Posts Tagged ‘Research’

Why Some Clients Need Residential Treatment

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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.

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What is ARFID?

Leek soup

Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) is characterized by a disturbance in eating or feeding behaviors that results in significant weight loss, nutritional deficiency, or difficulty maintaining a normal day-to-day life. ARFID was previously known as selective eating disorder (SED) but was renamed to more accurately encompass the disorder.

ARFID can affect individuals of any age, race, gender, or any other demographic categorization. ARFID often co-occurs with other mental health diagnoses such as anxiety disorders or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Like any other eating disorder, ARFID is not a choice and is considered to be a severe illness that requires professional treatment. It is also important to note that ARFID does not stem from a lack of access to food and is not related to an individual’s cultural upbringing.

What makes ARFID different from anorexia?

ARFID is often confused with anorexia due to the weight loss associated with the illness and the pattern of restrictive eating. However, those suffering from ARFID do not share the same desire for thinness or body dysmorphic thoughts that those with anorexia experience. To note this difference, someone with ARFID may abstain from eating due to tastes and textures of foods being intolerable as opposed to someone with anorexia who may abstain from eating due to a desire to lose weight and alter their body shape.

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Eating Disorders, Medical Complications, and Healing During Pregnancy

pregnant woman holding her belly

Eating disorders can affect all individuals, regardless of who they are or how they identify. For those who are in their childbearing years or pregnant, this time period often overlaps with the age range in which eating disorders (EDs) are commonly diagnosed. Despite the fact that eating disorders and pregnancy can co-occur, there often isn’t an open dialogue about the overlap. With eating disorders potentially causing an increased chance of complications in pregnancy, we believe it’s important to start talking about eating disorders, related medical complications, and pregnancy.

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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.

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Physical Effects of Binge Eating Disorder

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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, sometimes resulting in weight gain. 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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Stages of Recovery

Woman walking up stairs

Eating disorder recovery is a complex process that typically requires each client to progress through five stages. To have a diagnosis of an eating disorder implies that an individual’s life will experience significant, disruptive changes and a need for treatment over a period of time. Treatment for eating disorders usually improves and speeds recovery, however, someone who carries an eating disorder diagnosis should expect there to be a significant amount of time and several stages as they move towards recovery.

It is important to reiterate that these stages are general and each individual’s experience will be unique, but there are some common experiences and needs we see across individuals recovering from eating disorders. 

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