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Eating Disorders

Eating disorder treatment depends on your particular disorder and your symptoms. A team approach is required and typically includes a combination of psychotherapy, nutrition education, medical monitoring and sometimes medications.

 

  • Anorexia Nervosa: a disorder characterized by intense fear of gaining weight, a distorted body image, refusal to maintain body weight for height, body type, age and activity level, food restriction leading to severe weight loss, intense fear of weight gain or being “fat," feeling fat or overweight despite dramatic weight loss, possible loss of menstrual periods ,extreme concern with body weight and size.

  • Bulimia Nervosa: a disorder characterized by binge eating followed by purging behaviors, such as vomiting, laxative use or excessive exercise.

 

  • Binge Eating Disorder/Compulsive overeating:  a disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating without purging behaviors, continuous eating beyond the point offering comfortably full., sporadic fasts or repetitive diets. Body weight can vary from normal to milder, moderate, or severe obesity.

  • Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder, or ARFID: is common in children and adolescents, but can continue into adulthood as well. ARFID is often intricately tied with other psychological conditions, like OCD or anxiety: Often, people who have ARFID have a fear of vomiting from certain foods or having a dire allergic reaction from food and therefore restrict certain foods.  This disorder also can occur alongside developmental disabilities like autism, and symptoms may include aversions to certain foods, textures, and flavors.

  • Rumination Disorder: Rumination disorder affects mostly young children. It is characterized by the regurgitation of recently swallowed food back into the mouth. The undigested food is re-chewed, re-swallowed, or spit out. Rumination disorder involves frequent regurgitation either immediately or within 30 mins of eating food. Children with rumination syndrome will show signs of bad breath, weight loss, tooth decay, indigestion, abdominal pain, and dry lips.

 

  • Pica: Is a rare eating disorder diagnosis. It involves eating things that are not edible, such as paint, paper, dirt, chalk, or clay (and the list goes on). Typically, it's connected to another mental health condition, including schizophrenia, or an intellectual or developmental disability.  Having pica doesn't mean that that person has a severe mental health condition. Some people can develop intense pica-related cravings during pregnancy — there's speculation that it can occur because of iron or another nutrient deficiency. The warning signs of pica are pretty clear, in terms of cravings for eating non-food items. Malnutrition could also be a cause. Pica is a sign that the body is trying to rectify a nutrient deficiency.

 

  • Other specified & Unspecified feeding and eating disorders (OSFED & UFED): an eating disorder that doesn't seem to neatly fit the description of anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder diagnosis, it may be classified as an OSFED. Atypical anorexia fits under this umbrella, because people who have it don't necessarily fit the criteria of being underweight. The unspecified feeding and eating disorder category is used in situations in which the clinician chooses not to specify the reason that the criteria are not met for a specific feeding and eating disorder, and includes presentation in which there is insufficient information to make a more specific diagnosis (e.g., in emergency room settings).

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Obesity and eating disorders are usually seen as very different problems.  Eating disorders are serious and diagnosable mental health disorders that can significantly affect someone’s life, from the way they think and behave, as well as their physical wellbeing. Often eating disorders can include body image dissatisfaction and unhealthy coping behaviors to try to cope with stressful situations or other underlying mental health issues.

 

When seeking out treatment and support for weight loss it is important to be aware of the pros and cons of various treatments and the similarities between obesity and eating disorders.  Both issues can be complex and serious, and they may require ongoing professional support, therapy, nutritional education, and peer support to overcome.

Our goal is to determine a patient's understanding and readiness for treatment and make the appropriate recommendations needed for eating wellness, a positive prognosis, and improved mental and physical health .  

If you or a loved one is suffering from Eating Disorder, please call, we can help. Call us at (631) 724-7152 or leave your name, email and message in the contact section below.

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