Eating Disorders Awareness Week: Eating Disorders and Bariatric Surgery in Delaware

“Clinically significant” eating disorders will affect nearly 10 million men and a staggering 20 million women in America at some point in there life, according to the National Eating Disorder Association. That number does not include the additional growing amount of people who will not receive help or be diagnosed with clinically significant eating issues. This week is Eating Disorders Awareness Week, where people across the nation are encouraged to learn about eating disorders so that they can help provide treatment for a loved one, or seek help for themself. At CHRIAS we’d like to discuss different eating disorders that can affect confidence, weight loss, and most importantly your health.

Eating Disorders Affect a Variety of People
People who are affected by eating disorders are not always obvious. It is very difficult to tell if someone is struggling with an eating disorder, just by looking at them. All shapes, sizes, races, and both sexes can struggle with eating disorders.

What Eating Disorders Affect Some Bariatric Patients

  • Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is the most common eating disorder with nearly 40% of BED sufferers being male. It is characterized by eating until uncomfortably full, eating alone because of shame, eating too rapidly, and by feelings of disgust, disappointment, and depression after binge eating. Many bariatric patients who have struggled with weight loss have struggled with BED, and nearly one in three people who attempt weight loss experience BED.
  • Anorexia Nervosa typically affects women, although there are some men who are diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. Many people who are diagnosed with anorexia nervosa express an irrational fear of being overweight and will severely reduce the amount of calories they can consume to prevent weight gain.
  • Bulimia Nervosa is a psychiatric illness where a person binge eats and then attempts to compensate for over-eating by over-exercising, vomiting, or by using laxatives. Oftentimes, bulimia and anorexia go together. Gastric bypass or gastric sleeve patients need to be especially careful about preventing binge eating and vomiting as those of those behaviors can cause complications with your bariatric surgery.

Weight Loss and Bariatric Surgery Do Not Resolve Eating Disorders
Even patients who have had surgery at our Delaware weight loss surgery center can struggle with eating disorders if they have not sought treatment for disorders before they have surgery. Maintaining a healthy weight after you’ve reached your goal can be improved by attending one of our Delaware weight loss surgery support groups or meeting with a licensed therapist to learn about and change the negative behaviors and thought patterns that drive eating disorders.

What is Body Dismorphia?
It is not uncommon that patients who have lost a lot of weight through lap-band, gastric sleeve, or gastric bypass may experience body dismorphia, a syndrome where people do not see their body accurately. An example of dismorphia is people who have reached a normal weight who think they are still obese, or people who are obese who view their body as thin. Learning how to accurately see your weight loss progress (and your body) will not only help you stay focused, but will allow you to appreciate the hard work it took to get your weight to a healthier level.

This week we ask our patients to support National Eating Disorders Awareness Week by attending support groups to share your wisdom with others who are struggling with eating disorders, or to help yourself, if necessary. You do not have to struggle with eating disorders. To learn more about achieving a healthy weight or about our two outstanding bariatric surgery programs in two of Delaware’s largest hospitals, attend a free bariatric surgery seminar, call us at 302-892-9900 or contact us online.

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