Eating disorders are pretty serious and can cause a lot of serious health side effects. If left untreated, patients usually end up with a lot of health problems that can affect the quality of their lives. In some conditions, eating disorders can become fatal. This is why when undergoing an annual physical some doctors have instituted an eating disorder tests into their examination.
Why are Eating Disorders Difficult to Diagnose?
Patients usually lie and conceal their eating habits, especially as the condition gets worse. Even when someone notices that they are not eating well, they might do a lot of effort to prove that there is nothing wrong with them.
Eating is an activity that doesn’t have to be done in public. A person can engage in binge eating episodes when they are alone by eating in discrete areas or by hiding food. They can eat a big amount of food then throw it all up without anyone noticing. Or they can deny that they haven’t eaten for a while by saying that they had a meal outside or with friends.
Moreover, most of the time eating disorders can be easily confused with fasting or dieting. People will spend long hours without eating if they are trying to lose weight or if they are trying to stick to a certain eating regimen. This might be the attitude of some patients who are suffering from several eating disorders.
For these reasons, certain tests and screenings should be conducted to help diagnose eating disorders. Early diagnosis is a sure way to help patients recover.
The Types of Eating Disorder Tests:
A doctor will naturally ask the patient a few questions about their daily eating patterns. Eating disorders have a set of standardized tests. These include various questions about eating habits, the patient’s relationship with food and other personal feelings. A patient should answer these questions honestly without feeling that they are under pressure. The answers are then calculated and compared to a set of scores. Each score corresponds to a certain type of eating disorder.
Some patients might feel anxious about opening up to a doctor. If they are trying their best in order to conceal their condition, they might not be completely honest about their eating habits(1). This is especially true if the patient is taken to the doctor without full consent, or just because a family member feels that there is something wrong with them.
For such patients, there are some online tests that help shed the light on eating disorders and the problems associated with them. These online tests work in the same way as the ones run by the doctor except that they are not extremely accurate. Each eating disorder test will include a number of questions, the answers to which carry a certain value. The patient is then supposed to calculate the total of his or her answers. Each type of eating disorder lies within a certain range. In some cases, the patient will score a number that lies between the border of 2 eating disorders and might be a bit confusing.
Regardless of the condition, it is very important to address your eating disorder fast. A doctor should be able to design the proper treatment plan after the completion of eating disorder tests to help you get over your disorder. The plan might combine a combination of medications, behavioral therapy and family therapy for the best results.
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Article resource: (1) https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000349.htm