Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Dentists Often See First Signs of Eating Disorders

Magazine article Nutrition Health Review

Dentists Often See First Signs of Eating Disorders

Article excerpt

Bulimia and anorexia nervosa are two of the most common eating disorders, especially among young American women. The disorders stem from psychological problems that cause patients to feel an irrational need to lose weight and to be thin, regardless of their current body shape.

Anorexia nervosa is a disorder characterized by severely restricted eating habits and extreme weight loss. In addition to denying the body food, anorexic patients often cause themselves to vomit if they feel guilty about having eaten. In some cases involving women, the weight loss is so extreme that patients stop producing estrogen, the lack of which contributes to significant bone loss.

According to the American Anorexia/Bulimia Association, nearly 10 percent of all patients with eating disorders are male. Bone loss has also been reported in anorexic men. One in 10 anorexic patients die as a result of cardiac arrest, medical complications, or suicide.

Bulimic patients compulsively overeat (binge) and then purge by inducing vomiting. …

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