Motherlode: Signs of eating disorders often present in teenagers

Signs of an Eating Disorder"I didn’t just want to be thin," said Madi O’Dell, whose battle with an eating disorder began in her freshman year of high school. "People think you choose to have an eating disorder because you want to lose weight. But that’s not how it was for me. I wanted to be in control."

February is Eating Disorders Awareness Month. I talked to Madi, a former patient at the Children’s Hospital Colorado Eating Disorder Program, and to Dr. Jennifer Hagman, medical director there, because while I feel as if I’m "aware" of eating disorders — what adult who grew up in the last couple of generations isn’t? — I’m not sure I know as much as I think I do. I may think I know the basics of "prevention" (don’t emphasize weight and appearance, don’t obsess about your own weight in front of your children), but there’s one thing I’m certain that I don’t know: how to spot a developing eating disorder before it takes hold of a teenager’s life.

I asked Madi and Hagman to offer some specific advice for parents who might be "aware" of eating disorders, but still might not know how to recognize a disorder in its early stages. Both agreed that it isn’t easy, but each said that the signs are often there. Their advice:

Full story of signs of eating disorders at Portland Press Herald

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Documentary Highlights Eating Disorders at JBFC (VIDEO)

Eating Disorders HighlightedEating disorders like bulimia and anorexia have roots in more than just a distorted sense of self-image.

"This is not something that’s just wanting to be skinny. It’s more than an image thing," said Mahopac filmmaker Jeffrey Cobelli, who directed the documentary Someday Melissa. "While it can be those things—the thing I learned is that it is so much more. You can’t just blame it on society, on schools, on friends, on parents. It’s everything combined."

Someday Melissa was born out of a tragedy for one Montville, NJ, family.

After five years battling bulimia, Melissa Avrin lost her life on May 6, 2009. She was 19-years-old.

Melissa’s mother Judy Avrin founded the non-profit organization Someday Melissa following her daughter’s death "to promote recognition and awareness of eating disorders and the importance of early treatment," according to its website.

Full story of eating disorders at Pleasantville-Briarcliff Manor Patch

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

Anorexia and bulimia: The effects on your teeth

Anorexia and Effects on Your TeethFrom receding gums to worn down, decayed and hypersensitive teeth… Eating disorders, especially when they involve vomiting, cause irreversible damage to your teeth. Before managing to cure yourself of this compulsive behavior, knowing the damage it does to your teeth may help you to take the first steps towards recovery.

Eating disorders are bad news for teeth

Eating disorders affect around 15% of young girls to varying degrees, around five to ten times more than men. These illnesses involve a constant preoccupation with food, a distorted body image and excessive measures taken to control weight… excessive to the point of harming your body’s health as well as your mental health and interpersonal relations.
The most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa (restriction of food intake) and bulimia (episodes of compulsive eating). These two illnesses can alternate or follow one another. They are often accompanied by purges or compensatory behaviour intended to limit weight gain (making yourself sick, use of laxatives, fasting and physical hyperactivity). In its most severe form, anorexia nervosa leads to a BMI of less than 17.5 and hormonal disruption2. It affects between 0.9% and 1.5% of women and 0.2 to 0.3% of men3.

Full story of anorexia and teeth at Yahoo Lifestyle

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