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Eating Disorders: Anorexia and Bulimia
(PS004)

Introduction


Eating disorders are characterized by serious disturbance in eating, such as the restriction of intake or bingeing, as well as distress or excessive concern about body shape or body weight. There are several types of eating disorders: anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), binge eating disorder, as well as atypical eating disorders.

Eating disorders affect an estimated 5 million Americans every year. While eating disorders primarily affect young females, they can also occur in males, young children and older adults over the age of 50. Eating disorders appear to be caused by a combination of genetic, neurochemical, psychodevelopmental, and sociocultural factors.

The goals of treatment for all eating disorders include stabilization of medical and nutritional status, identification and resolution of psychological precipitants of the disorder, and reestablishment of healthful patterns of eating.

Education and modifications of behavior are the preferred methods of effecting weight gain. Enteral (tube-feeding) and parenteral (intravenous) nutrition is reserved for those with severe undernutrition. Medications such as antidepressants are commonly used.

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This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:


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