What are eating disorders and why do they appear?
Eating disorders is a disease that is characterized mainly by a very intense fear of gaining weight or being fat and that patients behave with special characteristics, restricting food in order to lose weight to feel better. We do not know exactly why they appear, but we do know that there are predisposing factors such as the beginning of a diet or the adolescent age. There is a peak around 12 or 14 years and another peak around 19 or 20, which is where we see the largest accumulations of cases although they can appear at any time of life, even in very small patients of 8 or 10 years, or in adults, even elderly people.
How can anorexia and bulimia be detected?
Bulimia can be a secret disease for years and years, and may be more difficult to detect unless the patient confesses it, and sometimes they do not confess until they have passed five, ten or even sometimes more years. It is characterized by binge eating and purging behaviors after these binges that can give us a clue that this is happening, such as vomiting or compulsive exercise, use of laxatives or diuretics to try to contain excessive food intake. Anorexia is a disease that is detected much easier, it is much more evident. Patients restrict food and every time they eat less food and there is a weight loss that can sometimes be very intense and very fast over time, and the sooner we detect it and treat it, the easier it will be to treat it and better the forecast.
What should the family do to help patients?
When we suspect that some of our children may have some disorder of eating behavior it is best to try to face the situation, not to let this happen, which are things of the age. The sooner we ask and face the patient, the better the later evolution will be. We have to consult with the pediatrician or the general practitioner to see if these behaviors are normal or abnormal, and he can indicate where to go, to the appropriate specialists, to be able to treat those behaviors. Many times we will need treatment by organic doctors, classical medicine, psychologists, nutritionists, psychiatrists, all working in a proper team to help these girls, usually more than men, to get out of this Such a difficult disease that makes them prisoner of some behaviors and sometimes tremendous suffering, both for them and their family.