Eating disorders affect all types of people and their families. We’ve been preconditioned to believe that only white teenagers- for the most part- are the face of eating disorders. Unfortunately, this stereotype is just that. Eating disorders impact people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, and both the sexes.
Sadly, more people don’t realize the harm eating disorders have on the brain. One Neurology Review titled ‘Eating Disorders and Cognitive Function’ cites, “Many memory impairments exist as a result from or cause of eating disorders. Eating Disorders (ED) are characterized by abnormal and disturbed eating patterns that affect the lives of the individuals who worry about their weight to the extreme. These abnormal eating patterns involve either inadequate or excessive food intake, affecting the individual’s physical and mental health.”
The study goes on to say, “The level of cognitive reserve predicts improvement in neuropsychological function including verbal memory, semantic fluency, basic auditory attention, and visuospatial construction. In addition, the level of cognitive reserve has been found to be associated with different AN prognosis and therefore treatment may be altered based on the cognitive reserve, where individuals who may experience more severe neurospsychological deficits may need more rehearsal and repeated practice of skills during treatment.”
What does this mean for you if you, or someone you know, are affected by any eating disorder? Well, first you should seek out professional help. If you don’t know where to go, or how to get started, please call us. Dr. Odom can connect you with the right local resource and we will keep all the information private.
If you feel that your eating habits are problematic but not yet a problem, please still call us. We can help you understand not only the affect lack of food (or too much food) has on your physical and mental health, but how to better understand what you should be eating, how much you should be eating, and even what to buy from the grocery store. In fact, we can – in most cases- go to the grocery store with you as a “how to” guided tour.
Eating disorders are no different from any other medical condition. There is no shame in seeking out help or more information.