Eating disorders can affect anyone, although doctors and researchers are still unclear as to why they develop in the first place. Most agree, however, that it is a combination of factors that can create the problem, even if it is unknown why one person will struggle with an eating disorder while others are not. Should you notice or suspect that somebody in your life has developed an eating disorder, the best thing to do is get help as soon as possible to treat the root causes and recreate a healthy diet.
So what, exactly, are the factors that can lead somebody to struggle with an eating disorder? There are some that are subtle that you might not even be aware of, which is why they are the most important to watch out for. As long as you are aware of the various risk factors, you will have a good idea of when you should step in and help get the problem under control.
Here are a few of the common risk factors associated with eating disorders:
- Age: Eating disorders can affect people of any age, but they tend to be the most common among those who are younger. Teenagers are especially at risk, as this is a time when everybody is focused on their appearance and what their body looks like. Those in their 20s are also more likely to develop an eating disorder.
- Family history: Like most medical problems, eating disorders are likely to occur in those who have a family history. This is especially true if it has impacted members of your immediate family, such as parents or a sibling.
- Gender: Teenage girls and young women in their 20s are much more likely to develop an eating disorder than their male counterparts. While it is not uncommon for boys and young men to struggle with weight loss and body issues, the societal pressure tends to have much more disastrous results with impressionable younger women.
- Stress: Whether you have recently moved, started a new job or are having problems in your relationship, eating disorders tend to pop up when there is significant stress in somebody's life. The best way to cope with large amounts of stress is to face the issue head on, and not by letting it affect your health or what you eat each day.
If you or somebody you know is in need of treatment, contact Fairwinds Treatment Center today. Founded by Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef in 1989, our treatment centers have used a unique dual diagnosis approach — combining clinical treatment with therapeutic counseling — to uncover and treat the psychological triggers behind eating disorders, helping patients to overcome their addiction and get their life back on track.