The term eating disorders covers a spectrum of conditions that are classified into:-
- anorexia nervosa
- bulimia nervosa
- atypical eating disorder
Anorexia nervosa carries a significant risk of morbidity and has the highest mortality rate for adolescent mental health conditions.
Patients with eating disorders are often secretive about their condition.
Initial presentation may be from a worried parent, friend or schoolteacher.
Primary care has a role to play in all eating disorders.
Therapy for eating disorder may be multidisciplinary and multimodal. There is evidence for the use of psychotherapy (particularly CBT-BN) and pharmacotherapy (notably antidepressants).
Many patients who have eating disorder are unidentified.
Young females are at highest risk although young males with the condition may remain undiagnosed.
Patients with an eating disorder have a higher consultation rate than the general population in general practice.
There is a validated screening tool (SCOFF) that consists of five simple questions.