An eating disorder is a general term for conditions characterized by abnormal and disturbed eating habits. These habits may involve severely restricting or excessively consuming food to the point of harming mental and physical health. Overeating or limiting food intake becomes an eating disorder when the behaviors become compulsive.1 Anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder are common eating disorders that affect a large number of people.1 Many people who suffer from eating disorders can benefit from eating disorder recovery centers where the focus is on helping them overcome the problem so that they can lead healthier lives. If you or someone you love is seeking rehab and recovery treatment for an eating disorder, we can help you find a high-quality rehab facility. Just call our confidential helpline at 1-888-319-2606Who Answers? for assistance.
Types of Eating Disorders
Eating disorders come in many forms, but the most common ones are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, a nonprofit organization, about 30 million people in America have suffered from eating disorders at some point in their lives.2"Anorexia nervosa is characterized by severe calorie restriction, which often leads to extreme thinness."Anorexia nervosa is characterized by severe calorie restriction, which often leads to extreme thinness. People with this condition tend to see themselves as overweight, even when they are not.1 Often, they are intensely afraid of gaining weight, weight themselves repeatedly, have a distorted body image, deny the seriousness of being underweight, and pursue thinness at all costs.
Symptoms of anorexia include 1:
- Preoccupation with eating, food, and weight
- Lack of menstruation
- Emaciation or extreme thinness
- Brittle hair and nails
- Dry, yellow skin
- Severe constipation
- Growth of hair all over the body
- Low energy, lethargy
- Low blood pressure and pulse
- Heart and brain damage
- Consistently feeling cold due to lower internal body temperature
- Thinning of bones
Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate amongst psychiatric disorders but the actual rate can vary depending on the study.2 The mortality rate of this condition is 12 times higher than other causes of death for women and girls between the ages of 15 and 24.2 Treatment for anorexia at an eating rehab facility could potentially save your life.
Bulimia nervosa is another common eating disorder. This condition is characterized by recurring episodes of binge eating followed by forced vomiting, fasting, excessive use of laxatives, overexercising, or a combination of purging behaviors.1 The person may repeat this cycle every few days or several times per day. Those who suffer from bulimia nervosa typically have profound feelings of shame and guilt and thus, their behaviors are done in secret. 1 People with this disorder will often be at a normal weight and even slightly overweight.1 Like anorexics, they may have an intense fear of gaining weight and are unhappy with how their bodies look.
Symptoms of bulimia nervosa include 1:
- Gastrointestinal problems, including acid reflux
- Chronically sore throat
- Swollen salivary glands
- Sensitive, decaying teeth and worn tooth enamel
- Intestinal distress from overuse of laxatives
- Severe dehydration
- Electrolyte imbalance
Since bulimic behavior is typically conducted in secret, friends and family members may not know a loved one has the condition until the individual begins suffering from related medical issues. If you suspect someone of having bulimia, it is important to encourage the person to seek help as soon as possible.
How to Select an Inpatient Rehab Program
Treatment for eating disorders typically focuses on stopping the problematic behaviors and improving physical health through adequate nutrition. People suffering from anorexia, bulimia, or other eating disorders can benefit from inpatient treatment. Because the inpatient program requires the patient to remain at the facility for the duration of treatment, the person is not distracted by the demands of everyday life and can focus on recovering from the disorder.
Treatment for an eating disorder often consists of a combination of psychotherapy and medication, such as antidepressants or mood stabilizers.1 There is not one program that works for everyone; treatment plans are often catered to the specific needs of the individual. Family and group therapy are also common additions to treatment plans as well as nutritional counseling. 1
Finding the right addiction recovery program can be challenging, and several things should be taken into consideration:
- How far is the treatment facility from your home?
- Are special accommodations for a disability required?
- What types of services does the facility offer?
- How long does treatment take, and can you afford to be away that long?
- Are friends and family allowed to visit?
- How much does the program cost? What payment methods are accepted?
- Do you want a program that caters to your religious beliefs?
- Does the center offer extended-care services?
- Will the doctor help you transition to a support group?
Once you have an idea of what type of facility you want to enter, it is essential that you take time to conduct a thorough investigation of the one you choose. Our caring counselors can provide assistance with this step. Calling our confidential hotline at 1-888-319-2606Who Answers? will connect you with a knowledgeable representative who can answer your questions about treatment options and rehab facilities.
"With the right treatment and support, it is possible to overcome an eating disorder."If possible, take a tour of the eating recovery facility and ask questions. Meet with the doctors who will be working with you, and ask them about their education and experience treating people with eating disorders. Ask them about the success rate of the programs they offer. Lastly, contact the appropriate government agencies to make sure the medical staff and facility is properly licensed. This offers some assurance that the treatment center meets minimum industry standards.
With the right treatment and support, it is possible to overcome an eating disorder. Take time to carefully consider all the variables, and then choose the eating recovery center that will best help you achieve your goals. For help with finding a rehab center, call us at 1-888-319-2606Who Answers?.
. Eating Disorders. (n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2016, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/eating-disorders/index.shtml . National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. (n.d.). Retrieved January 25, 2016, from http://www.anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/
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