Eating Disorders: Women After The Age Of 30 Are Still At Risk

Date January 22, 2018 15:57

You might think about anorexia and bulimia as teen problems, but this is not entirely true. Eating disorders can affect anybody regardless their age, socioeconomic status, or ethnicity. People with anorexia have an intense fear of gaining weight, and that’s why they limit their food intake. Anorexia strikes mostly in women: Almost 90% of people with this condition are female, and it is not just teens. About 30% to 50% of adolescents with anorexia don’t recover by their mid-20s.

Why do eating disorders occur?

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, body image distraction is a risk factor for eating disorders. Heredity also plays a role. Nearly 8% of people with anorexia have a family history of this condition. But should we blame only societal influences? And why are women more vulnerable to these illnesses?

Women more often have negative feelings towards their bodies. However, certain studies say that this is about brain. Doctors explain that when people with anorexia are hungry, their brains don’t receive right signals. This is due to abnormal functioning of the dopamine and serotonin systems.

People with eating disorders (even those who have recovered) have problems with the distinction between negative and positive feedback. They don’t find great satisfaction in good food. Moreover, any attempts to make them eat only increase the aversion to food. Scientists believe that these malfunctions explain why eating disorders can persist even long past the teen years.

New ways to treat eating disorders

Doctors say that these findings can help figure out new treatment options, such as exercises to promote flexibility in thinking. It is almost impossible to force the brain to work differently, but as it turns out, scientists can manage the temperaments. This information can be very important if we are talking about preventive measures.

If you or your loved one is struggling with an eating disorder, here are some tips that can help:

  1. Don’t expect quick results. Recovery can be very long, as eating disorders seem to be connected with temperament traits that are rooted in the brain.
  2. Seek professional help. Eating disorders are serious illnesses, so don’t underestimate them. People with these conditions can’t combat them alone. Get professional help that meets the needs of adults. You may contact National Eating Disorders Association for more information. Think of support groups in addition to treatment.
  3. Have a family plan. Family is an important part of treatment as it is not just about a patient. The whole family needs to do everything to help with recovery. Therapy can help all family members learn how not to trigger disordered eating behavior.

Source: National Eating Disorders Association, Eating Disorder Hope, WebMD

READ ALSO: 6 Effective Ways To Stop Sugar Cravings For Good

This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.