Eating disorders are a mental health issue that affects both men and women in the United States. Whether it may be anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or binge eating disorder, these conditions have very harmful consequences. Mental, physical, and behavioral health are all in danger, but can luckily be treated if help is sought.
At SoCal Empowered, our inpatient mental health clinic specializes in treating these eating disorders. Our licensed professional care team provides individualized eating disorder treatment plans for each patient to meet specific needs. We are equipped with the tools and treatment options you need to achieve mental wellness and live a healthy life.
Eating disorders are classified as a serious medical illness that involves harsh eating behaviors. They are not a lifestyle choice and are usually biologically-influenced.
Signs of an eating disorder may include obsessions with food, weight, and body shape. These conditions affect an individual’s mental and physical health and can be life-threatening.
Learning about eating disorders and the different types can help an individual recognize it and seek treatment early. It is important to keep in mind that individuals with eating disorders may appear healthy, but are still very ill.
The most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder.
An individual who has anorexia nervosa will show signs of avoiding or restricting food. They may even eat extremely small portions or certain foods only. It is common for an individual to see themselves as overweight, despite being underweight.
Anorexia is the least common eating disorder out of the three, but it’s typically the most dangerous. This condition has the highest death rate out of any mental health disorder.
Bulimia nervosa is when an individual experiences periods of binge-eating, that is followed by throwing up. They may even use laxatives, over-exercise, or fast after they purge. An individual who suffers from bulimia nervosa may be slightly underweight, a normal weight, or overweight. It is common for people with bulimia nervosa to also have anorexia nervosa.
An individual with a binge-eating disorder will continue to eat even after they are full. In fact, they may eat until they feel extremely uncomfortable. After purging, they may feel feelings of guilt, shame, and worry.
Unlike bulimia nervosa, they do not throw up, over-exercise, or take laxatives afterward. Binge eating disorder often leads to weight gain or obesity, and is the most common eating disorder in the U.S.
People of all ages, races, body weights, and genders can develop an eating disorder, although they are more common in women. These conditions usually develop during teen or young adulthood years, but can appear later in life.
It is not fully understood what causes an eating disorder. However, some research suggests a combination of genetic, biological, behavioral, psychological, and social factors can increase the risk.
Researchers are currently using the latest technology to discover what exactly causes the condition. One method is by studying human genes since eating disorders can run in the family. Researchers are trying to identify DNA differences that increase the risk of developing this disorder.
Studies of brain imaging provide a better understanding of these conditions. For instance, researchers discovered differences in brain activity between women with eating disorders and healthy women. This type of research can help improve and develop new resources for diagnoses and eating disorder treatment.
Due to the seriousness of eating disorders, seeking help for this condition is extremely important. To make a diagnosis, a health professional will examine all symptoms and the medical history of the patient.
In order to receive the best medical advice and treatment, the individual must show complete honesty about eating and exercise behaviors. They must also be willing to cooperate by completing:
Levels of care for eating disorders are based on the individual’s needs to achieve long-term recovery. A treatment team of doctors, therapists, and nutritionists will likely be helping. Eating disorder treatment generally involves:
Treatment for people with eating disorders may include a combination of treatment methods. The end goal is to restore adequate nutrition, a healthy weight, reduce excessive exercise, and stop binge-purge eating behaviors. It is possible to fully overcome an eating disorder.
In the United States, the lifetime prevalence of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder are estimated to be 0.9%, 1.5%, and 3.5%. Eating disorders exclude no one, and treatment programs are available.
In Orange County, our mental health treatment center offers eating disorder treatment and care for co-occurring mental issues. If you or someone you love may be struggling with an eating disorder, give us a call today. Our licensed health care team wants you to live a happy, healthy life.