health for your
By Rebecca Cooper
ELEVEN MILLION people in the U.S. have an
eating disorder, and you may never suspect
it by their physical appearance. Here are the
major types of eating
disorders, and symptoms and behaviors to
is an intense fear of
getting fat, even if underweight. People with this disorder may
frequently complain of being cold, suddenly
become vegetarian, eat only certain foods,
insist on preparing their own food or avoid
eating altogether. Due to malnutrition-induced chemical disturbances, they may
develop fine facial and body hair, suddenly
behave differently, have difficulty making
decisions and think irrationally. Often they
are hospitalized due to dehydration, malnutrition or heart and kidney problems. Anorexia
has a mortality rate of 20 percent, the highest of any mental-health condition.
Bulimia nervosa causes recurrent episodes of binge eating, zoning out on food,
eating secretly and then getting rid of the
food. People who are bulimic may vomit,
causing swollen glands at the jaw and
cheeks; misuse medications such as laxa-
can be deadly
PANCREATIC CANCER is swift and silent,
and often undetected until it’s too late. It is
the fourth-leading cause of cancer deaths in
the United States— 35,000 people died from
it last year. Only 5 percent of those diagnosed
with pancreatic cancer survive five years;
most with advanced pancreatic cancer die
within a year.
The pancreas is a gland organ situated
near the stomach; it produces enzymes that
aid in digestion and the vital hormone insulin
that regulates blood sugar levels.
The very nonspecific symptoms of pancreatic cancer can be associated with other
tives and diuretics; fast; or exercise excessively. They may feel full after even a small
meal, with an urge to get rid of the food.
Bulimia is a potentially serious condition
that disrupts the body’s chemistries, harms
the digestive tract, erodes tooth enamel and
creates the risk of potentially fatal heart
Binge eating means consuming large
amounts of food in a short period of time
until the eater feels uncomfortably full. Binge
eaters may feel that they cannot control
what or how much they eat once they start
and later feel disgusted with themselves,
depressed or guilty. They often eat alone,
embarrassed by how much or what they eat.
Compulsive overeating means eating
when one is not physically hungry. Some
compulsive overeaters eat when upset or
stressed to get through the day. They may
“graze” throughout the day as they work.
They constantly think about what to eat or
not eat, and about their weight.
Eating disorders do not go away
untreated. It is a good idea to start with
intense treatment with experienced eating
disorder professionals. This will help the person manage the underlying reasons for the
eating disorder and create a foundation for
lasting recovery. C
Rebecca Cooper is a certified eating disorder specialist, author and the founder of
Rebecca’s House Eating Disorders Treatment Program™ ( www.Rebeccashouse.org).
illnesses, making a correct early diagnosis
difficult. Those symptoms can include loss of
appetite, weakness, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, abdominal or back pain, and jaundice.
When pancreatic cancer is diagnosed in
its earliest stages, successful treatment is possible. Treatment methods include surgery,
radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
But more research is needed to identify
methods of early detection and, ultimately, to
find a cure.
The Lustgarten Foundation, America’s
largest private foundation dedicated solely
to funding pancreatic cancer research, has
formed a national research consortium
involving six world-renowned medical institutions. The hope is to advance the most
promising research initiatives aimed at finding a cure for pancreatic cancer. Visit the
www.curepc.org (co-sponsored by Cablevision), to learn more about pancreatic cancer
and how you can support finding a cure.
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NOVEMBER 2010 ;e Costco Connection 75