Like many disorders, there is still confusion among the masses specific to the definition of an eating disorder. A general description of an eating disorder can be summarized as someone suffering from abnormal eating habits. Many of these disorders begin during adolescence, but children and adults can be diagnosed as well. Eating disorders are treatable, but they can affect anyone regardless of age, sex, gender, race, or economic status.
Some symptoms of an eating disorder can include abnormal heart beating, lack of concentration, isolation, and problems with sleeping. Many people have an abnormal fear of gaining weight. They may avoid food or engage in binge eating, followed up with vomiting. Other people may not fit perfectly inside a general definition; however, a disorder may still be present. There are three common eating disorders that include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.
Anorexia nervosa can be found in those who are underweight. Sufferers of anorexia tend to avoid food since they have an unrealistic view of their body. Some common symptoms comprise of low blood pressure, and dry hair, skin, and nails. Bulimia nervosa is when a person is binge eating and following this up with the use of laxatives and vomiting, whereas, binge eating disorder doesn’t include the regurgitation of food. Instead, the person overeats and allows themselves to become obese.
What Can a Person Do to Change?
Fortunately, eating disorders can be treated. The very first thing a person needs to do is seek out an evaluation. It’s essential to know what the specific problem is and then find a treatment plan. In many cases, sometimes the best choice involves some type of inpatient eating disorder treatment center.
When a patient is medically at risk, inpatient treatment is necessary and will focus on keeping the patient stable. Malnutrition has a significant effect on the cognitive function of the patient. It’s essential to focus on keeping the patient’s vitals inside a healthy range. The initial, main target for treatment will be restoring weight. While everyone is different, treatments include counseling, both individual and group settings. Group counseling can be very beneficial in reminding individuals they are not alone. Education in nutrition is also necessary. The patient must be introduced into a healthy eating style.
The Team Approach
Ideally, treatment for eating disorders needs to be completed with a team of professionals. Doctors, nurses, counselors, psychiatrists, and the patient much work together. A group of professionals can all hold the patient responsible as well as offering support when the patient needs it the most. Meals must be supervised, and patients must work hard to stick to their treatment plan.
Treatment of eating disorders can be hugely successful. Ultimately, it will be up to the patient to commit to change. Treatment of this kind is life-altering, so it’s vital for the patient to realize the ultimate change they are trying to make will be beneficial for them. Patience and persistence will pay off.