust himself in the slightest. He is his worst enemy, a mortal enemy, and he knows it. Therefore, any efforts to collaborate with HIM against his disorder – are perceived as collaboration with his worst enemy against his only mode of controlling his life to some extent.

The patient views the world in terms of black and white, of absolutes. So, he cannot let go even to a very small degree. He is HORRIFIED – constantly. This is why he finds it impossible to form relationships: he mistrusts (himself and by extension others), he does not want to become an adult, he does not enjoy sex or love (which both entail a modicum of loss of control). All this leads to a chronic absence of self-esteem. These patients like their disorder. Their eating disorder is their only achievement. Otherwise they are ashamed of themselves and disgusted by their shortcomings (expressed through shame and disgust directed at their bodies).

There is a chance to cure the patient of his eating disorders (though the dual diagnosis of eating disorder and personality disorder has a poor prognosis). This – and ONLY this – must be done at the first stage. The patient’s family should consider therapy AND support groups (Overeaters Anonymous). Recovery prognosis is good after 2 years of treatment and support. The family must be heavily involved in the therapeutic process. Family dynamics usually contribute to the development of such disorders.

Medication, cognitive or behavioural therapy, psychodynamic therapy and family therapy ought to do it.

The change in the patient IF the treatment of his eating disorders is successful is VERY MARKED. His major depression disappears together with his sleeping disorders. He becomes socially active again and gets a life. His personality disorder might make it difficult for him – but, in isolation, without the exacerbating circumstances of his other disorders, he finds it much easier to cope with.

Patients with eating disorders may be in mortal danger. Their behaviour is ruining their bodies relentlessly and inexorably. They might attempt suicide. They might do drugs. It is only a question of time. Our goal is to buy them time. The older they get, the more experienced they become, the more their body chemistry changes with age – the better their prognosis.

About The Author
Sam Vaknin is the author of Malignant Self Love – Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain – How the West Lost the East. He is a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, and eBookWeb , a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent, and the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory Bellaonline, and Suite101 .

Until recently, he served as the Economic Advisor to the Government of Macedonia.

Visit Sam’s Web site at http://samvak.tripod.com
palma@unet.com.mk