Eating disorder patients face a higher autoimmune disease risk, compared to those without eating disorders. The findings come from Finnish researchers who observed an association between eating disorders and autoimmune disease risk.
The risk of eating disorders is higher among somatic illnesses like type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel diseases, and other autoimmune diseases. Additionally, a prior autoimmune disease has been shown to increase the risk of mood disorders and schizophrenia.
The researchers studied 2,342 patients being treated for eating disorders and compared them with the general population. Autoimmune disease data was taken from 30 hospitals for the time period between 1969 and 2010.
The researchers found that 8.9 percent of eating disorder patients had one or more autoimmune diseases. Of the control group, 5.4 percent had one or more autoimmune diseases.
Researcher Dr. Anu Raevuori said, “Our findings support the link between immune-mediated mechanisms and development of eating disorders. Future studies are needed to explore the risk of autoimmune diseases and immunological mechanisms in individuals with eating disorders and their family members.”
Eating disorder: Lifestyle changes and home remedies
Overcoming an eating disorder is truly a long journey, but it is possible with plenty of support and strict adherence to your plan. Much of treatment involves lifestyle changes that can take place at home with the support of friends and family. Some of those lifestyle changes and home remedies useful in aiding with eating disorder treatment include:
- Stick to your treatment plan
- Talk to your doctor about vitamin supplementation
- Don’t isolate yourself – stay social
- Read self-help books, or join a support group and talk to others
- Resist the urge to weigh yourself
- Learn about healthy and balanced eating
- Surround yourself with healthy body images
- Reduce stress
As mentioned, the number one way to overcome an eating disorder is through support from friends and family, so reach out to those around you and avoid bottling up your emotions as it can worsen the condition.
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