Pol. Merkur. Lek (Pol. Med. J.), 2020, XLVIII/284: 133-138 Maximize

Pol. Merkur. Lek (Pol. Med. J.), 2020, XLVIII/284: 133-138

Title: Eating disorders – diagnosis and characteristics

Authors: Górski M, Całyniuk B, Garbicz J, Żukowska-Bąk M, Kapcińska A, Paciorek K, Polaniak R. 

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Eating disorders – diagnosis and characteristics

Górski M1, Całyniuk B2, Garbicz J1, Żukowska-Bąk M1, Kapcińska A3, Paciorek K3, Polaniak R2.

Faculty of Health Sciences in Bytom, Medical University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland: 1Doctoral School; 2Department of Human Nutrition; 3Second Scientific Group of the Department of Toxicology and Health Protection

Eating disorders are characterized by eating and appetite disorders, which develop on a mental basis. Currently, there is a rapid increase in the frequency of these disorders, especially among children and adolescents. Eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and EDNOS, which include a dozen or so disorders, but this group is still expanding. Eating disorders are characterized by the highest mortality rate among all mental illnesses. They mainly affect adolescents and young adults as well as the female sex, however, there are more and more cases among men and people from other age groups. Anorexia nervosa is the conscious reduction of food intake in order to reduce body weight. In this disorder there is abnormal body image, underweight and fear of weight gain. According to the American Psychiatric Association, there are two types of anorexia nervosa – restrictive (limiting) and bulimic (laxative). Bulimia nervosa is characterized by abnormal food intake (overeating) and co-occurrence of compensatory methods aimed at limiting the absorption of consumed food. These methods include: provoking vomiting, excessive physical effort, taking diuretics and laxatives. Among the eating disorders we also distinguish eating disorders not defined otherwise (EDNOS). This is a group of diseases in which pathological eating behaviour occurs, but they do not meet the diagnostic criteria of anorexia or bulimia. The diagnosis of eating disorders is difficult not only because of the lack of specialists dealing with this subject, but also because of the lack of public awareness of these diseases. That is why it is so important to educate both medical staff and the general public about eating disorders.

Key words: Eating disorders, anorexia nervoa, bulimia nervosa, eating disorder not otherwise specified

Pol Med J, 2020; XLVIII (284); 133–138