Recommended care is provided by a multidisciplinary team, which may include a therapist (e.g., psychologist, counselor or social worker), dietician, psychiatrist and/or primary care physician.
Care should be coordinated and provided by a health professional with expertise and experience in dealing with eating disorders.
Eating disorders are real, complex medical and psychiatric illnesses that can have serious consequences for health, productivity and relationships.
Eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and OSFED (other specified feeding or eating disorder), are bio-psycho-social diseases-- not fads, phases or lifestyle choices.
In the United States, 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder or EDNOS (EDNOS is now recognized as OSFED, other specified feeding or eating disorder, per the DSM-5).
Anyone can develop an eating disorder regardless of gender, age, race, ethnicity, culture, size, socioeconomic status or sexual orientation.Sociocultural and psychological factors: Eating disorders can impact relationships wtih family members, friends and coworkers, as well as functioning in academic settings and the workplace.The health consequences of eating disorders-- including heart disease, osteoperosis, and tooth decay-- can have long-lasting negative effects.Ideally, whatever treatment is offered should be tailored to the individual; this will vary according to both the severity of the disorder and the patient's individual problems, needs and strengths.Treatment must address the eating disorder symptoms and medical consequences, as well as psychological, biological, interpersonal and cultural forces that contribute to or maintain the eating disorder.Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED) is a feeding or eating disorder that causes significant distress or impairment, but does not meet the criteria for another feeding or eating disorder.Examples of OSFED include: As with most mental illnesses, eating disorders are not caused by just one factor but by a combination of sociocultural, psychological and biological factors.Dieting, "clean eating" and compulsive exercise are often precursors to full-bown eating disorders.There is a common misconception that symptoms must be severe in order to seek professional help, but any symptom is cause for concern and it is best to intervene early.Many people with eating disorders respond to outpatient therapy, including individual, group or family therapy, and medical management by their primary care provider.Support groups, nutrition counseling and psychiatric medications administered under careful medical supervision have also proven helpful for some individuals.