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EOEDs

 

… it’s not “just a phase”.

 

Potentially life threatening medical complications are ‘common’ in children affected by early onset eating disorders (EOEDs), a study reported in the Medical Journal of Australia has found.

 The first prospective national study of EOEDs also revealed major limitations in current diagnostic criteria, possible missed diagnoses and a need for better education of health professionals. The study examined data from 101 cases of EOEDs in children aged five to 13 years, and found that 78% were hospitalised with an average length of stay of almost 25 days.

Study co-author and leading child psychologist Dr Sloane Madden, from Westmead Children’s Hospital, said the results show younger children with EOEDs are presenting with severe disease. “Only 37% of inpatients in the study met the current diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa, yet 61% had potentially life threatening complications of malnutrition and only 51 % met the weight criteria,” Dr Madden said. “This suggests the current criteria for diagnosing anorexia nervosa in young children are limited.”

An editorial on the study in the same edition of the MJA highlighted that about a quarter of cases in the study were boys. Editorial author, Foundation Chair of Mental Health at the University of Western Sydney’s School of Medicine, Professor Phillipa Hay, said “The relatively high proportion of younger boys with EOEDs contrasts with men accounting for about one in ten adult cases of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa,” Professor Hay said. “More research is needed, but the work by Madden and colleagues supports the hypothesis that EOEDs may differ in important ways, including sex distribution and course, from eating disorders with onset in adolescence and adulthood. “It is imperative that research attention is now directed towards understanding why such young children are developing severe eating disorders and how effective identification and treatment can be targeted earlier.”

-SourceMedical Journal of Australia

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Happy NEDAwareness Week 2009!

This is an exciting week full of events and highlights the message to “Get Real” about Eating Disorders as an illness not a choice and to continue raising awareness, prevention and advocating for those affected.

If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to view two powerful films: Swept and Beauty Mark and reside in the New York area you are in luck. Pace University along with NEDA will be Turning the Lens on Eating Disorders showcasing both films and will have the artistic panel of actors, directors/producers as well as ED educator panelist, Sondra Kronberg available for Q&A.

Both films offer up a great opportunity for further discussion and understanding and reach beyond the somewhat palate-less offerings unfortunately being held in most areas.

So kudos to you NYC for taking creative initiative and stretching limits! Sara and Stephanie I’ll be there in spirit– you both are inspirations!

Solstice Holly

There is something beyond the dull brightness of mid-day, fluorescent and buzzing. Something to praise beyond the sun, triumphing over the intricacies of shadowed moonlight.

 

Bringing the old, beautiful realm of Holy Night, echoing with ancient voices, rustling with intimacy’s passion, luminous with stars.

Cradled in darkness, be restored to the embrace of mystery.
 

Glory wakes here.
Let it kindle your joy.

-Rebecca Parker

 

Wishing All a Very Blessed, Happy and Joyful Holiday!

 

aries

With record snow falls today it was a just the kind of day to round up some friends and available family members to go snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, or if neither were available, a well boot-up hike- though you hustled a bit faster to keep up.

Usually the skiing kicks in later this month, right around Christmas break and throughout the rest of the winter, whenever good snow and tracks are easy to find or make. And living in a metro-urban city hasn’t stopped this faved activity in the least, although we are fortunate to have patches of wooded areas and a major lake providing a spectacular view in any season. I think we were all captured by Winter Solstice awe, and yet conscious of a special someone who is still not with us- yet.

Gathering at the last minute, though for some was not possible with the drive, was one of those quirky “T” (moi) -things I end up being happy I did. Making vegetarian chili with eggplant subji (the eggplant… ahem, was leftovers, but no one complained) and the chili-cheese cornbread finished with barely a crumb left in the pans.

And though the dishes have been cleared, the last to linger have left safely, I’m not quite too tired as I type this.

I’m intentionally and slowly appreciating this past evening, and find an email with the day’s horoscope, equally perfect to tie into the meaning of the past day for me from a dear friend who is also, like myself, an Aries:

Feeling Earnest –
You may already be feeling your brows furrowing today as you notice your serious attitude. Because you may be looking at life from a weighty perspective, you could be feeling earnest. Life can indeed be worthy of solemn appraisal at times, and allowing ourselves to interpret situations from this standpoint may give us valuable insight to draw upon in future days when we are feeling lighter. As we follow our intuitive guidance, we will naturally shift from this mood when the time is right, so we mustn’t feel guilty about losing the edge of intensity whatever the circumstances seem to dictate. As you seek to honor your inner guidance and seek balance in your life, today gives you the opportunity to experience a perspective of depth that may serve you well in the future. Though our goal in life may be happiness, we can have times of serious contemplation of weighty subjects without it meaning that we are off the path. Life requires balance and sometimes that involves experiencing darkness in order to understand and appreciate the light. Without the contrast, life can lose its meaning. It is perhaps an unfortunate aspect of the nature of the material world and its dualities. So today don’t fight the sober mood, but instead learn all you can from it in order to allow it to infuse your happier times with a new depth of meaning and your life with a greater understanding of balance.

_______________________

In Due Time –
Today you may feel impatient with yourself and frustrated by a number of challenges in your life. Your responsibilities may require more attention than you have to give, and you could become overwhelmed by new opportunities that are presenting themselves. Sitting down and developing a plan could help you become organized and assuage some of your frustration. Prioritizing your tasks today can also make your life more manageable. It’s also important to be patient with yourself, as we all need to time adjust to new workloads. Being compassionate with yourself could help this period of transition go smoothly. You also can accomplish more tasks when you work methodically and are relaxed. Careful planning allows us to establish how and when we will face our obligations. By mapping out the items that need our attention, we give ourselves the benefit of seeing the whole picture. We are then able to figure out how to best direct our resources. When we have a plan to work with, we can relax because we know that everything will get accomplished in due time. We also are able to focus and do a good job because we don’t have to hurry or try to get several tasks done at once. Determine when and how you will attend to your obligations today, and you will be relaxed, confident, and able to meet each one.

shanti

 

             Interesting use of metaphor…

                       are you taking care of your Earth Suit— I hope so!

            – Bonne Nuit

 

There are few individuals who truly rise to a level of integrity, experience, commitment and compassion when it comes to researching and treating eating disorders that I can honestly say are worthy of note, let alone far too few dedicated and wisely seasoned clinicians available for sufferers and families assisting and caring for loved ones to have equal and affordable access to.   Dr Daniel le Grange at the University of Chicago is most certainly one of those individuals.

For parents who have younger children or adolescents suffering with an eating disorder you are probably already aware how vital early diagnosis and intervention are to restoring your child’s health.  Many families and parents are unfortunately still treated as the “problem” or blamed/shamed into believing that they “caused” their child’s eating disorder, and sometimes, worse yet, doctors don’t even take seriously the early warning signs of eating disordered behaviors as well as weight loss in younger patients and dismiss the parents concerns despite the “highest concentration of most sufferers of Anorexia Nervosa being in the adolescent female population”– time is not on anyone’s side when you delay diagnosis and immediate treatment.

And treatment programs along with many clinicians still leave the family aside and ignored vs being utilized as a vital resource in assisiting and collaborating within helping their child recover, and working with as well as healing the entire family unit.  This makes many of us parents quite irate since we know our children best and were the first to have noticed the drastic changes in our child’s behavior, took initiative in researching treatment options/providers, and then continue to take action, resources and advocate for our children while waiting for many in the medical community and insurance industry to finally wake up and begin implementing true evidence-based treatment strategies that work instead of constantly reinventing the wheel, over and over…

Parents, Families/Partners and Caregivers of Children and Adolescents suffering with this illness please take heart, find continued reassurance, and be re inspired by reading Dr le Grange and Dr Loeb’s Early Intervention in Eating Disorders as well as Dr le Grange’s Treatment Model for Eating Disorders in Children & Adolescents :

 

  • Parents are a RESOURCE in helping the adolescent
  • Most parents CAN help the adolescent
  • Parents have SKILLS to bring to treatment
  • Therapist leverages parental skills and relationships to bring about change
  • FBT-Family Based Therapy is the only evidence-based treatment shown to be efficacious and cost effective

 

On the Centre for Excellence in Eating Disorders (CEED) website, where if you are an Australian native they are also providing FBT and eating disorder treatment study for families free for participants, which they did here in the states at the University of Chicago a few years back.

Some day Eating Disorder Treatment will be this good everywhere — until then, keep fighting the good fight and don’t give up!

-shanti

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