Eating Disorders-- National Institute for Mental Health

Eating Disorders-- National Institute for Mental Health -...

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Unformatted text preview: EATING DISORDERS NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH EATING DISORDERS NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF MENTAL HEALTH TABLE OF CONTENTS TWO WHAT ARE EATING DISORDERS ? FIVE ANOREXIA NERVOSA NINE BULIMIA NERVOSA TWELVE BINGE-EATING DISORDER FOURTEEN HOW ARE MEN AND BOYS AFFECTED ? FIFTEEN HOW ARE WE WORKING TO BETTER UNDERSTAND AND TREAT EATING DISORDERS ? TWO WHAT ARE EATING DISORDERS? AN EATING DISORDER is marked by extremes. It is pres- ent when a person experiences severe disturbances in eating behavior, such as extreme reduc- tion of food intake or extreme overeating, or feelings of extreme distress or concern about body weight or shape. A person with an eating disorder may have started out just eating smaller or larger amounts of food than usual, but at some point, the urge to eat less or more spirals out of control. Eating disorders are very complex, and despite scientific research to understand them, the biological, behavioral and social underpinnings of these illnesses remain elusive. The two main types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. A third category is eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS), which includes several variations of eating disorders. Most of these disorders are similar to anorexia or bulimia but with slightly different characteristics. Binge- eating disorder, which has re- ceived increasing research and media attention in recent years, is one type of EDNOS. Eating disorders frequently appear during adolescence or young adulthood, but some reports indicate that they can develop during childhood or later in adulthood. Women and girls are much more likely than males to develop an eating disorder. Men and boys account for an estimated 5 to 15 percent of patients with anorexia or bulimia and an estimated 35 percent of those with binge-eating disorder. Eating disorders are real, treat- able medical illnesses with complex underlying psychological and biological causes. They frequently co-exist with other psychiatric disorders such as depression, substance abuse, or anxiety disorders. People with eating disorders also can suffer from numerous other physical health complications, such as heart conditions or kidney failure, which can lead to death. Eating disorders are treatable diseases. Psychological and medicinal treatments are effective for many eating disorders. However, in more chronic cases, specific treatments have not yet been identified. In these cases, treatment plans often are tailored to the patients individual needs that may include medical care and monitoring; medications; nutritional counseling; and individual, group and/or family psychotherapy. Some patients may also need to be hospitalized to treat malnutrition or to gain weight, or for other reasons....
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Eating Disorders-- National Institute for Mental Health -...

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