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Russell County Schools Non-Traditional Instructional Expectations


School__RCHS__ Course/Subject _Foods & Nutrition/Adv. Foods/ Culinary I&II_ Teacher___Palumbo__

Learning Target: __________ RD-H-2.0.8    WR-H-1  RD-10-4.0.1    WR-HS-2.4.0______________________

Lesson Expectations:


Students will compare causes, symptoms, consequences and treatments of mental and emotional problems (e.g., depression, anxiety, drug abuse, addictions, eating disorders, aggressive behaviors) for individuals and families.

Sentence Structure: Students will create effective sentences by:

Applying a variety of structures and lengths

Maintaining parallel structure

Developing complete and correct sentences unless using unconventional structures for an intentional effect when appropriate

Students will locate, evaluate, and apply information for a realistic purpose.

Anorexia nervosa



Anorexia nervosa is a psychiatric disorder characterized by abnormal eating behavior, severe self-induced weight loss, and psychiatric comorbidities. People with anorexia have an extreme fear of gaining weight, which causes them to try to maintain a very low weight. They will do almost anything to avoid gaining weight, including starving themselves or exercising too much. People with anorexia have a distorted body image. They think they are fat, even if they are extremely thin.

Anorexia is an emotional disorder that focuses on food, but many researchers believe it is an attempt to deal with perfectionism and a desire to gain control by strictly regulating food and weight. People with anorexia often feel that their self worth is tied to how thin they are.

Anorexia is increasingly common, especially among young women in industrialized countries where cultural ideals encourage women to be thin. Fueled by popular fixations with lean bodies, anorexia is also affecting a growing number of men, particularly athletes and those in the military.

Anorexia most commonly affects teens, as many as 3 in 100. Although anorexia seldom appears before puberty, when it does, associated mental conditions, such as depression and obsessive-compulsive behavior are usually more severe. Anorexia is often preceded by a traumatic event and is usually accompanied by other emotional problems. Anorexia is a life-threatening condition that can result in death from starvation, heart failure, electrolyte imbalance, or suicide. For some people, anorexia is a chronic disease, one that lasts a lifetime. But treatment can help people with anorexia develop a healthier lifestyle and avoid complications.


Signs and Symptoms

The primary sign of anorexia nervosa is severe weight loss. People with anorexia may try to lose weight by severely limiting how much food they eat. They may also exercise excessively. Some people may engage in binging and purging, similar to bulimia. They may vomit after eating or take laxatives. At the same time, the person may insist that they are overweight.

Physical Signs

  • Excessive weight loss
  • Scanty or absent menstrual periods (in women)
  • Thinning hair
  • Dry skin
  • Brittle nails
  • Cold or swollen hands and feet
  • Bloated or upset stomach
  • Downy hair covering the body
  • Low blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Osteoporosis

Psychological and Behavioral Signs

  • Distorted self-perception (insisting they are overweight when they are thin)
  • Being preoccupied with food
  • Refusing to eat
  • Inability to remember things
  • Refusing to acknowledge the seriousness of the illness
  • Obsessive-compulsive behavior
  • Depression

What To Watch For

  • Skipping meals or making excuses not to eat
  • Eating only a few foods
  • Refusing to eat in public
  • Planning and preparing elaborate meals for others, but not eating
  • Constantly weighing themselves
  • Ritually cutting food into tiny pieces
  • Compulsive exercising



No one knows exactly what causes anorexia. Medical experts agree that several factors work together in a complex fashion to lead to the eating disorder. These may include:

  • Severe trauma or emotional stress (such as the death of a loved one or sexual abuse) during puberty or prepuberty.
  • Abnormalities in brain chemistry. Serotonin, a brain chemical that is involved in depression, may play a role.
  • A cultural environment that puts a high value on thin or lean bodies.
  • A tendency toward perfectionism, fear of being ridiculed or humiliated, a desire to always be perceived as being "good." A belief that being perfect is necessary in order to be loved.
  • Family history of anorexia. About one fifth of people with anorexia have a relative with an eating disorder.


Risk Factors

Risk factors may include:

  • Age and gender. Anorexia is most common in teens and young adult women.
  • Dieting
  • Weight gain
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Puberty
  • Having depression, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), or other anxiety disorders. OCD is present in up to two thirds of people with anorexia. OCD associated with an eating disorder is often accompanied by a compulsive ritual around food (such as cutting it into tiny pieces).
  • Participation in sports and professions that prize a lean body (such as dance, gymnastics, running, figure skating, horse racing, modeling, wrestling, or acting)
  • Difficulty dealing with stress (pessimism, tendency to worry, or refusal to confront difficult or negative issues)
  • History of sexual abuse or other traumatic event
  • Experiencing a big life change, such as moving or going to a new school



People with anorexia may think they are in control of their disease and do not need help. But if you or a loved one is experiencing signs of anorexia, it is important to seek help. If you are a parent who suspects your child has anorexia, take your child to see a doctor immediately. The doctor will order several laboratory tests and perform a psychological evaluation. If anorexia is suspected, your doctor may use the SCOFF questionnaire, developed in Great Britain. A "yes" response to at least 2 of the following questions is a strong indicator of an eating disorder:

  • S: "Do you feel sick because you feel full?"
  • C: "Do you lose control over how much you eat?"
  • O:"Have you lost more than 13 pounds recently?"
  • F: "Do you believe that you are fat when others say that you are thin?"
  • F: "Does food and thoughts of food dominate your life?"

Lab tests may include:

  • Blood tests to look for signs of anemia, to check electrolytes, and to check liver and kidney function
  • Electrocardiogram to look for abnormal heart rhythms
  • Bone density test to check for osteoporosis

If your doctor diagnoses you with anorexia, you will likely work with a multidisciplinary team including a doctor, a psychologist or psychiatrist, and a registered dietitian.


Preventive Care

The most effective way to prevent anorexia is to develop healthy eating habits and a strong body image from an early age. DO NOT accept cultural values that place a premium on thin, perfect bodies. Make sure you and your children are educated about the life-threatening nature of anorexia.

For people who have already developed anorexia, the primary goal is to avoid relapse.

  • Family and friends should be urged not to focus on the person's condition, or on food or weight. DO NOT discuss anorexia at meal times, for example. Instead, devote meal times to social interaction and relaxation.
  • Watch for signs of relapse. Careful and frequent monitoring of weight and other physical signs by your doctor can catch problems early.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy, or other forms of psychotherapy, can help the person develop coping skills and change unhealthy thought processes.
  • Family therapy can help with any problems in the home that may contribute to the person's anorexia.



The most successful treatment is a combination of psychotherapy, family therapy, and medicine. It is important for the person with anorexia to be actively involved in their treatment. Many times the person with anorexia does not think they need treatment. Even if they know they need treatment, anorexia is a long-term challenge that may last a lifetime. People remain vulnerable to relapse when going through stressful periods of their lives.

A combination of treatments can give the person the medical, psychological, and practical support they need. Cognitive behavioral therapy, along with antidepressants, can be an effective treatment for eating disorders. Complementary and alternative (CAM) therapies may help with nutritional deficiencies.

If the person's life is in danger, hospitalization may be needed, particularly under the following circumstances:

  • Continuing weight loss, in spite of outpatient treatment
  • Body mass index (BMI) 30% below normal. The normal range is a BMI of 19 to 24. BMI is a measurement that takes into account a person's height and weight.
  • Irregular heart rhythm
  • Severe depression
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Low potassium levels
  • Low blood pressure

Even after some weight gain, many people with anorexia remain quite thin and the risk of relapse is very high. Several social influences may make recovery difficult:

  • Friends or family who admire how thin the person is
  • Dance instructors or athletic coaches who put a premium on having a very lean body
  • Denial on the part of parents or other family members
  • The person's belief that extreme thinness is not only normal but also attractive, and that purging is the only way to avoid becoming overweight

Involving friends, family members, and others in the treatment may be helpful.



Treating anorexia nervosa involves major lifestyle changes:

  • Establishing regular eating habits and a healthy diet
  • Sticking with your treatment and meal plans
  • Developing a support system and participating in a support group for help with stress and emotional issues
  • Ignoring the urge to weigh yourself or check your appearance constantly
  • Cutting back on exercise if obsessive exercise has been part of the disease (Once the person has gained weight, the doctor may set a controlled exercise program to improve overall health)



There are no medicines specifically approved to treat anorexia. Antidepressants are often prescribed to treat depression that may accompany anorexia. Your doctor may also prescribe drugs to help with OCD or anxiety. However, medicines may not work alone and should be used in conjunction with a multidisciplinary approach that includes nutritional interventions and psychotherapy.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are antidepressants that are sometimes prescribed for people with anorexia. Fluoxetine (Prozac) has been studied in people with anorexia and depression with mixed results. In some early studies, it appeared to increase weight and improve mood over several months. But in another, it helped relieve symptoms of depression, but did not affect the anorexia itself.

Recent studies indicate that the use of Prozac and other antidepressants may cause children and teenagers to have suicidal thoughts. Children who are taking these drugs must be monitored very carefully for signs of suicidal behavior.

People with anorexia may not be getting the essential nutrients their bodies need. Your doctor may prescribe potassium or iron supplements, or other supplements to make up for any deficiency. They may also prescribe cyproheptadine, an antihistamine that may stimulate appetite. In one study, using high doses of cyproheptadine hydrochloride decreased the number of days it took people with anorexia to gain an appropriate amount of weight.


Nutrition and Dietary Supplements

People with bulimia are more likely to have vitamin and mineral deficiencies, which can affect their health. Vitamin deficiencies can contribute to cognitive difficulties such as poor judgment or memory loss. Getting enough vitamins and minerals in your diet or through supplements can correct the problems.

Always tell your doctor about the herbs and supplements you are using or considering using, as some supplements may interfere with conventional treatments.

Following these nutritional tips may help overall health:

  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco.
  • Drink 6 to 8 glasses of filtered water daily.
  • Use quality protein sources, such as meat and eggs, whey, and vegetable protein shakes, as part of a balanced program aimed at gaining muscle mass and preventing wasting.
  • Avoid refined sugars, such as candy and soft drinks.

Your doctor may suggest addressing nutritional deficiencies with the following supplements:

  • A daily multivitamin, containing the antioxidant vitamins A, C, E, the B-vitamins and trace minerals, such as magnesium, calcium, zinc, phosphorus, copper, and selenium.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish oil, 1 to 2 capsules or 1 tablespoonful oil 2 to 3 times daily, to help decrease inflammation and improve immunity. Cold-water fish, such as salmon or halibut, are good sources; eat 2 servings of fish per week. Fish oil supplementation can potentially increase the risk of bleeding in people with clotting disorders and those taking blood-thinning medicines, such as warfarin (Coumadin) or aspirin.
  • Coenzyme Q10, 100 to 200 mg at bedtime, for antioxidant, immune, and muscular support. Coenzyme Q10 can potentially interfere with Coumadin (warfarin) and other blood-thinning medicines.
  • 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), 50 mg, 2 to 3 times daily, for mood stabilization. Talk with your doctor if you are on prescription medicines before taking 5-HTP. DO NOT take 5-HTP if you are taking antidepressants.
  • Creatine, 5 to 7 grams daily, when needed for muscle weakness and wasting. There is some concern that creatine may be harmful to the liver and kidneys. Until more research is conducted, people who have kidney disease should avoid supplemental creatine. People taking creatine supplements should drink extra water.
  • Probiotic supplement (containing Lactobacillus acidophilus among other strains), 5 to 10 billion CFUs (colony forming units) a day, for maintenance of gastrointestinal and immune health. Refrigerate probiotic supplements for best results.



Herbs are a way to strengthen and tone the body's systems. As with any therapy, you should work with your doctor to diagnose your problem before starting treatment. You may use herbs as dried extracts (capsules, powders, or teas), glycerites (glycerine extracts), or tinctures (alcohol extracts). Unless otherwise indicated, make teas with 1 tsp. herb per cup of hot water. Steep covered 5 to 10 minutes for leaf or flowers, and 10 to 20 minutes for roots. Drink 2 to 4 cups per day. You may use tinctures alone or in combination as noted.

  • Ashwagandha (Withania somniferum) standardized extract, 450 mg, 1 to 2 times daily, for general health benefits and stress. Ashwagandha might cause sleepiness or drowsiness. Be cautious when combining with sedative medicines. People who have a history of gastrointestinal ulcers should not take ashwagandha, as it may irritate the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum), 250 to 500 mg, 2 to 3 times daily, to stimulate appetite. Fenugreek may not be safe for children. Fenugreek may lower blood sugar, so it is not appropriate in uncontrolled anorexia. It may also interact with diabetes medicines. Fenugreek may interact with medicines that slow blood-clotting (anticoagulant/antiplatelet drugs).
  • Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) seed standardized extract, 80 to 160 mg, 2 to 3 times daily, for liver health. People with allergies to ragweed family of plants may have sensitivities to Milk thistle. Since Milk thistle works on the liver, there is potential it may affect medicines that are metabolized through the liver. Speak with your physician.
  • Catnip (Nepeta spp.), as a tea 2 to 3 times per day, to calm the nerves and soothe the digestive system. Women with heavy menstrual bleeding should avoid catnip. Catnip can interact with Lithium and certain sedative medicines.



No scientific literature supports the use of homeopathy for anorexia. However, an experienced homeopath will consider your individual case and may recommend treatments to address both your underlying condition and any current symptoms.


Physical Medicine

There is much anecdotal evidence supporting the use of acupuncture in treating the anxiety and irritability that often coincide with anorexia. Many inpatient eating disorder treatment facilities offer acupuncture as part of their treatment protocol.


Mind-Body Medicine

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most effective therapies for anorexia. In cognitive behavioral therapy, the person learns to replace negative, unrealistic thoughts and beliefs with positive, realistic ones. The person also learns to acknowledge their fears and develop new, healthier ways of solving problems.

Family Therapy

In addition to individual therapy for someone who has anorexia, doctors may recommend family therapy involving parents and siblings. Parents and other family members often have intense feelings of guilt and anxiety to address. Family therapy is aimed, in part, at helping the parents or partner (in the case of an adult) understand the seriousness of this illness and the ways in which family patterns may contribute to it.


Hypnosis may be helpful as part of an integrated treatment program for anorexia nervosa. Hypnosis may help the person strengthen both self confidence and the ability to cope. That may result in healthier eating, improved body image, and greater self esteem.


Studies suggest that biofeedback may help reduce stress in people with anorexia.

Body Awareness

Studies suggest aerobic exercise, massage, body awareness therapy and yoga might reduce eating pathology in people with anorexia and bulimia nervosa. These forms of activity may also improve quality of life among people who have an eating disorder.


Other Considerations



Anorexia poses several potential problems for women who are pregnant or wish to become pregnant:

  • Difficulty getting pregnant and carrying a pregnancy to term because of higher rates of infertility and spontaneous abortion
  • Increased risk of low birth weight babies and birth defects
  • Malnourishment (particularly calcium deficiency) as the fetus grows
  • Increased risk of medical complications
  • Increased risk of relapse triggered by the stress of pregnancy or parenthood


Prognosis and Complications

Medical complications associated with anorexia include:

  • Irregular heartbeat and heart attack
  • Anemia, often related to lack of vitamin B12
  • Low potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphate levels
  • Increased cholesterol
  • Hormonal changes (can lead to absence of menstrual periods, infertility, bone loss, and stunted growth)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Seizures and numbness in hands and feet
  • Disorganized thinking
  • Death (suicide is responsible for 50% of fatalities associated with anorexia)

The outlook for people with anorexia is variable, with recovery often taking between 4 to 7 years. There is also a high chance of relapse even after recovery. Long-term studies show that 50 to 70% of people recover from anorexia nervosa. However, 25 never fully recover. Up to 20% die from complications of the disease. More people die from anorexia than from any other psychiatric disorder. Many, even after they are considered "cured," continue to show traits of anorexia, such as remaining very thin and striving for perfection. Anorexia is associated with high lifetime mortality from both natural and unnatural causes.

Source: Anorexia nervosa | University of Maryland Medical Center http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/anorexia-nervosa#ixzz3te9QHeNp
University of Maryland Medical Center
Follow us: @UMMC on Twitter | MedCenter on Facebook



Binge Eating Disorder


Page Content

Binge eating means eating a large amount of food in a short period of time. Most of us may overeat during a special occasion, like a holiday. But people who have this disorder binge eat on a regular basis and feel a lack of control over their eating.

People with binge eating disorder are usually very upset by their binge eating and may experience stress, trouble sleeping, and depression. Binge eating disorder may lead to weight gain and to related health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes.

Most people who binge eat feel ashamed and try to hide their problem. Often they become so good at hiding it that even close friends and family members may not know that their loved one binge eats.

Binge eating disorder can be successfully treated. If you are concerned that you or someone close to you may have binge eating disorder, talking to a health care provider may be an important first step. This fact sheet will tell you more about the disorder and how to get help.


How common is binge eating disorder?

What is obesity?

Obesity is usually defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or greater. The BMI is a measure of your weight in relation to your height. For a link to an online tool that will calculate your BMI, see the Resources section at the end of this fact sheet.

Binge eating disorder is the most common eating disorder in the United States.1? Among adults, about 3.5 percent of women and 2 percent of men are estimated to have binge eating disorder. About 1.6 percent of adolescents may also be affected.

Among women, binge eating disorder is most common in early adulthood, while among men it is most common in midlife. Binge eating disorder affects blacks as often as whites, but it is not known how often it affects people in other racial and ethnic groups.

People with obesity are at a higher risk for developing the disorder than people of normal weight. Although most people with obesity do not have binge eating disorder, about 2 in 3 people who have the disorder are obese. People of normal weight can also have binge eating disorder.


How do I know if I have binge eating disorder?

How is binge eating disorder different from bulimia nervosa?

People who have the eating disorder bulimia nervosa also binge eat on a regular basis. However, they try to make up for the binge eating by using unhealthy behaviors, such as vomiting, using laxatives or diuretics (water pills), fasting, and/or doing too much exercise.

People who have binge eating disorder 4

  • eat a large amount of food in a short period of time (for example, within 2 hours).
  • feel a lack of control over their eating. For example, they may feel that they cannot stop eating or control what or how much they are eating.

People who have binge eating disorder may also

  • eat much more quickly than usual
  • eat until uncomfortably full
  • eat large amounts of food even when not really hungry
  • eat alone
  • feel disgusted, depressed, or guilty after overeating

If you think that you or someone close to you may have binge eating disorder, share your concerns with a health care provider. He or she can connect you to helpful sources of care.


What causes binge eating disorder?

No one knows for sure what causes binge eating disorder. Like other eating disorders, binge eating disorder may result from a mix of genetic, psychological, emotional, social, and other factors. Binge eating disorder has been linked to depression and anxiety. Painful childhood experiences—such as family problems and critical comments about shape, weight, or eating—may also make some people more likely to develop the disorder.

Although binge eating is related to dieting, it is not clear if dieting causes binge eating disorder. Among some people, trying to diet in unhealthy ways—such as by skipping meals, not eating enough food each day, or avoiding certain kinds of food—may lead to binge eating. Studies suggest that changes to eating habits that are made as part of obesity treatment are not harmful to people with binge eating disorder and may promote weight loss.?



What are the health risks of binge eating disorder?

People with binge eating disorder are usually very upset by their binge eating and may become depressed. They may also miss school, social activities, or work to binge eat.

Research suggests that people with binge eating disorder report more health problems, stress, trouble sleeping, and suicidal thoughts than do people without an eating disorder. Other problems that may result from binge eating disorder could include digestive problems, headaches, joint pains, menstrual problems, and muscle pains. In addition, binge eating disorder may lead to weight gain and to health problems related to obesity.?


Should people with binge eating disorder try to lose weight?

What health risks are linked to excess weight?

Excess weight may increase the risk for many health problems, including

  • type 2 diabetes

  • high blood pressure

  • heart disease and strokes

  • certain types of cancer

  • sleep apnea (pauses in breathing during sleep)

  • osteoarthritis (a disease where the joints wear down, causing stiffness and pain)

  • fatty liver disease

  • kidney disease

  • irregular periods and infertility in women

  • pregnancy problems, such as high blood sugar during pregnancy, high blood pressure, and increased risk for cesarean delivery (C-section)

    Many people with binge eating disorder have excess weight and related health problems. Losing weight may help prevent or reduce some of these problems. However, binge eating may make it difficult to lose weight and keep it off. People with binge eating disorder who are obese may benefit from a weight-loss program that also offers treatment for eating disorders. However, some people with binge eating disorder may do just as well in a standard weight-loss program as people who do not binge eat.


    How is binge eating disorder treated?

    People with binge eating disorder should get help from a specialist in eating disorders, such as a psychiatrist or a psychologist. Treatment may include the use of behavior change therapy, counseling on eating patterns, and/or drugs. The goal is to change the thoughts and beliefs that lead to binge eating and promote healthy eating and physical activity habits.

    In addition to treatment from specialists, self-help books and DVDs have been found to help some people control their binge eating. Support groups may also be a good source of encouragement, hope, and advice on coping with the disorder.

    If you have any symptoms of binge eating disorder, talk to your health care provider about the type of help that may be best for you. Ask for a referral to a specialist or a support group in your area.

    The good news is that most people do well in treatment and can overcome binge eating.



    The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) conducts and supports a broad range of basic and clinical obesity research. More information about obesity research is available at http://www.obesityresearch.nih.govExternal NIH Link.


    What is bulimia?


    Bulimia nervosa (buh-LEE-me-ah nur-VOH-suh), often called bulimia, is a type of eating disorder. A person with bulimia eats a lot of food in a short amount of time (binging) and then tries to prevent weight gain by getting rid of the food (purging). Purging might be done by:

  • Making yourself throw up

  • Taking laxatives (pills or liquids that speed up the movement of food through your body and lead to a bowel movement)

    A person with bulimia feels he or she cannot control the amount of food eaten. Also, bulimics might exercise a lot, eat very little or not at all, or take pills to pass urine often to prevent weight gain.

    Unlike anorexia, people with bulimia can fall within the normal range for their age and weight. But like people with anorexia, bulimics:

  • Fear gaining weight

  • Want desperately to lose weight

  • Are very unhappy with their body size and shape


    Who becomes bulimic?

    Many people think that eating disorders affect only young, upper-class white females. It is true that most bulimics are women (around 85-90 percent). But bulimia affects people from all walks of life, including males, women of color, and even older women.  It is not known for sure whether African American, Latina, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian and Alaska Native people develop eating disorders because American culture values thin people. People with different cultural backgrounds may develop eating disorders because it's hard to adapt to a new culture (a theory called "culture clash"). The stress of trying to live in two different cultures may cause some minorities to develop their eating disorders.


    What causes bulimia?

    Bulimia is more than just a problem with food. A binge can be triggered by dieting, stress, or uncomfortable emotions, such as anger or sadness. Purging and other actions to prevent weight gain are ways for people with bulimia to feel more in control of their lives and ease stress and anxiety. There is no single known cause of bulimia, but there are some factors that may play a part.

  • < > Women in the U.S. are under constant pressure to fit a certain ideal of beauty. Seeing images of flawless, thin females everywhere makes it hard for women to feel good about their bodies.< > If you have a mother or sister with bulimia, you are more likely to also have bulimia. Parents who think looks are important, diet themselves, or criticize their children's bodies are more likely to have a child with bulimia. 

    Life changes or stressful events. Traumatic events (like rape), as well as stressful things (like starting a new job), can lead to bulimia.

  • Personality traits. A person with bulimia may not like herself, hate the way she looks, or feel hopeless. She may be very moody, have problems expressing anger, or have a hard time controlling impulsive behaviors.

  • < > Genes, hormones, and chemicals in the brain may be factors in developing bulimia.

    Using diet pills, or taking pills to urinate or have a bowel movement

  • Going to the bathroom all the time after eating (to throw up)

  • Exercising a lot, even in bad weather or when hurt or tired

    Someone with bulimia may show signs of throwing up, such as:

  • Swollen cheeks or jaw area

  • Calluses or scrapes on the knuckles (if using fingers to induce vomiting)

  • Teeth that look clear

  • Broken blood vessels in the eyes

    People with bulimia often have other mental health conditions, including:

  • < >< >

    Substance abuse problems

    Someone with bulimia may also have a distorted body image, shown by thinking she or he is fat, hating her or his body, and fearing weight gain.

    Bulimia can also cause someone to not act like her or himself. She or he may be moody or sad, or may not want to go out with friends.


    What happens to someone who has bulimia?

    Bulimia can be very harmful to the body. Look at the picture to find out how bulimia affects your health.


    Can someone with bulimia get better?

    Is it safe for young people to take antidepressants for bulimia?

    It may be safe for young people to be treated with antidepressants. However, drug companies who make antidepressants are required to post a "black box" warning label on the medication. A "black box" warning is the most serious type of warning on prescription medicines.

    It may be possible that antidepressants make children, adolescents, and young adults more likely to think about suicide or commit suicide.

    The FDA offers the latest information, including which drugs are included in this warning and danger signs to look for, on their website at http://www.fda.gov.

    Yes. Someone with bulimia can get better. A health care team of doctors, nutritionists, and therapists will help the patient recover. They will help the person learn healthy eating patterns and cope with their thoughts and feelings. Treatment for bulimia uses a combination of options. Whether or not the treatment works depends on the patient.

    To stop a person from binging and purging, a doctor may recommend the patient:

  • Receive nutritional advice and psychotherapy, especially cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)

  • Be prescribed medicine

    CBT is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on the important role of thinking in how we feel and what we do. CBT that has been tailored to treat bulimia has shown to be effective in changing binging and purging behavior, and eating attitudes. Therapy for a person with bulimia may be one-on-one with a therapist or group-based.

    Some antidepressants, such as fluoxetine (Prozac), which is the only medication approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating bulimia, may help patients who also have depression and/or anxiety. It also appears to help reduce binge-eating and purging behavior, reduces the chance of relapse, and improves eating attitudes. ("Relapse" means to get sick again, after feeling well for a while.)



    Can women who had bulimia in the past still get pregnant?

    Active bulimia can cause a woman to miss her period sometimes. Or, she may never get her period. If this happens, she usually does not ovulate. This makes it hard to get pregnant. Women who have recovered from bulimia have a better chance of getting pregnant once their monthly cycle is normal. If you're having a hard time getting pregnant, see your doctor.


    How does bulimia affect pregnancy?

    If a woman with active bulimia gets pregnant, these problems may result:

  • < >

    High blood pressure in the mother

  • Baby isn't born alive

  • Baby tries to come out with feet or bottom first

  • Birth by C-section

  • Baby is born early

  • Low birth weight

  • Birth defects, such as blindness or mental retardation

  • Problems breastfeeding

  • Depression in the mother after the baby is born

  • Diabetes in the mother during pregnancy

    If a woman takes laxatives or diuretics during pregnancy, her baby could be harmed. These things take away nutrients and fluids from a woman before they are able to feed and nourish the baby. It is possible they may lead to birth defects as well, particularly if they are used regularly.






Read over the attached information on eating disorders: Anorexia, Bulimia and Binge Eating.


On a separate sheet of paper answer the questions below, referencing all three disorders:


  1. Were you aware of all three disorders?

  2. Did anything surprise you in the reading? If so, what?

  3. Have you ever known someone with any of the disorders?

  4. Given the scenarios below, explain how you would approach each friend that you suspect suffer from an eating disorder. Answer all questions for scenario one and two.


Scenario #1: Josie is currently 3 months pregnant, 22 years old and enjoys her social life. You met her and her husband at a work banquet last year and you’ve been great friends since. You’ve often wondered how she can out-eat a man and still be so thin. You had suspicion that she had an eating disorder but now with her being pregnant you fear the worst.


Scenario #2: Gerald is 29 years old, heavy into fitness and critiques everything you put in your body. He always seemed very healthy until 6 months ago. He seems to have lost muscle mass and even though he still talks about going to the gym, you never see him there anymore. You know he consumes protein shakes, bars and such, but you’ve not seen him eat “real” food for some time. He seems somewhat withdrawn and you suspect he is suffering from depression and now has developed an eating disorder.


  1. What eating disorder do you think your friend is suffering from?

  2. Why do you suspect this?

  3. What would you say that wouldn’t offend them?

  4. How would you try to find out if your suspicions were correct?

  5. What help could you offer?

  6. What if the friend is in denial, what would you do?

  7. How do you show concern without having your friend withdraw and stop communicating with you?





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Russell County Schools
404 S Main St.
Jamestown, KY 42629

Phone: 270.343.3191
Fax: 270.343.3072