At 43, one mother of three still battles an eating disorder. She is being treated at the Renfrew Center.
Though anorexia and bulimia a typically associated with adolescent girls, doctors say this mother is part of a growing population of patients. Doctors say they have seen a significant 42 percent increase in the number of middle-aged women coming for help.
"We do find that so many women are just coming to terms that they can't go on this way anymore many of them started in elementary school," said Dr. Connie Quinn. She said anorexia and bulimia can return to a woman later in life if it has not been treated as an adolescent.
"Some of them start specifically at that point in their 30s or 40s when they are experiencing life changes loss empty nest infidelity," she said.
The mother, who asked that we not use her real name for privacy reasons, said she was the victim of childhood trauma and remembers first purging her food at the age of 8. Stress of raising a family and working triggered her destructive behaviors again recently.