Have you every wondered

Do I need eating disorder treatment?


Eating disorders such as Anorexia nervosa, bulimia, and overeating disorders can have numerous combinations of signs, symptoms and causes. There are also several other eating and body image disorders that are closely related to anorexia and bulimia. These include Orthorexia, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and Exercise Addiction. All which can be cared for and treated at Hope Healthcare. 

Many people who suffer with an eating disorder have no external symptoms. They do however still experience emotions that are very overwhelming.  An eating disorder is a true diagnoses. Not just a phase of young teens life, or a way to get attention. It is highly critical for someone with an eating disorder to seek medical treatment for eating disorders at the earliest sign of symptoms to prevent further complications. Evidence based research provides that an early intervention and adequate treatment leads to the best clinical outcomes.

Disordered eating behaviors inhibit the healthy experience of emotional, social and spiritual development, and block a person from the life that they only dream of.  At Hope, this life is possible. Disordered eating behaviors require professional eating disorder treatment.



What are the warning signs of an eating disorder? 


Behaviors associated with eating disorders may include:

  • Repeated attempts at strict diets, regardless of weight
  • Repeatedly visiting the bathroom after eating
  • Secretly bingeing on large amounts of food
  • Hoarding large amounts of food
  • Consumption of laxatives, diuretics or diet pills, can be prescribed or over the counter
  • Compulsive exercising 
  • Using prescription stimulant medications (like Adderall) and/or illicit stimulant drugs (like cocaine) to suppress appetite

Common signs of the emotional changes associated with having an eating disorder are:

  • Withdrawal from friends and family
  • Avoidance of meals or situations where food may be present
  • Obsession with weight, body image. 


Common symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is a disease that includes obsession with food, body, and being thin.


Physical symptoms of Anorexia may include:

  • Underweight, even emaciated appearance with protruding bones or a sunken appearance to the face
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Brittle nails
  • Hair that thins, breaks or falls out
  • Menstrual irregularities or loss of menstruation (amenorrhea)
  • Baby fine hair covering face and other areas of the body (lanugo)

Emotional and behavioral signs of Anorexia may include:

  • Refusal to eat
  • Denial of hunger
  • Excessive exercise
  • Participating in meal rituals, such as cutting food into tiny pieces or spitting food out after chewing
  • Constant excuses not to eat, or excuses to why they cant gain weight


Common symptoms of Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia describes a disease where the sufferer moves through cycles of bingeing and purging. There is a chemical change that occurs in the binge and purge cycle that becomes addictive. A person with bulimia can be underweight or overweight.


Physical symptoms of Bulimia may include:

  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Tooth enamel loss leading to cavitites or breaking of the tooth
  • Sores in the throat and mouth
  • Scarring on the back of the hand/fingers used to induce purging
  • Swollen salivary glands (creating “chipmunk cheeks”)
  • Menstrual irregularities or loss of menstruation (amenorrhea)
  • Irritation and inflammation of the esophagus (heartburn and acid reflux)
  • Slowed digestion of food
  • Eating large amounts of food at one time

Behavioral symptoms of bulimia may include:

  • Continuous trials of dieting
  • Hiding food and eating in a secret place
  • Eating to the point of discomfort or pain
  • Self-induced vomiting
  • Laxative use
  • Excessive exercise
  • Frequent bathroom trips after eating


What Are the Causes of Eating Disorders?

There is not one single cause of eating disorders. They most likely result from several factors including biological, psychological, family, genetic, environmental and social factors.


Possible causes of eating disorders include:

Genetics and biology
Some people may be genetically vulnerable to developing eating disorders. Studies show that a person with biological siblings or parents with an eating disorder may be predisposed to develop one too..

Psychological and emotional conditions
A person with an eating disorder may have a whole array of contributing psychological and emotional factors. This may include a low self-esteem, strive to perfection, anger management difficulties, or conflicts with relationships. 

Social and cultural issues
Popular social media portrays the ideal person to be thin and thinner. The media and entertainment industries often focus on appearance and body image. Peer pressure may also fuel eating disorders and poor body image. 

While eating disorders can present differently, all eating disorders share a common background. This background is made up of genetics, medical history, social and environmental factors, life experiences thus far, and the presence of co-occurring mental health disorders. All which can be treated at Hope. 

If you or anyone else has symptoms of an eating disorder, please contact us at Hope Healthcare