By Dr. Brian McDonough

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – We usually think of dramatic cases but the truth is that eating disorders can go unnoticed for prolonged periods of time. Both anorexia and bulimia can be hidden until there are large changes in body weight and muscle wasting.

In fact, in the case of bulimia where a person binges and then purges themselves of food, it can be totally missed.

A major point to understand about eating disorders is that they are psychological problems. They’re not necessarily all about weight. There is a distorted body image that takes control and it can affect behavior, but I think the important thing to realize here is that each case is individual and we need to get help, sometimes at the psychiatric level.