Who is at Risk for Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders can develop at any age during infancy, childhood, or adulthood. The idea that eating disorders mostly affect girls and women is untrue. Both boys and men are at equal risk. Your risk of developing an eating problem may be increased by certain factors, such as:
- Family history of eating disorders, or any other psychological conditions
- Trauma history (physical, emotional, or sexual)
- Anxiety, sadness, or obsessive-compulsive disorder in the past (OCD)
- Dietary history
Other factors include:
- Diabetes (up to one-fourth of women with Type 1 diabetes develop an eating issue)
- Involvement in activities that focus on a slim appearance
- Major life changes
- Tendency to be a perfectionist
What are the Symptoms of Eating Disorders?
Specific eating disorders have different specific symptoms. It’s not always possible to identify if someone has an eating issue based only on looks. However, you can see these general changes:
- Actions and attitudes that suggest dieting, weight loss, and food management
- Mood swings
- Fatigue, dizziness, or fainting
- Hair loss or hair thinning
- Frequent toilet visits following meals
- Severe weight loss or unexplained weight shifts
- Unusual sweating
- Refusal to eat certain foods
- Strongly worried about looks and appearance
- Frequently checking in the mirror
- Discomfort while eating in public
Other changes could include:
- Dining alone or refusing to dine with others
- Leaving friends or social gatherings
- Hiding or discarding food
- Obsession with food, calories, physical activity, or weight loss
- Food customs (chewing food longer than necessary, eating in secret)
How is an Eating Disorder Diagnosed?
Eating Disorders are identified by healthcare experts including doctors and mental health specialists. Your primary care physician could assess your symptoms, do a physical exam, and request blood test results. A psychological assessment is performed by a psychologist or psychiatrist to find out more about your eating habits and attitudes. You don’t have to have every symptom to receive an eating disorder diagnosis.
How are Eating Disorders Managed or Treated?
The type of eating problem you have and your symptoms will determine how you are treated. Having an organized approach to eating disorder treatment can help you manage the symptoms, go back to a healthy weight, and regulate your physical and mental health.
The most crucial element of treating eating disorders is psychotherapy. The ideal psychotherapy for your conditions might be determined by a mental health practitioner. It helps in developing healthy eating habits, achieving a healthy weight, and replacing bad eating patterns with good ones. Psychotherapy teaches you how to monitor your eating and your moods. It includes:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy. This kind of psychotherapy focuses on your eating disorder-related actions, thoughts, and emotions.
- Family-based therapy. During this therapy, family members will learn how to assist you in restoring appropriate eating habits and achieving a healthy weight until you can do it on your own.
An experienced licensed dietitian can assist in changing eating patterns and creating nourishing meal plans. Nutrition education may help you achieve a healthy weight, by teaching how nutrition impacts your body and how your eating disorder affects both your physical and nutritional health. Nutrition counseling practice meal planning and establish regular eating patterns.
An eating disorder cannot be cured by medication. They work best in combination with psychological therapy. However, some patients with eating disorders also struggle with depression or anxiety. Antidepressants can aid in reducing the symptoms of anxiety or sadness, which usually accompany eating disorders.
Antidepressants are the most common medications used to treat eating disorders that involve binge eating or purging behaviors, however, other drugs may also be prescribed depending on the circumstances.
The parents of teens with anorexia benefit from this type of family treatment. Parents carefully supervise their children’s eating as they develop healthy eating habits. The main goals of including parents in this strategy are to promote and include parental involvement in their child’s healing journey.
What are the Complications of Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders are the second most fatal psychiatric disorder, followed only by opioid use disorder. Your overall health may suffer as a result of severely limiting your caloric intake, throwing up, or vigorous exercise. With an untreated eating disorder, you run the risk of developing major issues like:
- Cardiac disorders such as arrhythmia, heart failure, and others
- Organ failure and brain damage
- Tooth damage and osteoporosis
- Constipation and severe dehydration
- Acid reflux (gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD)
- Issues with the digestive system
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Irregular menstrual cycles and infertility
What can I do to stop Eating Disorders?
If eating disorders run in your family (as one of the major causes), being aware of the warning signs is a good first step to recognizing the problem early. Prompt treatment can break unhealthy eating patterns before they become harder to overcome. By receiving therapy for issues like depression, anxiety, and OCD, you can also lower your chance of developing an eating disorder.
Eat regular, healthy meals and pick out nutritious snacks. Educate yourself and your family about the connection between diet and health. Avoid stocking your home with an excessive amount of junk food, including soda, candy, and baked items. Don’t diet, discuss diets, or make negative remarks about your body.
Treatment, medication, and therapy for an eating disorder at Novus Beginning Psychiatry in Sugar Land, Texas
Follow these steps to begin counseling at Novus Beginning Psychiatry:
- Get in touch with our office to schedule an appointment or to learn more about eating disorders
- Meet our experienced psychiatrist who will look for solutions to assist you with your psychological health
- Visit our website and learn more about human psychology.
- Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Additional Services We Provide
At Novus Beginning Psychiatry, we provide therapy and medication treatment services for people of all ages having anxiety disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, eating disorders, depression, ADHD, autism, and women’s issues. We provide couples and marriage counseling, counseling for children, young adults, and teenagers, family therapy, men’s issues, trauma counseling, and group counseling. Please contact Novus Beginning Psychiatry immediately if you want to know more about our psychiatrist, therapist, and counseling service.