Posts Tagged ‘Eating Disorders’

Eating Disorders in the Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Community

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Eating disorders are disproportionately common in segments of the LGBTQ community. Disproving the myth that these illnesses impact only straight, cisgender people, research and personal accounts show that all sexual and gender identities are affected—and sexual and gender minorities perhaps even more so than non-LGBTQ people.

The LGBTQ acronym encompasses several distinct sexual and gender identities. It is an umbrella term that represents a group as diverse and varied as non-LGBTQ people, though often treated as a singular group. While we cannot generalize eating disorder experiences within the LGBTQ community—or outside of it—here we explore eating disorders in one segment: those who identify as lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB). These terms refer to sexual orientation, while “transgender” refers to gender identity. For more on eating disorders in those who identify as transgender, please read Eating Disorders in the Transgender Community.

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Identifying Eating Disorders in Children and Teens

A doctor and a female child

Regular doctor visits are essential to a child’s and teenager’s overall health. These routine checkups are an opportunity to not only chart growth and development, but also to screen for a range of physical and mental health conditions, including eating disorders.

In fact, pediatricians and other primary care providers are often our first line of defense against eating disorders. Well-positioned to monitor ongoing health at well-child visits and other physicals, providers have a unique role in detecting and addressing any issues with food and body. Early identification of eating disorder symptoms can help prevent and interrupt the development of these serious disorders.

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How Does Bulimia Affect Your Teeth?

A dentist speaking with a patient

**Content warning: This post includes discussion of purging behaviors. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed. The following information is not intended as dental or medical advice or as a substitute for professional treatment.

By Dr. Kumar Kolar

With over 14 years’ experience, Dr. Kumar Kolar is a dentist in London, England. He is focused on empowering readers to learn about their dental health and have confidence in their teeth and smile. You can learn more about him on his website and read more of his articles on his blog

Like all eating disorders, bulimia nervosa is a mental health disorder that also affects the well-being of our physical bodies. One of the first places that exhibits physical signs of damage is the mouth and teeth. People with bulimia may experience pain, discomfort, and sensitivity when chewing as a result of bulimic behaviors.

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Beyond “Eating Disorders Don’t Discriminate”

A Black woman looking to the side

When those of us in the field say “eating disorders don’t discriminate,” we’re trying to express that eating disorders affect everyone. The intention is to challenge the stereotype of the thin, white woman and recognize a diversity of experiences and identities.

And while it’s true that eating disorders affect all social groups, this statement is inadequate. Much like “eating disorders see no color,” it lacks nuance and complexity. Taken alone, it doesn’t advance meaningful conversation about race-related body, food, and illness experiences. 

The conversation about eating disorders in the Black community cannot stop here. 

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What Does Recovery Mean?

Woman enjoying food

The question of what constitutes recovery from an eating disorder is one that has been debated in many places by many people. Providers, families, and clients often have different perspectives, and there is a wide spectrum of beliefs within each of these groups. A key reason for this is that eating disorders have distinct physical and psychological manifestations

The physical manifestations of eating disorders are usually what drive people to the highest level of care. That is because these manifestations often carry an immediate risk to one’s physical health and require intensive clinical support. Recovery from physical manifestations is very important, but it does not constitute full recovery.

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The Emily Program – Columbus Opens Its Doors!

The Emily Program - Columbus

We’re thrilled to announce that The Emily Program – Columbus is now open! This location offers individual and group outpatient therapy and intensive programs for all ages, genders, and eating disorder diagnoses.

The opening comes after The Center for Balanced Living transitioned its services to The Emily Program to improve and sustain access to quality eating disorder care in Central Ohio. The Center for Balanced Living will continue as a non-profit with the mission of community education and advocacy aimed at raising awareness and reducing the stigma of eating disorders. Both The Center and The Emily Program will now be housed at the Columbus location.

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