Anorexia, bulimia, and other eating disorders are the topic here. The National Eating Disorder Association is a great resource for anybody dealing with an eating disorder, whether it be themselves or someone they know.
According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, millions of Americans will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, there has been an increase in the number of people seeking treatment for eating disorders in Louisville.
The good news is that those who struggle with an unhealthy connection to food can get the assistance and support they need.
“If you think you have an eating problem, the toughest thing to do is to call out for treatment,” said Dr. Cheri Levinson, founder and clinical director of the Louisville Center for Eating Disorders and assistant professor at the University of Louisville.
She also said, “If you have any suspicion or inclination that you or someone you love has an eating problem, the best thing to do is to be brave and call out for assistance because the longer it continues without receiving care, the harder it is to treat.” “Secrecy is the oxygen of eating problems.”
If you or someone you know may be suffering from an eating problem, please take note of the following warning signs and follow the suggested next steps.
What are the Symptoms of an Eating Disorder?
According to Levinson, there are a variety of telltale signals that might help identify someone with an eating disorder.
As both Levinson and Dr. Alexandria Pruitt, associate director of the Louisville Center for Eating Disorders, have pointed out, some of them include:
- Checking your weight or reflection frequently
- Abnormal gains or losses in weight with no apparent cause
- Constantly thinking about working out and never feeling like you can stop
- Eating Disorders: Guilt, Anxiety, and Shame
- Constantly and meticulously calculating calorie intake
- Removing oneself from the world
- Feeling your body out by pinching your sides or taking a measurement
- Not wanting to be seen in public due to body image concerns and hence avoiding social settings
- Constantly dwelling on one’s physical appearance or weight
- Sometimes feeling like you have no control over your eating
- A drastic shift in eating habits that eliminates whole food categories for the aim of losing weight
- Negative feelings about one’s day’s efforts meriting nourishment
- Refusing to give in to a physical desire
- It’s unhealthy to judge your progress in terms of muscle gain, weight loss, or diet by the standards of others around you.
- Feeling guilty for not doing more when following weight loss testimonies on social media
- Constantly broaching the subjects of diet, weight loss, and physical activity
Treatment For Eating Disorder
Eating problems should be treated as soon as possible. Suicide and other health problems are more common among those who suffer from eating disorders. Those who suffer from an eating disorder are more likely to also struggle with despair, anxiety, or substance abuse. Full health can be restored.
The following are examples of treatment modalities that can be incorporated into individualized plans:
- Psychotherapy for individuals, couples, and/or families
- Constant medical attention and observation
- Advice on healthy eating
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