PEORIA, Ill. – 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from an eating disorder at some time in their life in the united states.
But that’s all we know about, according to experts. The actual number could be even higher because very few people seek help for their disorder. These include anorexia, bulimia, or any binge eating disorder.
A new study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry revealed some early warning signs that someone might be suffering from an eating disorder.
Some of these include depression, signs of injuries and self-harm or consumption of a higher rate of prescriptions.
Researchers hope the findings give primary care physicians and mental health professionals a better chance of detecting eating disorders earlier in their patients.
“Shame and guilt are some of those core issues that a lot of people have when they have an eating disorder,” Kathy Franczak, a counselor at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center Eating Disorders Program said.
“Trust your gut and really address that person, but do so in a very caring way, in a very compassionate way,” Franczak said. “Tell them that you love and care about them, but then say, ‘I’m worried about you because, this is why.'”
There are programs to help those suffering with eating disorders.
The OSF Saint Francis Medical Center Eating Disorders Program offers counseling. There is also a weekly support group on the OSF center campus in Peoria.
They meet Wednesday evenings from 6:15-7:30 p.m. in the lower level of the allied building