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Awareness week to bring eating disorders into spotlight

Dates: 22, February, 2019 Category: CCG News Health advice

Health bosses have backed a national awareness week which aims to bring eating disorders into the spotlight.

Eating Disorders Awareness Week runs from February 25 to March 3.

It has the goal of combating the stigma around the various conditions.

Wendy Martin, Executive Nurse and Midwife at NHS Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said the awareness week was important to let people who are suffering from an eating disorder know that there is help available.

Stereotypes

She said: “There are several types of eating disorder, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge eating disorder.

“They most commonly affect young women aged 13 to 17 years old. However, men and women of any age can have an eating disorder.

“There is often a lot of stigma attached to eating disorders, with many inaccurate stereotypes.

“Eating Disorders Awareness Week is important to show that people of any gender, ethnicity, sexuality, age or background can be affected by an eating disorder, but also to show that there is support available to them.

“If you think you may have an eating disorder, see your GP as soon as you can.

“They’ll ask you questions about your eating habits and how you’re feeling, and will check your overall health and weight.

“If they think you may have an eating disorder, they should refer you to an eating disorder specialist.

“It can be very hard to admit you have a problem and ask for help. It may make things easier if you bring a supportive friend or relative with you to your appointment.

“I would urge anyone who thinks they or a friend or family member has an eating disorder to seek help and support as early as possible.”

Symptoms

An eating disorder is when you have an unhealthy attitude to food, taking over your life and making you ill.

It can involve eating too much or too little, or becoming obsessed with your weight and body shape.

Ms Martin added: “Many symptoms can suggest the presence of an eating disorder. These are such as spending a lot of time worrying about weight and body shape, avoiding socialising when you think food will be involved, eating very little food and deliberately making yourself sick or taking laxatives after you eat.

“People might also notice physical changes. These include feeling cold, tired or dizzy, problems with your digestion and your weight being very high or very low for someone of your age and height.”

To find out more about Eating Disorders Awareness Week, visit https://www.beateatingdisorders.org.uk/edaw

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