Eating Disorders

Eating Disorder

What is it?

Eating disorders are a mental illness, the most common of which are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS). Roughly 90 percent of sufferers of eating disorders are women.

 

Eating disorders usually occur between the ages of 12 and 25, however the average age is 17. The shame often associated with this disease means that many women do not seek treatment.

Anorexia Nervosa
Is a preoccupation with food, dieting and often exercise, leading to extreme weight loss. Sufferers of anorexia nervosa often don’t acknowledge the weight loss and usually feel overweight even though they are emaciated.

Bulimia Nervosa
Is characterised by excessive bingeing of food follwed by extreme feelings of guilt. This is then usually compensated with extreme measures to rid those calories by inducing vomiting, abusing laxatives and diuretics or taking enemas. Individuals with bulimia nervosa are often normal weight or overweight but experience weight fluctuations.

Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS)
Refer to eating disorders with symptoms that do not fit under anorexia or buimia nervosa.

Causes

Individuals with eating disorders often use food and dieting as a way of controlling their life and coping with life’s stresses. There is no single cause of eating disorders, however genetic predisposition, environmental factors, life events and possibly even hormonal disturbances may play a role.

Symptoms

  • Extreme weight loss and denial about the weight loss
  • Being cold all the time
  • Hair loss
  • Fine hair growth on the face and body (Lanugo)
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • A desire to cook for others but not eat
  • A yellow tone to the skin if liver function is effected

Diet & Lifestyle

An intensive and personalised treatment plan is often required for an individual suffering from an eating disorder. This often involves psychological , medical and dietary intervention.

For further information please contact us here at Sydney Integrative Medicine.

**Please note these are general recommendations only, and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor, health practitioner or pharmacist. We highly recommend that you contact your preferred medical practitioner for further testing if symptoms persist.

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