Pathway to Leaving Eating Disorders Behind
Eating disorders cause physical, mental, and emotional pain for many people. Certain eating patterns or habits can cause serious damage to a person's mind, body, and emotional well-being. Such eating patterns run the spectrum from bulimia nervosa, which is characterized by binging and purging, to anorexia nervosa, which is characterized by eating very little.
It is important that you seek help as soon as possible, as this will make the recovery process less painful. If left untreated, eating disorders can become life-threatening. If you or a loved one are currently suffering from an eating disorder in Utah, contact Pathways Real Life Recovery today. We are eager to help you or your loved one without judgment. We will happily provide you with a free consultation to see if our services can help improve your health.
Despite things you may hear to the contrary, eating disorders are serious conditions that can result in long-term damage. People with eating disorders should seek professional help immediately. This is easier said than done, as many people struggling with eating disorders have a sense of shame about their problems. You should keep in mind that millions of Americans struggle with these problems, and our professionals are only interested in helping you.
Types of Eating Disorders
Anorexia nervosa, commonly known simply as anorexia, is an eating disorder that involves a person intentionally eating very little. People suffering from anorexia often have a distorted body image. They may feel that they are "fat," or at least overweight. This holds true even if they are below a healthy weight. Often, sufferers of anorexia nervosa have a great deal of anxiety about gaining weight, which further dissuades them from eating. There are additional contributing factors to anorexia, as well. Some of these include stress, depression, feelings of helplessness, and relationship issues.
Doctors take several factors into consideration when determining a diagnosis of anorexia. If the patient's weight is at least 15% below the minimum healthy weight for their height as listed on the BMI, this is evidence in support of a diagnosis of anorexia. If the patient is a menstruating female and they miss three periods in a row, this is also a sign of anorexia. No matter the patient's gender, an intense fear of gaining weight is another sign of anorexia. The most telling sign, however, is a belief that the patient is overweight when they are actually so thin that their health is in danger.
Bulimia nervosa, also known as bulimia, is described as the compulsion to overeat and subsequent purging (vomiting up recently eaten food). While vomiting is the most common way a person suffering from bulimia purges, there are other methods as well. Some people suffering from bulimia use diet pills or laxatives. These substances will allow the body to lose weight in the short term. Some people struggling with this disorder also fast and/or exercise excessively.
All of these actions do temporarily keep weight down, but they will cause serious long-term health effects. Bulimia is known to cause malnutrition, various heart problems, liver and kidney problems, anemia, osteoporosis, insomnia, and hair loss. As you can see, bulimia is a serious health concern. Those suffering from bulimia should seek professional help as soon as possible.
As with anorexia, a doctor examining a patient that may have bulimia looks for several signs to make their diagnosis. The clearest sign is at least two binge/purge cycles a week for at least 3 months. This behavior may be enough on its own for the doctor to diagnose the patient with bulimia, but there are other signs that the doctor usually takes into account. They look for a lack of control over eating behavior and an obsession with body shape and weight.
Binge Eating Disorder (BED)
BED makes up almost half of all cases of eating disorders. People suffering from this disorder will frequently consume very large quantities of food, even when they are not hungry (known as 'binging'). They often feel shame and guilt after an eating binge; however, unlike people with bulimia nervosa, they do not purge their food. It is common for people with binge eating disorders to fast or go on diets in response to the way they feel after a binge.
Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED)
A person with OSFED has many of the symptoms of other eating disorders but their condition doesn't align with any specific disorder. People with OSFED commonly have very disruptive eating habits and can have a distorted body image. Around 1 in 3 people who seeks treatment for an eating disorder have OSFED.
Treatment for Eating Disorders
The most effective method of eating disorder treatment involves working with several different professionals to develop a multi-dimensional plan. This team of professionals usually includes a physician, a therapist, and a dietician. This multi-faceted approach with a team of experts allows the patient to have great support and guidance.
Specific treatments you may receive include, but are not limited to:
- Art and Music Therapy
- Dance Therapy
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Family Therapy
- Nutrition Therapy
- Trauma Therapy
- Individual counseling with therapist and registered dietitian
- Complete meal-time support
- After-meal processing to explore each client’s relationship with food
- Brené Brown’s The Daring Way™ shame resilience
- Medical and psychiatric care by an onsite medical team
Our Eating Disorder Treatment Methods
We offer outpatient eating disorder treatment. We tailor each client's treatment to his or her needs based on their particular situation and on our experience with those going through similar struggles. Every facet of our comprehensive program is designed to help residents with their daily lives after they finish the program. We can also provide intensive medical care to those who have eating disorders that seriously threaten their health.
It is important to note that many people are skeptical about getting treatment for their eating disorders, even if the full plan for their treatment is presented to them. Our professionals have a great deal of empathy for our patients. We have a great deal of experience helping people through similar issues, and we know that these unhealthy behaviors are a way of life for some people. This means that it is very difficult to break these habits. Professionals will try to find the root of the problem, rather than treating the symptoms. This can be a very lengthy and difficult process, but the end results are worth it. It can be hard for those not experienced with these harmful behaviors to understand why they are so difficult to drop, but we know that these behaviors are the way some people express their problems. We will help you find healthier ways to overcome mental and emotional struggles. Through our wealth of experience, we also understand that the most effective treatment plan is different for people of different genders, ages, and even different for people that have other medical conditions.
3 Phases of Treatment
The first phase of our program involves restoring the physical health of the patient. Once this has been accomplished, we focus on the psychological health of the patient to eliminate these issues at the deepest level. After the second phase has been completed, we teach the patient how to live in a healthy manner.
Pathways Real Life Recovery is an Eating Disorder Treatment Center in Utah
As hard as the struggle with eating disorders is, it can be overcome with professional help. Many insurance companies now realize how important such treatment is, and thus provide coverage for it. Pathways Real Life Recovery has decades of experience successfully treating patients with eating disorders, including patients that have other disorders contributing to their struggle.