W hen most people think of eating disorders, they think of teenagers. T he reality is, it is not just affecting teens.
" (There is a) need to be perfect and go to extreme efforts in order to present themselves with perfection , " said Kaye Renshaw, a licensed professional counselor.
T hat need for perfection that is causing an alarming trend.
M ore women in their thirties, forties and fifties are being diagnosed with eating disorders.
R enshaw said the media plays a big role in this .
"Talking about an eating disorder is much more acceptable, so people who have lived their life in secret and trying to hide their disorders are now coming forward," she said.
B ut these disorders are not just the typical , anorexia and bulimia.
The non-typical is now becoming the typical.
T here are women who become obsessed with exercise , that is becoming known as anorexia athletica.
" T hey become consumed from the moment they wake up, from what they're going to eat, " said Renshaw. "T o when they're going to exercise."
P regorexia is another one, when an expectant mother refuses to gain any weight.
R enshaw said all these disorders have been around forever, but the health care industry is making changes in its approach to diet and nutrition that are now bringing them to our attention.
" M anaged care is making nutritional discussion mandatory ," she said. "M ost appointments now require some investigation of what's going on nutritionally."
Eating disorders are very isolating, said Renshaw, and not just at meal time, but during all social interactions.
Personal fitness trainer Kelly Bauer agreed.
" F irst, your nutrient loss, which is going to cause muscle loss ," Bauer said. "T hey'll be lethargic and unable to do the activities they want to do."
R enshaw said the opportunities to get help and intervention are much better than they used to be and if you need help, do not be afraid to ask for it.