Each day thousands of women -- and men,too --- spend most of their waking hours thinking about food. Their quest for thinness or their obsession with food drives them to punish their bodies through binge-eating, bingeing and purging, or through starvation. Eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. They are all serious emotional and physical problems that can have life-threatening physical consequences.
Anorexia Nervosa is characterized primarily by self-starvation and excessive weight loss. Bulimia Nervosa is characterized primarily by a secretive cycle of binge eating followed by purging using vomiting, laxatives, diuretics, or compulsive exercise. Binge Eating Disorder is characterized primarily by periods of impulsive gorging or continuous eating. It is binging without any purging behaviors. There is usually distress or a feeling of depression or guilt after the binge. There may be sporadic fasts or repetitive diets. Body weight may vary from being normal to being obese.
There are many people who do not have a clinical eating disorder, but who struggle on a daily basis with disordered eating. They realize that they don't eat like a "normal" person. They can be just as obsessed with thoughts of food as the person with the clinical eating disorder but they have not begun to have the associated emotional or physical consequences.
The most important point to remember is that eating disorders are progressive and they can result in death if not treated.
The following is a list of signs that can indicate if a person is having a problem with food and food related behaviors, and if they are interfering with their quality of life. This list was developed by Lisa King, M.C., therapist, and Lynn Smiley, PhD, Nutrition/Wellness Coordinator at the University of Arizona Student Health Service.
Unexplained changes in weight, food consumption or exercise.
Uncompromising desire to control food, weight or exercise.
Negative, demeaning judgement towards self about body, weight and eating disorders.
Use of amphetamines or stimulants to lose weight.
Preoccupation with food, weight or exercise.
Preoccupied with feelings of shame and guilt about their eating behavior and body.
Belief that their experiences in life are dramatically affected by their body weight.
Fear of gaining fat, rigid control of exercise or food intake to prevent gaining fat.
Any type of purging, i.e., vomiting, diuretics, laxatives, additional exercising, restricting food.
WHO HAS EATING DISORDERS?
Eating disorders are reaching epidemic proportions: 10-15% of all Americans suffer from some type of serious eating disorder; adults as well as children are all affected. At least 1/3 of all Americans are now considered to be obese and 60% are overweight. These numbers are staggering when we consider that we live in the age of "fat-free" food and fitness. Anorexia, bulimia, and B.E.D. (Binge Eating Disorder) can affect anyone regardless of social class, age, race, or gender. 86% of people with eating disorders report onset of an eating disorder by age 20; 10% report onset at ten years or younger. According to TIME magazine, 80% of all children have been on a diet by the time they've reached fourth grade.
Approximately 10% of all people with eating disorders are men. Many clinicians believe that this figure is underreported because many men are ashamed to admit that they may be suffering from something thought to affect only women. According to Newsweek magazine's May 2, 1994 issue, a study done of 131 Cornell university football players, found that 40% engaged in eating disordered behaviors (bingeing and purging), with 10% classified as having clinical eating disorders. Many men can be suffering from bulimia under the guise of "staying in shape" when they use compulsive exercise as a form of purging. "I only run 4-5 miles daily. I can't miss a day, or I'll feel depressed, or sluggish, or....." Men have the same issues with body image as do women. They want to be thin and look good to attract women. They may not want to look older or look like their fathers. The reasons are numerous.
Seventy-seven percent of individuals with eating disorders report that the illness can last anywhere from one to fifteen years or even longer in some cases. It is estimated that approximately six percent of serious cases die. In many others, there are long-term, irreversible consequences which can affect one's physical and emotional health. Up to now, only fifty percent all people with this devastating disease report being cured.
The cost of treatment is staggering. If the disease becomes acute and the person needs expensive medical monitoring and treatment, the cost of in-patient treatment can be ,000 or more per month. Many people will need repeated hospitalisations. This underlines the importance of early intervention before costs spiral to staggering levels
THERE IS A SOLUTION!
I believe in the power of prayer. I believe in salvation (accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior). I believe in His healing power and delivering power. I'm experienced it.
There is hope for you today in Jesus Christ. He has the power to heal you from this wicked disorder. He has the power to break the chains that have you bound.
Treating Anorexia & Bulimia - Click Here For Help!