Islets of Hope disorders associated with diabetes
Article by Lahle Wolfe
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"A recent study published in the April 2005 American Journal of Psychiatry showed how frequently a person crosses over from anorexia nervosa to bulimia nervosa and vice versa. This small study showed that patients with anorexia nervosa switched to bulimia nervosa 36% percent of the time within 15 years, while persons with bulimia nervosa developed anorexia nervosa 27% of the time. This new information may shed some light on possible reasons for treatment failure and how to improve outcomes in these patients. As of now, more studies with more patients are needed to truly understood how interconnected these two conditions are. "
Anorexia Nervosa and Related Eating Disorders, Inc. (ANRED)
Lahle, IOH Founder
From ANRED's Site:
The ANRED forum
National Eating Disorders Association
Eating Disorders - Section 3 print this article
Mini Site Index Famous People with Eating Disorders
Treatment Begins With Acceptance
Remember how hard it was accepting your (or your child’s) diagnosis? There was no denying the diagnosis because the symptoms were self-evident; eating disorders are not as easily discovered and diagnosed. You have to come to acceptance that you, or someone you may know, could have an eating disorder. You may not want to believe it, but if you have reason to suspect someone with diabetes is suffering from an ED they need your help because they usually are unable to help themselves.
The earlier an ED is detected the easier it is to overcome. There is hope for everyone, never think that it is too late to get help, but the longer the disordered eating behavior has been in place, the harder the work to overcome it.
Treatment for Eating Disorders
Treatment for eating disorders involves diagnosis by a medical doctor or mental health professional and development of an individual treatment plan. (Interest note: because EDs can cause tooth enamel erosion, dental professionals are often the first to notice when a person has an eating disorder.) Different people respond to different treatment options available and there is no "one size fits all" for ED treatment therapy. But it is clear that few people are able to overcome eating disorders without professional help and ongoing support.
There are many types of therapies available for individuals and families (eating disorders, like diabetes, affect the entire family). One of the better web resources I have found on eating disorder treatment is on Drug Digest.com. They seem to insinuate that medication (in combination with other treatment) is standard protocol. Not so. There are many persons with eating disorders that respond well to therapy and behavioral modification without drugs -- but this is not something that you should decide for yourself. Still, I will refer you to their site for thorough information about different treatment approaches, at what stages different approaches are taken, and when hospitalization may be necessary. Drug Digest Eating Disorder Treatment Information Page.
How effective any treatment program is depends upon patient motivation, their support system, and how carefully the treatment program was tailored to match their individual needs. It is important to understand that eating disorders are not really "cured." New coping skills, nutritional, and behavioral modification are taught and a person enters into "recovery" from their eating disorder. Follow-up support is key to the successful outcome of a person with an ED because the danger for relapse will exist for life.
Anorexia Nervosa. Treatment programs vary, but generally, studies seem to show that anorexia responds to therapy, home support, certain types of medications, and often requires hospitalization and/or residential treatment programs to stabilize the patient. It is a challenge to overcome anorexia, but it can be overcome. Anorexia is not something you can treat yourself -- it always requires professional help.
Bulimia and Binge Eating Disorders. Bulimia and binge eating also require counseling and sometimes residential treatment may be beneficial. Studies have shown that some people with these conditions respond just as favorably with the right counseling (and no medication) and support as do patients who also receive medications to relieve the compulsive behaviors. These disorders are learned behaviors and not classified as a mental illness but you need professional evaluation and determination as to what an individual's treatment needs are: therapy alone, or combined treatment of therapy and medication.
Ongoing support for anyone with an ED is critical. Support groups and follow-up counseling sessions are an important part of overcoming an ED. Once a person has an ED they will be at risk for the rest of their life for relapse unless they learn new coping skills and have adequate support – but again, it must be said, they can overcome!
Once a person reaches "recovery" (when they are no longer practicing the behavior), they still need support. Those who are most successful at long-term recovery are those who continue with counseling, therapy, or become active in recovery or support groups (like Overeaters Anonymous).
Overeaters Anonymous (OA) - Is not a diet group. It is a 12-step program for people with eating addictions and disorders. The program is similar to alcoholics anonymous but tailored towards disordered eating. Meetings are held all over the USA and Canada and OA also has online support groups. See sidebar for more information about OA
Support from Islets of Hope. The IOH also has a support group for anyone battling with an eating disorder (diagnosed or undiagnosed). The list is open to those in recovery, relapse, or still in denial. The "ED" list is completely anonymous and fully moderated by a woman who has battled and overcome anorexia and bulimia successfully. She has mentored (not treated) hundreds of persons affected by EDs over the past 7 years. If you wish to join, visit our Discussion Groups information page.
Eating Disorder Glossary (Simplified)
Anorexia Nervosa – An eating disorder where the person restricts food to the point of starvation. Those with anorexia may also use purging behaviors to avoid weight gain. Anorexia is usually diagnosed when a person is 15% or more below a normal body weight. As with all eating disorders, anorexia affects children and adults of both sexes. (Singer Karen Carpenter died prematurely from complications related to anorexia.)
Annies – Slang term referring to those with anorexia.
Billies – Slang term referring to those with bulimia.
Binge – The act of eating large quantities of food usually in rapid succession over a short period of time. However, bingeing sessions can also last for hours. One determining factor that differentiates a true binge from simply overeating is that the person bingeing usually feels anxious, and a sense of being out of control. Bingers usually feast on certain food categories, the most common being high-fat, high carbohydrate (often processed) foods. Binge eaters tend to be overweight. Persons who binge and then purge, as in the case of bulimia, tend to be at or near a normal body weight.
Binge Eating Disorder – A person who is binges. They may sometimes use purging methods but not at a frequency sufficient to be diagnosed as true bulimia. A person with this disorder may turn to food to cope emotionally, and often feels out of control while bingeing.
Bulimia – Sometimes referred to as bulimirexia or bulimia nervosa, this eating disorder is identified by cycles of bingeing followed by purging. Most persons with bulimia at close to a normal body weight. (Princess Diana of Whales suffered from bulimia for many years.)
Purging – Any act that counters caloric intake. Purging includes periods of fasting for 24 hours or longer, forced vomiting, excessive exercise, and inappropriate use of laxatives, enemas, and diuretics. Warning! Some persons will use syrup of epicac to induce vomiting. This is extremely dangerous and can lead to cardiac arrest. If you find hidden bottles of this over the counter medication get help for your child immediately.
Restricting – Refers to eating behavior that avoids certain foods or entire food groups (i.e., all fruit) or categories of food (i.e., all fats or carbohydrates). Also refers to severely limiting total caloric intake.
Stuffing – The act of over eating as in a binge, to shove or “stuff” feelings of anxiety, fear, loss, even positive emotions that are overpowering, down inside a person. The feelings may later be “purged” for a temporary sense of release.
Recovery Programs (Links to Resources)
Important Disclaimer: Islets of Hope does not advertise for, receive compensation from, nor intends to promote or endorse any of the program facilities listed below. IOH has compiled a list of resources for information purposes only. IOH strongly recommends that you talk with your personal physician or therapist before undergoing treatment for any eating disorder.
Page Updated 04/01/2006