Eating Disorders - Eating Disorders Anorexia Nervosa...

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Eating Disorders Anorexia Nervosa Bulimia Nervosa Binge Eating Disorder Medical Complications Causes of Eating Disorders Treatment Helping the Person With an Eating Disorder For Further Information Message From the National Institute of Mental Health -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Each year millions of people in the United States are affected by serious and sometimes life-threatening eating disorders. The vast majority--more than 90 percent--of those afflicted with eating disorders are adolescent and young adult women. One reason that women in this age group are particularly vulnerable to eating disorders is their tendency to go on strict diets to achieve an "ideal" figure. Researchers have found that such stringent dieting can play a key role in triggering eating disorders. Approximately 1 percent of adolescent girls develop anorexia nervosa, a dangerous condition in which they can literally starve themselves to death. Another 2 to 3 percent of young women develop bulimia nervosa, a destructive pattern of excessive overeating followed by vomiting or other "purging" behaviors to control their weight. These eating disorders also occur in men and older women, but much less frequently. The consequences of eating disorders can be severe. For example, one in ten cases of anorexia nervosa leads to death from starvation, cardiac arrest, other medical complications, or suicide. Fortunately, increasing awareness of the dangers of eating disorders--sparked by medical studies and extensive media coverage of the illness--has led many people to seek help. Nevertheless, some people with eating disorders refuse to admit that they have a problem and do not get treatment. Family members and friends can help recognize the problem and encourage the person to seek treatment. This brochure provides valuable information to individuals suffering from eating disorders, as well as to family members and friends trying to help someone cope with the illness. The publication describes the symptoms of eating disorders, possible causes, treatment options, and how to take the first steps toward recovery. Scientists funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) are actively studying ways to treat and understand eating disorders. In NIMH-supported research, scientists have found that people with eating disorders who get early treatment have a better chance of full recovery than those who wait years before getting help. ANOREXIA NERVOSA
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People who intentionally starve themselves suffer from an eating disorder called anorexia nervosa. The disorder, which usually begins in young people around the time of puberty, involves extreme weight loss--at least 15 percent below the individual's normal body weight. Many people with the disorder look emaciated but are convinced they are overweight. Sometimes they must be hospitalized to prevent starvation.
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Eating Disorders - Eating Disorders Anorexia Nervosa...

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