What is disordered eating?
People with disordered eating may eat too little or too much, eat only certain foods, or have a distorted view of their own body weight and shape. While disordered eating may cause weight loss, they are not exclusive to thin or underweight individuals and can affect people of all weights, genders, and ages.
Disordered eating issues that Geode clinicians successfully treat
Anorexia nervosa is a mental health condition characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, a distorted body image, and extreme dieting and exercise. The condition can cause serious health problems and can be life-threatening.
At Geode Health, treatment for anorexia nervosa typically involves a combination of different types of therapy, medication management, and nutritional interventions which include the development of healthy eating habits.
Bulimia nervosa is a mental health condition characterized by cycles of binging (eating a large amount of food in a short period of time) and purging (getting rid of the food by vomiting, using laxatives, or exercising excessively). People with bulimia may be normal weight, underweight, or overweight. The condition can be very harmful to physical and mental health.
Typical treatments for bulimia nervosa involve a combination of therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication management. These treatments aim to help individuals change behaviors and thoughts related to food and body image, as well as address any underlying emotional or psychological issues.
Binge eating disorder is a mental health condition characterized by repeated episodes of binge eating. People with this disorder may eat large amounts of food in a short period of time, even when they are not hungry. The condition can cause significant physical and emotional problems and can significantly reduce quality of life.
Geode Health’s clinicians may include therapy to help individuals with binge eating disorder address their relationship with food and manage their emotions, as well as nutrition counseling to establish healthy eating patterns. Medication management may also be used to reduce binge eating episodes and manage any associated mental health conditions.
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Frequently asked questions about eating disorders
Disordered eating is a term used to describe a range of behaviors and attitudes surrounding unhealthy eating habits. While “disordered eating” does not necessarily equate to an eating disorder, they are closely related concepts.
Eating disorders are mental illnesses characterized by abnormal eating behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. They include conditions such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. Eating disorders involve extreme and often harmful behaviors related to food and body image, and can have serious physical and psychological consequences if left untreated.
Disordered eating, on the other hand, refers to a wide range of irregular eating patterns that do not necessarily meet the diagnostic criteria for an eating disorder, but can still have negative effects on physical and mental health.
Even if disordered eating does not meet the clinical criteria for an eating disorder, it can still lead to poor nutrition, weight gain or loss, and negative impacts on mental health. If you or a loved one are experiencing signs of disordered eating, it’s important to reach out to a doctor or mental health provider to find treatment, as allowing the issues to progress can lead to significant psychological and physical effects.
The signs and symptoms of eating disorders and disordered eating can vary depending on the specific individual, but some common signs to look out for include:
In addition to psychological distress, eating disorders and disordered eating patterns can lead to physical symptoms such as:
Treatments for eating disorders are tailored to the condition and individual. Your Geode Health provider will work with you to understand your eating disorder, along with any co-occurring mental health conditions.
Treatment may include individual cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to develop healthier thought processes and habits related to food and nutrition, as well as group or family therapy to provide support throughout the treatment process. Your provider may also recommend medication to address eating disorder symptoms and co-occurring mental health conditions.
Yes, anyone can develop an eating disorder. While certain factors such as genetics, environment, and life experiences may increase one’s risk of developing an eating disorder, they can affect people of any gender, age, or background. Eating disorders are not solely related to body weight, but rather are complex mental health conditions that involve distorted thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors around food and body image.
If you are in crisis and in need of immediate support
Please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 988 or text the Crisis Text Line by texting HELLO to 741741