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ABSTRACT: Eating disorders, particularly anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, are significant causes of morbidity and mortality among adolescent females and young women. Eating disorders are associated with devastating medical and psychologic consequences, including death, osteoporosis, growth delay, and developmental delay. Prompt diagnosis is linked to better outcomes. A good medical history is the most powerful tool. Simple screening questions, such as "Do you think you should be dieting?" can be integrated into routine visits. Physical findings such as low body mass index, amenorrhea, bradycardia, gastrointestinal disturbances, skin changes, and changes in dentition can help detect eating disorders. Laboratory studies can help diagnose these conditions and exclude underlying medical conditions. The family physician can play an important role in diagnosing these illnesses and can coordinate the multidisciplinary team of psychiatrists, nutritionists, and other professionals to successfully treat patients with eating disorders.
ABSTRACT: Dieting behaviors and nutrition can have an enormous impact on the gynecologic health of adolescents. Teenaged patients with anorexia nervosa can have hypothalamic suppression and amenorrhea. In addition, these adolescents are at high risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Unfortunately, data suggest that estrogen replacement, even in combination with nutritional supplementation, does not appear to correct the loss of bone density in these patients. Approximately one half of adolescents with bulimia nervosa also have hypothalamic dysfunction and oligomenorrhea or irregular menses. Generally, these abnormalities do not impact bone density and can be regulated with interval dosing of progesterone or regular use of oral contraceptives. In contrast, the obese adolescent with menstrual irregularity frequently has anovulation and hyperandrogenism, commonly referred to as polycystic ovary syndrome. Insulin resistance is thought to play a role in the pathophysiology of this condition. While current management usually involves oral contraceptives, future treatment may include insulin-lowering medications, such as metformin, to improve symptoms. Because all of these patients are potentially sexually active, discussion about contraception is important.
A Battle to Overcome "Diabulimia" - Close-ups
Oral Manifestations of Systemic Disease - Article
ABSTRACT: Careful examination of the oral cavity may reveal findings indicative of an underlying systemic condition, and allow for early diagnosis and treatment. Examination should include evaluation for mucosal changes, periodontal inflammation and bleeding, and general condition of the teeth. Oral findings of anemia may include mucosal pallor, atrophic glossitis, and candidiasis. Oral ulceration may be found in patients with lupus erythematosus, pemphigus vulgaris, or Crohn disease. Additional oral manifestations of lupus erythematosus may include honeycomb plaques (silvery white, scarred plaques); raised keratotic plaques (ver- rucous lupus erythematosus); and nonspecific erythema, purpura, petechiae, and cheilitis. Additional oral findings in patients with Crohn disease may include diffuse mucosal swelling, cobblestone mucosa, and localized mucogingivitis. Diffuse melanin pigmentation may be an early manifestation of Addison disease. Severe periodontal inflammation or bleeding should prompt investigation of conditions such as diabetes mellitus, human immunodeficiency virus infection, thrombocytopenia, and leukemia. In patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease, bulimia, or anorexia, exposure of tooth enamel to acidic gastric contents may cause irreversible dental erosion. Severe erosion may require dental restorative treatment. In patients with pemphigus vulgaris, thrombocytopenia, or Crohn disease, oral changes may be the first sign of disease.
ABSTRACT: Bulimia nervosa is characterized by binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviors, such as vomiting, fasting, excessive exercise and the misuse of diuretics, laxatives or enemas. Although the etiology of this disorder is unknown, genetic and neurochemical factors have been implicated. Bulimia nervosa is 10 times more common in females than in males and affects up to 3 percent of young women. The condition usually becomes symptomatic between the ages of 13 and 20 years, and it has a chronic, sometimes episodic course. The long-term outcome has not been clarified. Other psychiatric conditions, including substance abuse, are frequently associated with bulimia nervosa and may compromise its diagnosis and treatment. Serious medical complications of bulimia nervosa are uncommon, but patients may suffer from dental erosion, swollen salivary glands, oral and hand trauma, gastrointestinal irritation and electrolyte imbalances (especially of potassium, calcium, sodium and hydrogen chloride). Treatment strategies are based on medication, psychotherapy or a combination of these modalities.
The Female Athlete Triad - Article
ABSTRACT: The female athlete triad is defined as the combination of disordered eating, amenorrhea and osteoporosis. This disorder often goes unrecognized. The consequences of lost bone mineral density can be devastating for the female athlete. Premature osteoporotic fractures can occur, and lost bone mineral density may never be regained. Early recognition of the female athlete triad can be accomplished by the family physician through risk factor assessment and screening questions. Instituting an appropriate diet and moderating the frequency of exercise may result in the natural return of menses. Hormone replacement therapy should be considered early to prevent the loss of bone density. A collaborative effort among coaches, athletic trainers, parents, athletes and physicians is optimal for the recognition and prevention of the triad. Increased education of parents, coaches and athletes in the health risks of the female athlete triad can prevent a potentially life-threatening illness.