Eating disorders are complex illnesses that affect people of all ages; the onset of eating disorders typically occurs during pre-adolescence or adolescence. Eating disorders affect millions of adolescents and young adults in the U. Given the serious medical complications that may result from eating disorders, it is imperative to identify, diagnose and treat them as early as possible.
Eating Disorders in Teens No. Disordered eating related to stress, poor nutritional habits, and food fads are relatively common problems for youth.
In addition, two psychiatric eating disorders, anorexia nervosa and bulimia, are on the increase among teenage girls and young women and often run in families.
These two eating disorders also occur in boys, but less often. Parents frequently wonder how to identify symptoms of anorexia nervosa and bulimia.
These disorders are characterized by a preoccupation with food and a distortion of body image. Unfortunately, many teenagers hide these serious and sometimes fatal disorders from their families and friends. Symptoms and warning signs of anorexia nervosa and bulimia include the following: A teenager with anorexia nervosa is typically female, and a perfectionist and a high achiever in school.
At the same time, she suffers from low self-esteem, irrationally believing she is fat regardless of how thin she becomes. Desperately needing a feeling of mastery over her life, the teenager with anorexia nervosa experiences a sense of control only when she says "no" to the normal food demands of her body.
In a relentless pursuit to be thin, the girl starves herself. This often reaches the point of serious damage to the body, and in a small number of cases may lead to death.
The symptoms of bulimia are usually different from those of anorexia nervosa. The binges may alternate with severe diets, resulting in dramatic weight fluctuations.
Teenagers may try to hide the signs of throwing up by runing water while spending long periods of time in the bathroom. Frequent vomiting can cause a serious threat to the patient's physical health, including dehydration, hormonal imbalance, the depletion of important minerals, and damage to vital organs.
Binge eating can also occur on its own without the purging of bulimia and can lead to eventual purging. Children with binge eating disorder also require treatment from a mental health professional. It involves a disturbance in eating or feeding which includes substantial weight loss or a lack of expected weight gain, and nutritional deficiencies.
ARFID can lead to dependence on a feeding tube or dietary supplements. With comprehensive treatment, most children and teenagers can recover from disordered eating. The child and adolescent psychiatrist is trained to evaluate, diagnose, and treat these psychiatric disorders.
Treatment for eating disorders usually requires a team approach, including individual therapy, family therapy, working with a primary care physician, working with a nutritionist, and medication. Many children and adolescents also suffer from other problems including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.
It is important to recognize and get appropriate treatment for these problems as well. Research shows that early identification and treatment leads to more favorable outcomes.
Parents who notice symptoms of anorexia or bulimia in their teenagers should ask their family physician or pediatrician for a referral to a child and adolescent psychiatrist. Your support will help us continue to produce and distribute Facts for Families, as well as other vital mental health information, free of charge.
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Sep 17, · H e's just a month shy of his sixth birthday, but Jack is already insecure about his body. At 40 pounds and 42 inches tall, he wears a size 3 and is the smallest kid in his class. He weighs. Eating disorders can take a devastating toll on teens — especially girls. To help protect your child, understand the possible causes of teen eating disorders and know how to talk to your son or daughter about healthy-eating habits.
Home» Eating Disorder Treatment» Special Treatment Issues in Eating Disorders» Teen, Children and Adolescent Eating Disorders.
Signs of Childhood and Adolescent Eating Disorders. Girls are far more likely to have eating disorders. However, boys are also susceptible. Articles on Children’s & Teens Eating Disorders. Adolescence (from Latin adolescere, meaning 'to grow up') is a transitional stage of physical and psychological development that generally occurs during the period from puberty to legal adulthood (age of majority).
Adolescence is usually associated with the teenage years, but its physical, psychological or cultural expressions may begin earlier and end later.
Girls in their teens and twenties are most likely to be diagnosed with anorexia, but even younger children with anorexia are sometimes diagnosed. Of course, older women can also develop anorexia. The disorder is probably under-diagnosed, because many sufferers do not seek treatment for their condition.