Eating disorders are significant mental illnesses. The DSM-5 presently recognizes four eating disorders, and while they can affect anybody, they are most common among women.
Women’s Eating Disorder Statistics
These are some statistics on female eating disorders:
- Women with eating disorders are most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 18 and 21.
- Females are more likely than males to suffer from binge eating disorders, bulimia, and anorexia.
- Women seek treatment for eating disorders at a higher rate than men with the same illnesses.
- Females are twice as likely as males to suffer from eating disorders.
Different Types of Eating Disorders in Women
There are numerous types of eating problems. The most common eating disorders are binge eating disorder, bulimia nervosa, and anorexia nervosa. This section will provide information about female anorexia and bulimia nervosa.
Women and Anorexia
Anorexia is an eating disorder marked by a preoccupation with gaining weight. This dread promotes severe food restriction, resulting in significant weight loss. Anorexia can eventually lead to malnutrition.
Despite the significant weight loss, people suffering from anorexia will continue to perceive themselves as overweight or obese. Individuals suffering from anorexia will base their self-esteem on their weight.
Women are three times more likely than men to suffer from anorexia.
Women and Bulimia Nervosa
Bulimia affects about 2% of women in the US. Bulimia suffers from binge-purge cycles. Binge eating is when someone consumes a big amount of food in a short period of time that most people would not consume. Bulimics will purge to “make up” for the binge. Vomiting, laxative use, compulsive exercise, and fasting are all examples of purging behaviors.
Eating Disorders Quiz
This brief, time-saving quiz is intended for anyone who suspects they may have an eating disorder.
The items listed below will assist you in determining whether you may require further assistance to navigate a condition…..
Women’s Eating Disorder Risks
Eating disorders have a number of detrimental consequences. Many mental diseases not only have a severe emotional impact, but they can also have substantial physical implications. This is why eating disorders are among the most lethal mental conditions.
Following are some of the physical consequences of eating disorders in women:
- Muscle damage, including heart damage. This can lead to cardiac failure.
- stomach ache
- Diarrhea or constipation
- rupture of the stomach
- Unbalance of electrolytes
- Dental issues as a result of recurrent vomiting
- Sleeping problems
- Concentration issues
- Menstrual period absence
- Bone density loss, which can lead to osteoporosis
- Cancer of the mouth or throat
Pic: Eating Disorders
What Causes Female Eating Disorders?
There is no single cause of an eating disorder. An eating disorder is frequently the result of a mix of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors.
Nonetheless, research has shown that some risk factors enhance the likelihood of developing an eating disorder. These are some of the risk factors:
- Having a family member who suffered from an eating disorder
- Dieting History
- Diabetes type 1
- Rigid thought processes, such as viewing things in extremes (i.e all good or all bad)
- Body image issues
- Anxiety disorder background
- Being a victim of bullying, particularly about weight
- Inadequate social support
Eating Disorder Treatment for Women
- Hospitalization- Hospitalization is 24/7 medical supervision and care for persons who have serious eating disorders and substantial medical problems. Tube feeding may be included in hospitalization for persons who are critically malnourished and refuse to eat.
- Residence supervision is also available 24/7, but it is less medically supervised than hospitalization. Residential care is for persons who are medically stable enough to not need 24/7 medical supervision but are not stable or far enough along in their recovery to go home.
- Intensive Day Programs- Intensive day programs are treatment facilities where people can go for several hours per day, several days per week. These services enable people to receive treatment while remaining at home. This is an excellent alternative for persons who are not at risk of self-harm and who can maintain their independence without jeopardizing their recovery.
- Outpatient treatment entails seeing a psychiatrist, therapist, or dietician on a regular or as-needed basis.
Eating disorder treatments, regardless of the degree of care received, frequently entail care from a number of different providers. An eating disorder treatment team typically consists of the following individuals:
- A therapist can assist someone with an eating disorder in developing new coping skills and working through any unresolved emotions that are driving their eating behavior. Individual therapy, couple’s/family therapy, and group therapy are all options for treatment.
- A registered dietitian (RD) can assist someone in sorting through any disordered food ideas that are keeping their eating disorder in place. A registered dietitian can also help women with eating disorders develop new healthy eating habits to ensure their nutritional needs are satisfied.
- Psychiatrist- Many persons with eating disorders have other mental health issues, such as sadness or anxiety, that contribute to their disorder. A psychiatrist may be able to manage these mental health difficulties, making it simpler for someone to recover.
- A doctor may be involved to ensure that someone is healing medically from the effects of an eating disorder. For example, if a person has an irregular heartbeat as a result of malnutrition, a doctor may continue to watch them to ensure they recover and are not at risk medically.
Each team member contributes equally to the rehabilitation process. It is critical for women seeking treatment to follow the professional advice of their treatment team. Eating disorders are dangerous illnesses that must be treated with extreme caution.