Posts Tagged ‘Education’

Eating Disorders: The Brain-Gut Connection

Tea leaves in tea cup

Eating disorders are biologically-based brain illnesses that are noted by changes in food behaviors, eating, and self-perception. Eating disorders are complex illnesses that often become increasingly severe.

Over the last decade, we have seen a new area of research take shape as investigators have studied the brain, personality traits that are mediated by how the brain is wired, and how the brain processes reward. Recently, fMRI studies have demonstrated differences in the experiences of reward in individuals with eating disorders compared to controls who have never had eating disorders as well as people who had an eating disorder but are now recovered.

These studies found that people with Anorexia Nervosa experience less stimulation of the reward pathways of the brain, while people with bulimia seem to experience more active reward pathways. Early research examining reward processing in individuals with binge eating disorders shows data similar to those with bulimia. Additionally, there is emerging research on the gut’s connection to mood and brain function that may illuminate our understanding of eating disorders.

Read more

Eating Disorders 101

knives and forks on a table

Eating disorders are real, complex illnesses that can cause serious harm. Eating disorders are characterized by a disturbance in an individual’s eating and food behaviors or self-perception. Common warning signs of eating disorders are extreme weight changes, altered eating behaviors, or an intense fixation on food and body talk. Eating disorders are biologically-based brain illnesses that are affected by environmental, social, and psychological factors. This means that illness is not caused by one specific factor, but rather by a series of factors in an individual’s unique life experience.

Types of Eating Disorders

Due to the complexity of eating disorders, the DSM-5 divides eating disorders into the following five categories:

Anorexia Nervosa. Anorexia is noted by extreme food restriction that causes dramatic and prolonged weight loss. It often presents with body dysmorphia and a genuine fear of food.

Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). ARFID includes feeding or eating disorders that involve a lack of interest in or an avoidance of certain foods that result in a failure to meet nutritional needs. ARFID, unlike anorexia, does not include a drive for thinness.

Read more

Episode 6: Let’s Talk Nutrition!

Vegetable dish

Episode description:

Dietitian Bailey Weirens joins Peace Meal to discuss the truth behind nutrition and healthy eating. Bailey discusses the importance of calories, why macro and micronutrients are important, and what recovery meal plans are. By advocating for an anti-diet approach to nutrition and promoting body acceptance, Bailey enlightens listeners on the importance of listening to our bodies in order to sustain long-term health and wellbeing.

Read more

Why Some Clients Need Residential Treatment

Seattle Group Room

Eating disorders occur at different levels of severity, which is why we offer multiple levels of client care, from outpatient to residential. Whenever possible, our goal is to minimize the disruption to a client’s day-to-day life. However, when an eating disorder presents as a crisis, more intensive care becomes necessary so harmful behavior patterns can be interrupted as soon as possible. Some examples of eating disorder related crises include:

  • Medical instability
  • Inability to control one’s own behaviors
  • Extreme changes in BMI to the degree that physical health may be at imminent risk

 In each of these situations, residential care is most often recommended. In residential care, medical safety for at-risk clients can be maintained because of the presence of 24/7 nursing and medical providers. Residential care exists so that clients who are medically unstable or unable to improve in other care levels can avoid hospitalization, which is a far more restrictive experience. Residential care is not forced care and it is not designed to limit freedom. It is designed to provide safety, rapid results, and to prepare clients for long-term recovery.

Read more

Our Favorite Recovery Podcasts

Headphones

Here at The Emily Program we love recovery resources and believe that creating a community is vital to keeping individuals on track with recovery. One of our current favorite ways to find support outside of direct treatment is podcasts! We wanted to share our love of recovery podcasts with you, so we compiled a list of our favorite eating disorder recovery podcasts.

Peace Meal

Peace Meal Logo Long

Read more

New Study Sheds Light on Overeating

Girl eating cupcake

Most of us have had the experience of having a strong craving for something at one time or another. Some food item or beverage that sounds particularly good. A new study brings forward a possible reason why we sometimes overconsume that food or beverage.

In a study conducted in Cologne, Germany (1), researchers used PET scan technology to see the areas of the brain that were activated by dopamine release, a brain chemical associated with pleasure, reward, and satisfaction. The study subjects were given either a milkshake or a tasteless beverage, and then the PET scan tracked dopamine release once when the beverage was first tasted and then again when it reached the stomach.

In an interesting and somewhat counterintuitive finding, the researchers found that the higher the desire for the milkshake, the lower the release of dopamine from the stomach.

Read more

The Emily Program Logo