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Teens and Eating Disorders

Eating disorders in teens are one of the most problematic health conditions affecting our youth.  The information below is designed to help parents gain a better basic understanding of these issues and the importance of treatment.

What are the Most Common Teenage Eating Disorders?

There are several eating disorders found most commonly in teenage boys and girls.  The list below explains these behavioral issues and illustrates how they can damage a young person in mind and body.

  • Anorexia. Most commonly found in girls, anorexia is a behavioral disorder that can lead the individual to starve herself in pursuit of an unattainable and unrealistic body image.   A potentially deadly disease, anorexia impacts the self-image of the individual, as she looks in the mirror and sees someone ugly and overweight no matter how thin she is.
  • Bulimia. Bulimics will eat a large meal and then self-purge everything they consumed before they have had a chance to absorb the calories.   Typically, the individual will go to the bathroom immediately following a meal and force herself to throw up.  Bulimia can be extremely harmful to the internal organs and functions of the developing teen.
  • Binge Eating.  Some overweight teens (and indeed, many who are not overweight) will engage in binge eating.  This behavior has the individual consume large amounts of food compulsively as a response to stress or other “triggers” in her environment.

What are the Consequences of Adolescent Eating Disorders?

There are a number of serious health consequences to the eating disorders listed above.   Anorexia can cause an individual to become so frail that their internal organs begin to fail – at which time death may occur.   It is not uncommon for individuals who enter into the hospital with severe anorexia to die even while under a doctor’s care.   Bulimia is not good either.   Constant vomiting can cause the acid in the stomach to damage stomach lining and other internal organs.   Binge eating can quickly lead to obesity – and the heart problems and lack of overall health that come along with it.

Getting Help for Anorexia and Bulimia

When someone you love is suffering from an eating disorder, it is important to get them professional help immediately.  Professional behavior disorder treatment centers can address both the physical and psychological elements of bulimia and anorexia.   This allows the symptoms to be treated- but more importantly give the individual the tools they need to fight the disease at the core, from a psychological perspective.  By doing so, the individual will regain their self-confidence and have a stronger self-image.  Once this is accomplished, the odds of relapsing are lessened significantly.

How Long Do These Conditions Take to Treat?

Teens who enter into an eating disorder program can expect to stay in treatment from one to three months, depending upon their overall health and the seriousness of their condition.  Some problems are more serious than others, however, so long-term treatment is designed to last a full year or longer if necessary.

For more information on eating disorder treatment, it is important to contact a medical professional.  The health and well-being of the teenager in your life may depend upon a full understanding of the condition, and the all-important subsequent treatment.”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"

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