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Articles tagged with: Physical Health

When it Comes to Exercise, Focus on Health

August 25, 2015.
  • ExerciseOptions 685x171

    This is one person's story; everyone will have unique experiences on their own path to recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors or symptom use. Please use your own discretion. And speak with your therapist when needed.

    By Dana Rademacher, intern at The Emily Program

    We all know exercise is an important aspect for our overall health and well-being. One thing I love about exercise is that there are an infinite amount of types and styles, so everyone can find an activity that meets their lifestyle and needs. With swimming, walking, yoga, running, dancing, basketball, tennis, and everything in between, there is just about something for everyone. However, it can sometimes be hard to find the right motivations and to have the right mindset behind exercising.

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Gardening & Nature as Therapy

July 23, 2015.
  • photo of a hiking trail

    By Dana Rademacher, intern at The Emily Program

    "Gardening is the most therapeutic and defiant act you can you get strawberries." -Ron Finley, Ted Talk: A guerilla gardener in South Central LA

    Let's be honest here for a second, I do not have the best track record when it comes to gardening and caring for plant life. I always get excited by the idea of gardening, but when push comes to shove, I'm just no good at keeping anything alive. I have the opposite of a green thumb if there is such a thing. Being busy between work and school, it is hard to find time to learn which plants are best for the climate, which fertilizer to use or to even pay attention to the rain-to-sun ratio every day.

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Heart Rates and Eating Disorders

April 23, 2015. Written by Mark Warren, M.D.
  • photo of an EKG Heartbeat

    By Dr. Mark Warren, chief medical officer at The Emily Program

    One area that is a constant concern with those with eating disorders has to do with heart rate, in particular, low heart rate. This issue is generally observed at low body weight but can happen anytime there has been a significant amount of weight loss. In general, as one loses weight one loses muscle mass. With the loss of muscle mass there may be loss of heart mass as the heart is a muscle.

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Eating Disorders and Low Heart Rate

March 31, 2015.
  • photo of a stethoscope

    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.

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How eating disorders affect the neurobiology of the brain

March 23, 2015.
  • photo of a brain

    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.

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Nutrition Basics: A Simple Guide

March 20, 2014.
  • Our bodies require a combination of nutrients for optimal health and wellness. Sometimes it's helpful to refresh our knowledge base with some basic nutritional facts. Since everyone's needs can vary, you can work with your registered dietitian to determine your unique needs.

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A Review of Eating Disorders and The Brain

February 26, 2014.
  • Re-posted from Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders (CCED) blog archives. CCED and The Emily Program partnered in 2014.

    By Dr. Mark Warren

    One of the most exciting books to recently be published on eating disorders is the book Eating Disorders and the Brain by Drs Bryan Lask and Ian Frampton. A review of the book was recently published by Dr. Joel Yager, a prominent psychiatrist in the eating disorder field. Dr. Yager describes 2 parts of the book which I thought to be extraordinarily important. The first is an early chapter in the book by David Wood on why clinicians should love and appreciate neuroscience. This discussion, which focuses on free will, determinism, how the presentation of an eating disorder makes one think about philosophical, clinical, and medical issues is critically important. This chapter also discusses past assumptions and questions around the origins of eating disorders including genes, attachment theory, cultural theories, social adversity, family issues, maturation, issues of neural networks and how all of these issues can be seen not as etiologic factors but as factors that must be considered while treating these complex disorders. By moving beyond etiology into understanding complexity, he makes a tremendous contribution to the conceptualization of these illnesses.

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Managing Diabetes and an Eating Disorder

January 30, 2014.
  • By: Sina Teskey, R.D., L.D., The Emily Program

    Having a medical condition such as diabetes can be complicated with an eating disorder. Due to the complexity of this type of situation, The Emily Program dietitians help clients navigate and plan to mitigate problems.

    There are two factors that can overwhelm people who struggle with diabetes and eating disorders. For one, it can become compensatory to overdose insulin as a means of “purging.” In addition, it can hard to manage the diabetic diet itself because it has many guidelines that may feel like food rules to someone working on neutralizing food judgments.

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Gratitude for Primary Care Physicians

September 20, 2013. Written by Mark Warren, M.D.
  • Re-posted from Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders (CCED) blog archives. CCED and The Emily Program partnered in 2014.

    By Dr. Mark Warren

    Over the past few weeks I have started rounding on a pediatric inpatient unit with Drs Gillespie and Rome, adolescent medicine specialists who we are privileged to work closely with. It has been a new experience for me to work with patients at the medical inpatient level of care. Upon admit, these clients and families often are in a state of extraordinary surprise, confusion, and fear. They may have gone to their physician thinking everything was alright, then learned their heart rate was low, EKG was abnormal, or electrolytes were off balance. Instead of going home with a prescription or reassurance, they find themselves in a hospital with fears about the things that might happen next. As I have sat with these patients and their families I have had an awareness of what it means to be a pediatrician or family medicine provider – to be the first person to see the eating disorder, its negative physical consequences and to give news to families and patients that is so new, painful, and frightening. Once a patient is at an eating disorder treatment center they are already halfway to knowing what is happening and what they need treatment. While our work here is often difficult it has been profound to stand as the line of first defense. I am so appreciative of the work these physicians do and their abilities to transition patients into life saving treatment.

    Contributions by Sarah Emerman

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Biology and Eating Disorders

August 01, 2012. Written by Mark Warren, M.D.
  • Re-posted from Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders (CCED) blog archives. CCED and The Emily Program partnered in 2014.

    By Mark Warren, MD

    The book Eating Disorders and the Brain edited by Drs Lask and Frampton continues to be an extraordinarily important book to understanding the etiology of eating disorders. Given our current knowledge, we often say that eating disorders are biologically based. Yet, this is somewhat of a two-dimensional statement as eating disorders are experienced as complex and multi factorial. A large number of factors seem to be interacting when someone presents with an eating disorder. These include genes, early attachment, personality issues, cultural issues, cultural norms, peer relationships, sensitivity, and on and on. Current biological work is beginning to show us is that many of these factors may in fact be related to one and other. The complex development of the eating disorder can be understood as the product of a specific genetic profile that develops in a specific individual under specific circumstances. Rigidity, perfectionism, skillfulness, and skill deficits, that are often seen in individuals with the illness are often mislabeled as "causes" when they are in fact part and parcel of the same developmental picture that may ultimately result in an eating disorder. With continued research of the brain, we are closer to understanding this complexity in terms of a specific biology that causes multiple expressions and can ultimately understood and treated through development and improvement of structures within the brain.

    Contributions by Sarah Emerman

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