Eating disorders are serious illnesses that affect both the physical and socio-emotional health of young people; they have significant impact on families and cause significant mortality and morbidity. The main eating disorders comprise:
Eating disorders are complex illnesses that impact on both
the physical and socio-emotional health of young people,
and contribute to significant morbidity. Dieting behaviours
and body image concerns are common in adolescence and
it can be challenging to identify those at the extreme end
of this spectrum who are at risk of an eating disorder.
This article presents a brief overview of eating disorders,
with a focus on early identification in general practice. An
approach to diagnosis is outlined together with an update
on evidence based treatments.
General practitioners are uniquely placed to recognise
early onset eating disorders, offer intervention and help
coordinate and monitor treatment. Early detection and
management may contribute to better outcomes.
- anorexia nervosa (AN)
- bulimia nervosa (BN), and
- eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS), ie. eating disorders that do not fully meet the criteria for either AN or BN.
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