Background Lifetime prevalens for anorexia nervosa is about 0,5%, while the lifetime prevalens for bulimia nervosa is about 1-3%. The true numbers are most likely much higher, especially for bulimia nervosa, because patients with bulimia feel shame due to their eating habits and therefore try to hide them. Only 30% of the patients with anorexia nervosa and about 6% of those with bulimia nervosa get treatment in national health services. With this written assignment I will focus on signs and symptoms of eating disorders and how to discover the eating disorders in primary care.
Material and methodsA literature search in Medline with the search words ”eating disorders” AND ”family practice” gave 57 references. I then searched for ”eating disorders” combined with ”etiology”, ”comorbidity” and ” signs and symptoms”. All abstracts were read and the most relevant articles were chosen for further study.
ResultsSubjects like diagnosis, etiology and how to detect eating disorders in primary care are discussed together with somatic complications and psychiatric comorbidity. The conclusion of this assignment is a ”check list” ment for the general practitioner as a resource to diagnose eating disorders.