Posts Tagged ‘Physical Health’

Meditation Techniques and Apps to Try

Rock stack

Meditation is the process of relaxing your body and training your mind to stay in the present moment. In short, mediation is the process of soothing your mind and body. While the most common association with meditation is someone sitting cross-legged on the floor and breathing with their eyes closed, meditation comes in a variety of forms.

Types of Meditation

Breath awareness

Breath awareness is the most common meditative practice. This practice encourages awareness of breath and mindfulness—the only guideline is to focus on your breath. To do this practice, start by getting comfortable. You may be sitting in a chair, sitting cross-legged, or lying down. The goal is to be in a position that you can stay in for at least five minutes with little discomfort. Once you are comfortable, close your eyes and began breathing in and out through your nose. Focus on your breath. You may notice your thoughts start to wander to to-do lists, stressors, or daily events. If this happens, simply redirect your attention back to your breath. If may be helpful to focus on your breath by repeating the words “in and out” as you breathe or to pay attention to how the air feels coming in and out of your body.

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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.

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Physical Effects of Binge Eating Disorder

Person looking out window

What is Binge Eating Disorder?

Binge Eating Disorder is an eating disorder that is denoted by excessive food intake, often driven by a need to soothe negative emotions. Those suffering from binge eating disorder (BED) repeatedly and uncontrollably eat extreme amounts of food, often resulting in obesity. Following episodes of bingeing, those with BED usually experience feelings of guilt, shame, or distress. In an attempt to regain control, individuals may begin to restrict food or try restrictive dieting, which often ends in another episode of bingeing, making weight loss challenging. This cycle of bingeing and restricting is challenging to break without professional treatment.

Binge eating disorder was added to the DSM-5 in 2013. According to the DSM-5, the key diagnostic features of binge eating disorder that must be met are:

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Physical Effects of Bulimia Nervosa

Bathroom sink with blue

What is Bulimia?

Bulimia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by bingeing and purging. People diagnosed with bulimia frequently binge on food, eating thousands of calories in a single episode. Feelings of shame and disgust often accompany these binge eating episodes, leading to purging behaviors such as vomiting, laxative abuse, over-exercising and/or fasting. This compensatory behavior is a tell-tale sign that an individual is suffering from bulimia. Despite attempts to lose weight by purging, those with bulimia generally maintain a body weight that is normal or slightly above average.

According to the DSM-5, the following criteria must be met for an individual to be diagnosed with bulimia (please note that if all of the following are not met, an individual may still have a serious eating disorder that requires treatment):

  1. Recurrent episodes of binge eating. An episode of binge eating is characterized by both of the following:
    1. Eating, within a two- hour window, an amount of food that is definitely larger than what most people would eat during a similar period of time and under similar circumstances.
    2. Lack of control over eating during the episode (e.g., a feeling that you cannot stop eating or control how much you are eating).
  1. Recurrent inappropriate compensatory behavior to prevent weight gain, such as self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or other medications, fasting, or excessive exercise.
  2. The binge eating and inappropriate compensatory behaviors both occur, on average, at least once a week for three months.
  3. Self-evaluation is unduly influenced by body shape and weight.
  4. Binging or purging does not occur exclusively during episodes of behavior that would be common in those with anorexia nervosa.

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Eating Disorder Signs to Watch for in Your Patients Over the Holidays

Doctor and patient talking

For those living with an eating disorder, the holidays may be the toughest time of the year. Holidays are often synonymous with large amounts of food, increased stress, and extended periods of time with family—which are all factors that can exacerbate eating disorder symptoms. Because eating disorder thoughts and behaviors can increase during the holidays, it’s important to be especially vigilant of your patients this time of year.

There are many common signs and symptoms healthcare providers should look for that denote the presence of an eating disorder. During the holidays, certain symptoms may become more noticeable, specifically the following:

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When to Refer a Patient to Specialty Care

Mark with client

One of the questions that providers often have is, “When should I refer a patient to eating disorder specialty care?” A provider may ask this if they are seeing a patient that has eating disorder symptoms such as changes in weight, a preoccupation with food and numbers, and other common symptoms. A provider may also see things in physical exams or lab results that cause concern. The bottom line is that if you are concerned that there is an eating disorder present in a patient, there almost positively is. Eating disorders live in secret and in hiding. If the eating disorder symptoms are noticeable to a provider, then the patient’s eating disorder has most likely been there for a while and may pose an immediate risk. 

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