Facts About Eating Disorders to Help You Provide the Right Kind of Help to a Loved One

Eating disorder concept shotIn America, an estimated 20 million women suffer from an eating disorder at some point. The figure for men is at 10 million. Eating disorders can affect anyone.

While images of skinny people who voluntarily make themselves vomit out the food they eat is a familiar association, many people who suffer from these disorders may not show outward signs.

Eating disorders may have origins at an early age

In the treatment of disorders such as anorexia nervosa, mental health professionals ask questions that will help them determine the cause of the condition. In most cases, the etiology is multifactorial. But studies have shown some patients already manifest concerns about their figure at six years of age.

This association is particularly strong in young girls suffering from anorexia nervosa.

Eating disorders affect every aspect of a person’s life

The emotional, mental, and physical suffering is obvious affectations of eating disorders. We must always remember that these conditions encompass every aspect of the person’s life. There is a disruption in daily activities (work, study), as well as in leisure and recreation.

Moreover, relationships suffer – that is, relationships with immediate family members, relatives, friends, neighbors, lovers, and co-workers.

Eating disorders can be fatal

Of the seven million Americans newly diagnosed every year with eating disorders, a thousand of them may die from complications of the disorder. Of the three main categories of eating disorders – anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating, the most fatalities are in anorexia nervosa.

Some of the causes of these fatalities are suicide, cardiovascular complications, kidney dysfunction, and pancreatitis. A team composed of medical and psychiatric personnel best manages eating disorders.

Fortunately, recovery is possible with eating disorders. If you usher your loved one into seeking help from the right team of professionals, then you can be optimistic about the future. Have your loved one evaluated as soon as you see signs of eating disorders.