SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Over 30 million people in the United States will suffer from a life-threatening eating disorder at some point in their lifetime, according to the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA). Cielo House, a renowned group of eating disorder treatment and recovery centers in California, is joining the national effort to educate people about the signs and symptoms of eating disorders during Eating Disorders Awareness Week from February 27 through March 4.
Eating disorders have close connections to substance abuse, trauma, and other mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) "90% of eating disorder patients also struggle with a co-occurring mental health problem," stated Matt Keck, MFT, Clinical Director and founder of Cielo House.
Here are five things to know about eating disorders:
1. Eating Disorders Are A Mental Illness. Eating disorders are a complex set of mental illnesses involving unhealthy obsessions with food, weight, and body image. Untreated, they can have devastating effects on a person's physical, mental and emotional health.
2. Men and Women Get Eating Disorders. Eating disorders can affect anyone regardless of age or gender. While more common in women, men make up one third of eating disorder patients.
3. Types of Eating Disorders. The most common types of eating disorders are:
- Anorexia Nervosa- associated with self-starvation, Anorexia nervosa has the highest rate of mortality than any other mental illness.
- Bulimia- one of the hardest disorders to diagnose because patients often hide behaviors which include purging, use of laxatives and non-purging behaviors.
- Binge-Eating Disorder- over-eating, compulsive over-eating, binge eating is the most prevalent eating disorder.
4. Signs Of An Eating Disorder. Signs and symptoms of eating disorders may vary from person to person. According to Keck, the most common signs are:
- Distorted or excessively negative body image;
- Compensating for food; purging, over-exercise;
- Excessive weight loss, rapid weight loss;
- Odd eating habits, binge eating or eating very little;
- Eating in secrecy, hiding food.
5. When To Seek Help. Treatment is critical for anyone suffering from an eating disorder. The type of treatment depends on the severity of the condition. "Some patients need serious medical treatment requiring hospitalization so that acute health problems can also be addressed," said Keck. "Other patients may seek treatment in a non-hospital environment, offering therapy, medical care and nutrition support. It depends on the progression and severity of a patient's condition."
Recovery from an eating disorder is a life-long process requiring ongoing, thoughtful and comprehensive care. "Seek treatment immediately if you suspect a friend or loved one is suffering from an eating disorder," states Keck. "It could be a matter of life or death."
Cielo House is a group of residential and outpatient eating disorder treatment and recovery centers for men, women and young adults with four separate locations in the San Francisco Bay area. For more information, visit www.cielohouse.com or call (650) 455-9242.
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SOURCE Cielo House