Eating Disorders and Treatment
Eating disorders are extreme expressions of a range of weight and food issues experienced by both men and women. They include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. All are serious emotional and physical problems that can have life-threatening consequences.
Karin has over 30 years specializing in treating eating disorders. She has written extensively on healing eating disorders, including co-authoring a chapter in the manual used by the Florida Dietetic Association titled Nutrition for Eating Disorders for the years 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010 and 2015.
Is it Possible to Fully Recover?
We are often asked, "Is it possible to fully recover from eating issues, including an eating disorder?" The answer is 100%, unequivocably, YES! Let us help you on your journey to freedom around food, eating, and body image that you so richly deserve.
What is Anorexia Nervosa?
Anorexia Nervosa is characterized primarily by self-starvation and excessive weight loss. Symptoms include: refusal to maintain weight at or above the minimally normal weight for height and age, intense fear of weight gain, distorted body image, loss of three consecutive menstrual periods, and extreme concern with body weight and shape.
What is Bulimia Nervosa?
Bulimia Nervosa is characterized primarily by a secretive cycle of binge eating followed by purging. Symptoms include: repeated episodes of bingeing and purging, feeling out of control during a binge, purging after a binge (vomiting, use of laxatives, diet pills, diuretics , excessive exercising or fasting), frequent dieting, extreme concern with body weight and shape.
What is Binge Eating Disorder?
Binge Eating Disorder is characterized by episodes of binge eating but without compensatory behaviors such as purging, fasting or excessive exercise. Body weight may vary from normal to mild, moderate or severe obesity.
Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, also known as selective eating disorder (SED), is an eating disorder that prevents the consumption of certain foods. It is often viewed as a phase of childhood that is generally overcome with age. However, it can take hold and cause long term complications. The first critical element in the definition of ARFID is a persistent disturbance in eating that leads to significant clinical consequences, such as weight loss or inadequate growth, a significant nutritional deficiency, dependence on tube feeding or nutritional supplements to sustain adequate intake, and/or impaired psychosocial functioning, such as an inability to eat with others.
What is Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED)
Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED) used to be called Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). It is a feeding or eating disorder that causes significant distress or impairment, but does not meet the criteria for another feeding or eating disorder.
Examples of OSFED Include:
- Atypical anorexia nervosa (weight is not below normal)
- Bulimia nervosa (with less frequent behaviors)
- Binge-eating disorder (with less frequent occurrences)
- Purging disorder (purging without binge eating)
- Night eating syndrome (excessive nighttime food consumption)
All cause serious emotional and psychological suffering and/or serious problems in areas of work, school or relationships. If something does not seem right, but your experience does not fall into a clear category, you still deserve attention. If you are concerned about your eating and exercise habits and your thoughts and emotions concerning food, activity and body image, please call!
Treatment for Eating Disorders
The best treatment for an eating disorder is a multi-disciplinary team approach involving the nutritionist, therapist, physician, and client. In nutrition therapy we will explore your relationship with food and weight, set gradual and attainable goals to improve your eating and health while learning to stop using disordered eating symptoms. Goals may include:
- Improving your ability to control your food intake
- Improving energy levels
- Raising metabolism
- Meeting essential nutrient needs
- Challenging distorted thinking about food and weight
- Recognizing internal cues of hunger and fullness
- Learning to use intuitive eating to normalize your weight
- Determining your healthy weight
Your nutrition assessment will last approximately 1 hour. In this first visit, we will discuss your eating habits, weight history, medical concerns and symptoms, activity level, and goals as you feel comfortable. We will then begin your journey to healing your food and changing your life.
Recovery from an eating disorder involves a long-term commitment and hard work. We will be there for you throughout the entire process as you need us. Follow-up appointments are usually weekly or every other week for 50 or 25 minutes.
If Someone You Know Is Suffering
For the Spouse, Parent, Sibling, or Friend - Ongoing support is one of the most valuable tools a person with disordered eating can have. This article about helping someone with bulimia can also be applied to anyone with food issues.