LEARNING CENTER

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Please use the learning center to gain valuable information on the types of eating disorders, the symptoms, health risks and statistics associated with each eating disorder. Treatment information is also included regarding goals and available types of treatment for eating disorders.  Recovery is possible and included are recovery statistics.  If you have additional questions, please contact us at education@moeatingdisorders.org.

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by self-starvation and an extreme fear of gaining weight.

Symptoms

  • Extremely limited diet with established meal rituals
  • Sudden dramatic weight loss
  • Negative self-image
  • Regularly states he/she is “fat” or overweight
  • Denial of hunger
  • Frequently skipping meals
  • Eating in secrecy
  • Over exercising
  • Frequently weighing themselves
  • Withdraw from normal activities, family, and friends
  • Loss of menstruation
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Inability to understand the severity of eating disorder
  • Extreme anxiety about gaining weight
  • Behaviors are focused on control, weight, and dieting

I Won't Eat

Health Risks

Anorexia nervosa has characteristics of self-starvation. The denial of necessary nutrients forces the body to “slow down”. There can be severe health risks that stem from Anorexia Nervosa.

  • Frequently feeling cold
  • Dehydration that can lead to kidney failure
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Extreme dizziness or fainting
  • Muscle loss or weakness
  • Dry skin
  • Hair thinning and loss
  • Lanugo, a soft hair that covers the body
  • Menstruation loss
  • Reduction of bone density that can result in osteoporosis
  • Irregular heart rate that can result in heart failure

Statistics

  • Anorexia has the highest death rate amongst mental illnesses
  • Anorexia is one of the most common chronic illnesses amongst young women
  • Approximately 80% of women state they would like to lose weight
  • Approximately 90-95% of anorexia nervosa diagnosis are in women
  • Approximately 1 million men suffer from an eating disorder
  • Approximately 20% of anorexia nervosa patients will die
  • 1 in 10 eating disorder patients will receive treatment
  • The mortality rate associate with anorexia nervosa is 12 times higher than the death rate association with all causes of death for females 15-24 years old.

Bulimia nervosa is characterized by behaviors including bingeing and a compensatory behavior.

Symptoms

  • Negative self-image
  • Over exercising
  • Established meal and lifestyle rituals
  • Calluses on the back of the hands and knuckles as a result of self-induced vomiting
  • Discoloration of the teeth
  • Swelling of the jaw and cheeks
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Regularly states he/she is “fat” or overweight
  • Frequently weighing themselves
  • Eating in secrecy
  • Withdraw from normal activities, family, and friends
  • Regular intake of large amounts of food associated with a lack of control
  • Inappropriate compensatory behaviors including vomiting, diuretic abuse, and laxatives
  • Evidence of bingeing and purging behaviors
  • Behaviors are focused on control, weight, and dieting
 Sad Girl Sitting

Health Risks

  • Bulimia is an extremely dangerous eating disorder that has the potential to lead to many life-threatening complications
  • Damage to the entire digestive system
  • Chemical and electrolyte balances
  • Irregular heartbeat and heart failure
  • Dehydration
  • Low sodium and potassium that can lead to kidney failure
  • Chronic constipation and irregular bowel movements
  • Inflammation and possible rupture of the esophagus as a result from frequent vomiting
  • Tooth decay
  • Gastric rupture
  • Mouth sores
  • Acid reflux

Statistics

  • Most people suffering from bulimia nervosa appear to be average body weight
  • Approximately 4% of patients with bulimia nervosa will die
  • Risk of medical complications or suicide is increased for eating disorder
  • Approximately 1 million men suffer from an eating disorder
  • Approximately 80% of patients with bulimia nervosa are women
  • Many people suffering from bulimia nervosa recognize that their behaviors are unusual and perhaps dangerous to their health
  • Depression and suicide are frequently associated with bulimia nervosa

Binge Eating Disorder is characterized by recurrent episodes of consuming large quantities of food. It is associated with loss of control and shame.

Symptoms

  • Negative self-image
  • Regularly states he/she is “fat” or overweight
  • Secretive food behaviors (eating alone, hiding, stealing, and hoarding food)
  • Established meal and lifestyle rituals
  • Evidence of bingeing behaviors
  • Regular intake of large amounts of food associated with a lack of control
  • Eating when you are past the point of full
  • No planned meal times (eating throughout the day)
  • Feeling embarrassed during binge eating episodes
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Withdraw from normal activities, family, and friends
  • Behaviors are focused on control, weight, and dieting
Secret Illness

Health Risks

Binge eating disorder has many severe health risks that are also associated with obesity.
  • Weight gain
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep apnea
  • Stroke
  • Depression

Statistics

  • Binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder.
  • Approximately 1.6% of adolescents will suffer from binge eating disorder
  • Approximately 3.5% of women will suffer from binge eating disorder
  • Approximately 2% of men will suffer from binge eating disorder
  • Approximately 43% of individuals struggling with binge eating disorder will obtain treatment.
  • Binge eating disorder affects three times the number of those diagnosed with bulimia and anorexia combined.
  • It is more prevalent than breast cancer, schizophrenia, and HIV

Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorders (OSFED)

Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder do not meet the established criteria of other feeding or eating disorders, but still cause severe physical and emotional issues. If severe enough, it can require intervention and treatment. OSFED can cause serious issues regarding normal activities, family, and friends.

Body TypesOSFED can include but is not limited to:

  • Atypical anorexia nervosa: Similar to anorexia nervosa, but weight is not below normal
  • Bulimia nervosa: Similar to bulimia nervosa, but with less frequent behaviors
  • Binge eating disorder: Similar to binge eating disorder, but with less frequent behaviors
  • Purging disorder: Purging behaviors without binge eating
  • Night eating syndrome: excessive food consumption during nighttime

Additional Eating or Feeding Disorders

  • Sad MaleOrthorexia has characteristics that include an unhealthy obsession with otherwise healthy eating. It may also include unhealthy obsessions with exercising. Orthorexia is not currently a diagnosable eating disorder.
  • Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intact Disorder involves the inability to consume adequate amounts of food. It may lead to severe nutritional consequences. This disorder is similar to anorexia nervosa, but it does not contain psychological features.
  • Rumination Disorder is characterized by the regurgitation of food that been swallowed. The food that has been regurgitated is often spit out or reswallowed.
  • Pica is a form of disordered eating that is characterized by eating items that are not typically thought of as food. The substances being consumed do not contain nutritional value. The substances differ amongst age and availability, but they can include paper, soap, chalk, paint, clay, and many others.
  • Diabulimia is the reduction of insulin intake in order to lose weight. Diabulimia is a dual diagnosis where a patient has an eating disorder and diabetes, usually Type 1 Diabetes.
  • Chewing and Spitting Disorder is an eating disorder that involves individuals that chew up their food and then spit it out. This very serious behavior is done in order to lose weight.
  • Unspecified Feeding or Eating Disorder do not meet established criteria of other feeding and eating disorders, but still have significant issues.

Treatment Information

ResourcesEating disorder treatment is available and differs for every individual. Treatment usually consists of psychotherapy and medication. It is designed to promote healthy behaviors and prevent relapse.

  • Common goals during treatment
  • Medically stabilize the patient
  • Stabilize coexisting mental health issues
  • Treat and reduce long term medical complications
  • Treat patients healthy and nutritional habits
  • Improve the patients self-image
  • Stop destructive behaviors
  • Teach healthy coping mechanisms
  • Encourage motivation to help prevent relapse

 

Types of Treatment

TreatmentInpatient

  • Inpatient treatment is necessary if a patient is medically (severe health risks) and psychiatrically unstable (suicidal and unable to contract for safety).

Residential

  • Residential treatment is for patients that are medically stable and psychiatrically unstable.

Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP)

  • PHP is designed for patients that are medically and psychiatrically stable, but require daily assessment. This is for patients that unable to function in normal situations.

Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

  • IOP is designed for patients that are medically and psychiatrically stable. Patients do not require daily medical monitoring and are able to function in normal situations.

Outpatient

  • Outpatient treatment is for patients that are medically and psychiatrically stable. Patients do not require daily assessment and are able to function in normal situations. Patients may need outpatient therapy to continue in their recovery process.

Recovery

Recovery GroupNever Give UpRecovery is always developing for an individual. Proper treatment and patient dedication can make eating disorder recovery possible.

Statistics

  • Without treatment, up to 20%of people with eating disorders will die. With treatment, that number falls to 2-3%.
  • Eating disorder recovery takes an average of 2 years.
  • 1 in 10 eating disorder suffers will receive treatment
  • 85% of people with an eating disorder have a genetic predisposition
  • Research funding spent on those affected with Alzheimer’s disease is $88 per individual. Autism funding is $44 per affected individual. Eating Disorders are much more prevalent than both disorders, but only receive $0.93 per affected individual.