What are eating disorders?
Eating disorders are psychiatric conditions that involve unhealthy, flawed relationships with food and eating.
As the fixation on food and body weight worsens, patients with eating disorders develop unpleasant symptoms and sometimes suffer disabling complications. Eating disorder problems vary depending on which condition you have but can include:
Eating disorders are a serious issue and can prove fatal. Across the United States, more people die because of eating disorders than any other mental health-related condition.
What are the different eating disorders?
The three most common eating disorders are:
Anorexia nervosa makes you see yourself as overweight even though you aren’t. You could be severely underweight yet still think your reflection in the mirror proves you’re carrying excess body weight. Severe anorexia causes malnutrition, infertility, fine hair growth (lanugo), brain and heart damage, and eventually multiple organ failure.
With bulimia nervosa, you binge eat, consuming excessive amounts of food often in a short period. After binging, you feel full of self-hate and make yourself vomit. You might also use medications like laxatives and diuretics to lose any weight you think you’ve gained.
This disorder is similar to bulimia, except you don’t make yourself vomit after binging.
What are the signs someone has an eating disorder?
Someone with anorexia is unable to understand they’re underweight, despite what their reflection or the bathroom scales show. They are also obsessed with weighing themselves, counting calories, and restricting their food intake.
People with bulimia might have dental problems due to the repeated regurgitation of corrosive stomach acid into the mouth. Another common sign of eating disorders is exercising excessively.
How are eating disorders treated?
Each patient with an eating disorder benefits from a personalized treatment plan at Mesquite Valley Integrated Health. Your plan could include one or more of the following:
The Maudsley approach is a family therapy often effective in helping patients recover from eating disorders.
If you or your child develops signs of an eating disorder, visit Mesquite Valley Integrated Health for compassionate care. Call the office today and schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.