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A full ten million women and girls in the United States suffer from anorexia and bulimia. These food-related illnesses are devastating to a person's body and are often accompanied by related behavioral health issues such as depression or anxiety. Because anorexia nervosa is psychiatric, not just physical, in nature, diagnosis is not as easy to make as with someone who has a disease like diabetes. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, certain criteria must be present, in order for the determination of anorexia to be made. These conditions include:
The key number to keep in mind is 85%. If the individual is at 85% or less of what would be considered a normal body weight for her height and age, a problem likely exists. This concern would be amplified if she also refused to gain additional weight, to bring her weight up to what would be considered medically normal.
This is characterized by an extreme fear of gaining weight. These individuals are terribly afraid of becoming fat, or even think they are fat, even though that is clearly not the case. It is often very difficult for people with this type of phobia to actually consume food, no less, gain weight.
Body image is how a person sees themselves - how they experience their own weight or shape. This view of themselves has an undue influence on self-evaluation, meaning an adolescent could be a good student, outgoing, great at sports, but all she can focus on, all she seems to care about, is the size of her "fat" thighs. This is usually accompanied by a denial of the seriousness of her low body weight.
This medical condition is loss of the menstrual period. Amenorrhea is present when a female, who has already achieved puberty, quits menstruating for at least three months. In this situation, the only way she can have a period is through the administration of hormones.
Because eating disorders are diseases, treatment is usually required.
Outpatient services are available at centers throughout the country and are often quite effective. However, if progress isn't made, inpatient treatment is recommended, such as the intensive care offered at Remuda Ranch Programs for Eating and Anxiety Disorders.
We have treated anorexia for more than 20 years. We know recovery from an eating disorder is absolutely possible. It's happening every day at Remuda Ranch. Based on feedback from patients, families and professionals, the vast majority of our patients remain committed to a life of health, balance and purpose.
For additional information about the treatment of eating disorders, please call to speak to a Counselor at 866-390-5100 or complete a Take the Next Step form and we will contact you with the information you need.