Posts Tagged ‘Physical Health’

How to Recognize Eating Disorders in Your Patients Over the Holidays

A Thanksgiving place setting

The holiday season is beginning. Although this time of year can bring much joy, it can also come with difficulties, especially for those with eating disorders. In a season that often involves large shared meals, diet talk, and an abundance of sweet treats, it’s no wonder that this time may be challenging for a person struggling with disordered eating or an eating disorder. 

When seeing patients during the holiday season (and all year long), providers like you have a unique role in recognizing eating disorder symptoms. Your appointments are a valuable opportunity to notice signs of trouble and provide support during what is often the most challenging time of year for those with these illnesses.  

Read on to learn about the challenges facing those with eating disorders during the holidays, as well as what providers can do to support those struggling.

Read more

Gastroparesis and Eating Disorders

A person clutching their stomach in discomfort.

Gastroparesis is a stomach condition that is highly prevalent within the eating disorder community. The term “gastroparesis” directly translates to “stomach paralysis.” This condition acutely affects the normal movement of the stomach muscles. Perhaps you or a loved one suffers from gastroparesis, or maybe this is your first introduction to the condition. Regardless of your baseline understanding, this comprehensive overview aims to expand your awareness so that you can identify symptoms and recognize the link between gastroparesis and eating disorders.

Read more

Physical Effects of ARFID

A parent supporting a child

What is ARFID?

Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is an eating disorder characterized by food avoidance or restriction that results in nutritional deficiencies and interferes with daily functioning. As in anorexia, ARFID can lead to significant weight loss or a failure to gain weight. It does not include concerns about body weight and shape, however. Instead, ARFID primarily manifests as avoidance related to the sensory properties of food and fear about eating.

Previously known as selective eating disorder (SED), ARFID was introduced in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The following criteria must be met for an individual to be diagnosed with this eating disorder:

Read more

What is Purging?

A woman in a bathroom stares at herself in the mirror

**Content warning: This post includes discussion of purging behaviors. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

A characteristic of certain kinds of eating disorders is a behavior called purging. The act of purging is often used as a way of compensating for food intake in order to influence body weight or shape. Purging is not specific to one kind of eating disorder and can occur in those experiencing bulimia, anorexia, and OSFED (Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder). This behavior is very serious and requires professional help.

In this blog, we will discuss different types of purging, warning signs, physical effects, and treatment options.

Read more

How to Screen for Eating Disorders

A close-up of a doctor's hands while they take notes and listen to their patient

With 9% of the U.S. population, or 28.8 million Americans, having an eating disorder in their lifetime (ANAD) and a person dying due to complications related to their eating disorder every 52 minutes, it is essential that healthcare professionals screen all their patients for eating disorders. The majority of people with eating disorders do come into contact with healthcare professionals, presenting an opportunity to detect symptoms and intervene early. 

October is National Depression and Mental Health Screening Month, which works to bring awareness to the need for depression and mental health screenings. Screening for eating disorders should be included in all mental health screenings. When it comes to eating disorder detection, knowing the physical symptoms to look out for, the questions to ask, and the people often left out of screenings is essential knowledge to have as a provider. 

Read more

How “Health” and “Wellness” Have Been Co-opted by the Diet Industry

A woman exercising outside on a yoga mat

A common symptom of many eating disorders is a preoccupation with food and body size, and this symptom can be exacerbated by the toxicity of diet culture. Diet and weight loss have grown to be an over $70 billion industry—yet according to studies, 95% of diets fail. As it has become increasingly common knowledge that diets don’t work, the diet industry has reworked its language to disguise diets as being about “health” and “wellness.” Trying to determine if something is pro-diet culture or not can be tricky. To truly promote health and create a culture that is more supportive of those with eating disorders, we need to learn to identify diet culture and actively resist it. 

What is Diet Culture?

If you’re not familiar with the term “diet culture,” that is not uncommon. Diet culture is so entrenched in our everyday lives that it’s hard to even spot it. Diet culture is the belief that if we want to be more desirable, worthy, and good, then we should make our bodies smaller by dieting. Diet culture is dangerous and harms people of all sizes, including by perpetuating disordered eating and making eating disorder recovery all the more challenging. Even if you are not on a diet, you can still be caught up in the culture of dieting. Some people need to be on diets for medical reasons, such as diagnosed celiac disease or diabetes, but even those who have a reason for dieting other than weight loss can get caught up in a diet culture mindset. Many people don’t even realize that in pursuing “health” and “wellness,” they are living their life according to rules created by diet culture. 

Read more

The Emily Program Logo