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Failing to treat eating disorders can have dangerous, and sometimes fatal, results

person on scale
An eating disorder not only interferes with someone's quality of life.


Food is supposed to nourish us, both body and spirit.

But what happens when someone's relationship to food  - and to their own body - spirals out of control? 

An eating disorder not only interferes with someone's quality of life. It can also be fatal if it's not treated. 

As part of our ongoing series Minding Michigan, exploring mental health and wellness issues, by taking a deeper look at eating disorders. 

Dr. Jessica Van Huysse is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan, and the clinical director of theUM Comprehensive Eating Disorders Program. 

Huysse joined Stateside’s Cynthia Canty to discuss some of the most common eating disorders and the dangers associated with them. 

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness.

“I think it's because of the combination of effects from eating disorders that we don’t see for every other psychiatric illness, just in terms of both the physiological and psychological consequences of eating disorders,” Huysse said. “So we know that people with eating disorders have higher rates of suicide than people without mental illness. And we see people die from medical complications of their illnesses.”

Listen above to hear Dr. Huysse explain some of these medical complications, talk about the warning signs of eating disorders, and dispel common misconceptions. 

The website of The National Eating Disorders Association is https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/

Minding Michigan is Stateside’s ongoing series that examines mental health issues in our state.

This post was written by Stateside production assistant Sophie Sherry. 

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