If you’re struggling with an eating disorder but never sought any help or adequate treatment remained elusive to you, let us guide you through the process and help you gain control over your eating behavior in a comfortable and supportive environment.
Eating disorders refer to serious disturbances in eating behaviors that often have physical manifestations, including severe restriction of food, food binges, vomiting or over-exercising. They are complex mental health disorders characterized by an obsession with food, body weight, or body shape. Eating disorders require the intervention of medical and psychological experts to alter their course, as if left untreated, they may lead to serious consequences such as: malnutrition, organ damage, emotional distress, and even death in the worst case scenario
While eating disorders are generally associated with psychological factors, there are other causes that influence appetite and eating patterns. Some of them are: depression, schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder, family history, functional changes in the brain, biological, psychosocial, and environmental factors.
Eating Disorders have been categorized into various categories such as: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, and Unspecified Eating and Feeding Disorder (for individuals who may not fit into the first three categories).
1. Anorexia nervosa is a psychiatric condition characterized by a fear of gaining weight, even when they are severely underweight. People with anorexia nervosa limit their food intake and may appear severely emaciated due to malnutrition.
Some of the common symptoms of anorexia include:
• Appearance of razor-sharp ribs through the skin
• Dehydration and constipation
• Dry, scaly skin, and hair loss
• Dizziness, faintness or weakness
• Inability to concentrate
• Intolerance to cold
• Loss of body fat
• Low blood pressure, and slow or irregular heartbeat
• Abnormal menstrual cycle
• Intense fear of obesity and weight gain
2. Bulimia nervosa is another well-known eating disorder, characterized by uncontrolled or compulsive binge eating, which is followed by making inappropriate attempts to compensate for the food eaten and relieve gut discomfort. Some of the common behaviors of getting rid of the calories consumed are: forced vomiting, fasting, laxatives, diuretics, enemas, and excessive exercise. Individuals with Bulimia often present the following symptoms:
• Frequent episodes of binge eating with a feeling of lack of control
• Dehydration and constipation (caused by excessive use of laxatives or frequent self-induced vomiting)
• Tooth decay and erosion
• Low blood pressure, and irregular heartbeat
• Swollen salivary glands in the cheeks (like mumps)
• Abnormal hormone levels
• Stomach and esophagus problems
3. Binge eating disorder refers to frequent and uncontrollable consumption of large amounts of food, but without any compensating or purging behaviors, as present in people with Bulimia. Some symptoms of binge eating disorder include:
• Eating large amounts of food within a period of time than most people in similar circumstances
• Feeling a lack of control over eating during an episode
• Eating until uncomfortably full
• Feelings of depression and distress, including guilt, shame, or disgust with oneself after an episode
• No presence of purging or compensating behaviors, such as vomiting, excessive exercise, or use of laxatives or diuretics
There are other unspecified eating and feeding disorders as well. If you suspect any of the above listed symptoms or know someone around you who might need help gain control over the eating behavior, connect with our certified healthcare practitioners by filling out our web form, and let us help you correct you’re eating behaviors.
We provide treatment for a full spectrum of eating disorders at all levels of outpatient care. Our treatment plans can easily be tailored to meet every individual’s specific needs and goals. Some of our services include:
• Yoga therapy
• Nutrition counseling
• Meal support
• Group therapy/family therapy
We believe that addressing eating disorders effectively requires a multi-disciplinary team. For this reason, our Psychiatry and Behavioral Health department is home to a primary care physician, a psychotherapist, a dietitian and a psychiatrist. They all work together to explore the root cause of eating problems, and help individuals gain control over their eating behaviors and improve their overall health.
If you have an eating disorder or know someone that struggles with it, seek help from a certified healthcare practitioner that specializes in eating disorders. We invite you to schedule an appointment with our Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Specialists via our secure online form, and let us guide you through the process as easily and supportively as possible.