By Mark Warren, MD, Chief Medical Officer, The Emily Program
An important topic that comes up relatively frequently with my patients in eating disorder treatment is whether those with low heart rates are at risk. The answer is absolutely yes. A low heart rate is a very significant risk and requires immediate attention.
There is a belief held by some that low heart rates are normal - and safe - in adolescents who are athletes. However, this is not supported by evidence and, in fact, it is almost certainly untrue.
Blog Archives: March 2015
By Tiffany Hammer, Community Outreach Specialist
Perhaps one of the most culturally ingrained normatives about our culture is the emphasis that we receive from media regarding how one should feel, dress, or behave with regards to our relationship with our bodies and food. In my own personal experiences, even before making eating disorder awareness a professional pathway, I notice that when I get together with my friends, often over food and drinks, how much of a regular topic of conversation it is to discuss: exercises--what we "should" or "have to" be doing, food--the "good" or "bad" of what we have been or are consuming, and body image--what we "can" or "cannot" wear or feelings of "fat."
Now, I feel hyper aware when these topics come up, and how much I notice myself or those around me, making this subject an introductory topic of conversation. These topics, like "how are you doing?" or "what do you do?", have come to be placeholders in our interpersonal connections, where we feel obligated to answer "fine," "ok," "good" and then launch into a discussion about all the things we "should be" doing. If we lift the curtain a little further just beyond what we are already discussing with the people in our lives, we can start to see that body image, exercise and food, is not just on the tips of tongues, but also bombarding our senses via all platforms of media. How are we to feel great about ourselves when we are personally exhausting the topic, then screen, ads, and even radio are labeling our habits "good" or "bad"?
A person wrote in saying that they feel stuck. Part of their letter said that they feel like the eating disorder has a whole arsenal of tools and all they have is a little wooden stick.
Our physical and mental health, relationships, and day-to-day life are all affected and challenged by disordered eating habits' pervasive nature. When someone suffers from an eating disorder, the risk of health consequences, such as brain damage, could occur. Disrupted eating behaviors negatively affect adequate nutrition absorption; thus, the brain does not get the nutrients it needs to function properly. This is especially concerning in adolescents, as brain development occurs through early adulthood - meaning that significant periods of growth could be disrupted.
Today's yoga focus is a powerful and accessible practice called Nadi Shodhana or Alternate Nostril Breathing (ANB).
This practice is about BALANCE. Alternate Nostril Breathing balances the right & left hemispheres of the brain, the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. In essence, ANB creates balance between "fight or flight" and "rest and digest" responses, calming the nervous system and decreasing stress.
Eating disorders can create a lot of stress and sadness in people's lives. The secrecy and isolation can cause feelings of despair. However, we have to power within ourselves to change how we feel. With a simple gesture we can begin to improve our mood. Now, by no means do the following ideas treat or cure eating disorders but, it could help you feel better every now and again, if even for a moment.
One of The Emily Program – Cleveland's adolescent clients traveled internationally to Cleveland seeking eating disorder treatment, taking on challenges not just in her recovery, but in the simple logistics that most in treatment take for granted.
Without effective treatment, eating disorders can be chronic and life threatening. Therefore as patients, we should be well-informed consumers of the treatment we receive. In fact, being armed with accurate information about what constitutes best practices in treatment could be the difference between life and death.
Anxiety is a common issue that individuals struggle with in addition to an eating disorder. In this video, Dr. Jillian Lampert talks about how to ease some of the anxiety and calm your body.
The Emily Program is excited to announce that our Pittsburgh location is now open and accepting new clients.
Eating disorders disrupt the lives of some 130,000 males and 296,000 females in Pennsylvania every day. The Pittsburgh office is being led by eating disorder expert Liz McCabe, who is committed to helping individuals in the area recover.