Eating disorders are becoming more prevalent, particularly in younger age groups. At one point, eating disorders were diagnosed mostly in girls aged 13 to 17 years old. Now they are showing up in those aged 9 to 12 years old. The media and society, in general, glamorize women who are thin. Young girls are at an impressionable age and may try to live up to the images.
Anxiety is thought to be a precursor to a young lady developing an eating disorder such as anorexia nervosa. The name anorexia means to lose appetite and nervosa means anxiety. Many of those diagnosed with eating disorders have underlying anxiety issues that need addressing as well. These patients feel like they cannot control the anxiety eating away at them, so they develop an eating pattern they can control. They feel by controlling what and how much they eat, it will make them look better as well as feel better.
Signs and symptoms of anorexia include noticeable weight loss, exercising excessively, hair loss, the absence of monthly periods and depression. Those who have regular contact with someone who shows these symptoms, such as family, friends or teachers, should intervene and seek help for the afflicted. The earlier the diagnosis, the better the outcome. Use our self-check tool to see if you or a friend might be affected by an eating disorder.
The doctors will perform a complete evaluation of the person, looking at their weight, digestive issues, and hair loss. They will also perform blood work to check for iron levels and organ