February is National Eating Disorder Week

Febuary 23rd – March 1st 2015


What is an Eating Disorder?


An eating disorder is extreme behaviors, emotions, and attitudes toward weight and food issues. The three main types of eating disorders are anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder.


What is Anorexia Nervosa?


Anorxia is when one restricts their food intake to below their requirement for physical health. Those with anorxia have a fear of weight gain. They are unable to recognize their actualy shape or know how serious their condition is.


What is Bulimia Nervosa?


Bulimia is when one eats a large amount of food at one time and vomits or takes laxatives in order to prevent weight gain. People with bulimia usually feel out of control during these occurences. They judge themselves based in their weight and shape.


What is Binge Eating Disorder?


Those with binge eating disorder usually eat a large amount of food at one time. They can feel out of control during these episodes. People with this disorder might have the feeling of guilt and shame when they eat and usually eat alone. These individuals will eat until they are at a point of discomfort.


What are the Signs and Symptoms of an Eating Disorder?

  • Frequent      comments about feeling “fat”

  • When weight      loss, dieting and control of food are primary topics

  • Disappearence      of large amounts of food in short periods of time

  • Evidence of      purging might includ frequent trips to the bathroom after meals, smells of      vomiting, presence of laxatives or diuretics

  • Skips meals

  • Hides body      with baggy clothes

  • Maintains      excessive, rigid exercise regimen due to the need to “burn off” calories

  • Uses      excessive amounts of mouthwash, mints and gum


How can you Help somone with an Eating Disorder?


When starting a conversation with someone who may have an eating disorder you should be supportive and non-judgmental. You need to let them know that they are not alone.


Here are some tips:


  • Know to difference between facts and myths about weight, nutrition and exercise

  • Ask them what you can do to help

  • Listen openly

  • Explain the reasons for your concerns but try not to mention specific eating behaviors

  • Ask if they are willing to explore these concerns with a healthcare professional

  • Don’t invade their privacy and contact the patient’s doctors

  • Don’t insist the person eat every type of food at the table

  • Don’t offer more help than you are qualified to give


**It is best to see your primary care physician regularly in order to prevent and get help with eating disorders! Please call 773-702-0660 to make an appointment at Friend Family Health Center.**


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