In this edition of EmpowHER's "HER Health Expert", Dr. Julie Anné discusses eating disorders and that there is hope for full recovery.
Dr. Julie Anné: Eating disorders are ultimately about how you feel about yourself.
Which is categorized by restrictive eating, distorted body image, weight that goes down to 15 percent below weight which is considered ideal for that person’s height and size.
People will binge eat, they consume large amounts of food in a discreet period of time. Then some type of compensatory activity like excessive dieting, laxatives, vomiting, and even exercise, which is a lot less known.
Most people think you have to define an eating disorder by these neat categories of criteria, but as an eating disorder specialist, really what I look for is what is your relationship with food, what is your relationship with your body.
We have a dieting culture and then we have disordered eating, when we excessively focus on what am I going to have for lunch, relative to what I ate for breakfast. An excessive focus on food and your appearance.
More people die from eating disorders than they do from depression, death by suicide. It’s a very lethal condition and in fact people do die. 12 to 19 percent of the people who develop an eating disorder will die a premature death because of their eating disorder.
These are very complex disorders but they are also very treatable. People need to know they can come forward and they can get help, they can reclaim their life from these devastating disorders.
So we have a wall of recovery, where we have people speak to each other with that message, and it is a different message from everybody because eating disorders touch people in different ways. But what they say is that if you pursue recovery, if you believe, if you work hard, and work with all the underlying issues and embrace yourself, you will completely recover.
There is no shame in these disorders, please get help.