Here at Fairwinds Treatment Center, we know that eating disorders can victimize anyone at any point in their life, and it may not even reveal itself through obvious weight loss. That's why it is so important to consult with medical professionals if you are concerned that your child or another loved one may have a problem. Many people associate problems like anorexia and bulimia with extremely thin, unhealthy-looking people, and while noticeable emaciation is certainly a red flag, your teen doesn't have to be excessively skinny to be struggling with an eating disorder. A recent study underscores that even people who are at normal weights can suffer the negative health effects that come from having a distorted body image and a negative relationship with food. Such patients are often diagnosed with an Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS).
The research team, based out of The Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, studied 99 teens over a period of years, and found that the incidence of EDNOS appears to be growing. In 2005, just 8 percent of the subjects qualified for the diagnosis, but by 2009, 47 percent of them did.
"I was surprised to see how much it increased," lead researcher Melissa Whitelaw told the press. "I was also surprised at how similar they were not only physically but also psychologically. Everything about them was anorexia except that they don't look really skinny."
While the EDNOS patients did not technically qualify as underweight, they had lost a significant amount since the start of the study — a median of 29 pounds. As a result of their unhealthy eating habits, many of them suffered from low phosphate levels and abnormally slow heart rates, thus putting their health and even their lives in significant danger. They likely also exhibited signs of undiagnosed psychological, mental and/or emotional problems, such as depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder and bipolar disorder, as do many if not most eating disorder sufferers. In order for such patients to achieve lasting recovery, these underlying issues must be addressed. That's why globally renowned eating disorder expert Dr. Pauline Powers uses her unique dual diagnosis methodology, employing a personalized combination of clinical treatment and therapeutic counseling to promote healing inside and out.
If you believe that your teen or adolescent child may be struggling with a negative body image and a destructive relationship with food, contact the experts at Fairwinds Treatment Center in Clearwater, Florida. We can discuss your situation and help you decide what steps are necessary to ensure your loved one does not damage their health and put their life in danger. We have helped countless young people recover from a wide array of eating disorders, and there is simply no better place to achieve lasting recovery.