An eating disorder is a very serious illness that can result in several health problems and take on many forms. There are two main types of eating disorders, Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa.
Anorexia is an eating disorder which involves starving yourself and food restriction. Patients struggling with anorexia usually weigh 15 percent less than the normal healthy weight in relation to their height. Up to 15% of people with anorexia die due to complications of the condition.
Bulimia nervosa, is another dangerous eating disorder. People who are bulimic binge eat thousands of calories in one sitting and then purge. Purging involves vomiting, compulsive exercise, fasting or the abusing of laxatives and diuretics. The binge-purge cycle can be repeated several times a week or even several times a day in very serious cases. Bulimia has many serious physical and psychological complications to be aware of. Some physical complications include dental problems, poor skin and hair, irregular periods, swollen glands, bowel problems, heart problems, and chemical imbalances. Psychological complications consist of depression, suicidal thoughts, self-mutilation, obsessive-compulsive disorders, sexual promiscuity, and kleptomania. Substance abuse is also typical among patients who suffer from bulimia.
Getting help is essential for individuals who are troubled by eating disorders. In some serious cases it’s a life or death situation. With treatment, support from others, and smart self-help strategies, people can overcome their eating disorder and gain true self-confidence.The first step in recovering from an eating disorder admitting that you have a problem. Another difficult, but crucial step is asking for help. Friends or family members may be shocked, confused, and maybe angry when you tell them the details about your eating disorder. They may be unsure of how to respond or the best way to help you. It’s important for to remain patient.
Next, the health problems must be addressed. Anorexia and bulimia can be deadly, and not just if you’re drastically underweight. Your health may be in great danger, even if you only occasionally purge, fast, or binge. It is extremely important to get a full medical evaluation. If the evaluation reveals health problems, treatment is a priority. In serious,life-threatening cases, some patients may even need to be hospitalized.
Finally creation of a long-term treatment plan is crucial. Depending on the level of severity, inpatient treatment may be necessary. Some treatment facilities include consults from doctors, psychologists, nutritionists, or psychiatrists. Eating disorder rehabs provide a safe place for someone to recover and become informed about their eating disorder. With the help of professionals, a treatment plan can be developed that is individualized to meet the patient’s needs. The treatment plan may include: continuing outpatient treatment,individual or group therapy, family therapy, eating disorder education, nutritional counseling, and medical monitoring. Eating disorders are a very serious condition and must be addressed.