The Dos And Donts Of Intervention
If you recognize some warning signs in yourself or a loved one, consider the following recommendations:
Embrace Health At Every Size
Health at Every Size is a holistic approach to health and wellness. It is the opposite of a weight-centric approach, advancing health as a spectrum, not an end-point or moral imperative. Learning about HAES means learning a new approach to caring for your body, finding pleasure in eating and joy in movement, and letting go of rules about health that is focused on body size.
Stabilize Your Blood Sugar Levels
Eating white bread, cookies, candy, and other carbs with high glycemic indexes will likely cause blood sugar levels to spike, then fall quickly.
This rapid blood sugar fluctuation has been shown to promote hunger and can lead to overeating .
Choosing foods with lower glycemic indexes will help prevent blood sugar spikes and may reduce overeating. Beans, oats, and brown rice are all great options.
Summary Eat foods that help keep blood sugar levels constant. High-glycemic foods like candy and white bread can make blood sugar spike then drop, which may lead to overeating. Instead, choose foods like beans, oats, and brown rice.
Don’t Miss: What Medical Conditions Can Cause Panic Attacks
What You Can Do Today
If youre ready to have a conversation with your child today about their eating disorder, its imperative to stay calm and first listen to what they have to say. Validate their emotions and repeat back what youve heard. Then share the facts about eating disorders with them, and what you have personally observed of their behaviors. Express how this makes you feel, using I-statements. Remind them that you love them and share what positive personality traits you see in them. If you can manage your own anxiety and provide a calm space for your child, they are more likely to hear what you have to say.
Above all, remember that recovery from an eating disorder doesnt happen in a day, and it doesnt happen alone. Eating disorders are treatable, and with the right support, your child can go on to live a full and healthy life.
Increased Risk Of Binging
Dietary restraint and restriction can be accompanied by binge eating and/or purging via vomiting, laxatives, or exercise. This type of unstructured eating can make you more vulnerable to binge eating in three ways:
- Physical hunger:;Going multiple hours between meals and restricting certain foods and the amount of food you eat can result in physical hunger. When physical hunger is prolonged and strict rules are adhered to for some time, you may experience serious physical effects on weight, cardiac function, anemia, and metabolic changes, to name a few.
- Preoccupation with food and eating:;Restricting food often results in hyper-focus on what and when you will eat, what you should and shouldnt eat, recipes, cooking, and food preparation.;
- Psychological sense of deprivation:;Regularly avoiding food, being preoccupied with food, and being physically hungry usually, at some point, results in breaking a diet rule or limit. Perpetually feeling like you cannot have something can also result in a feeling of failure when that food is consumed. When this occurs, you may decide to go all out, since youve already broken a rule. For example, if youve eaten a cookie that you shouldnt have, the eating disorder mindset might rationalize eating the rest of the box and starting back on your diet tomorrow.;
Read Also: What Is The Phobia Of Bugs
Keep A Food And Mood Journal
Keeping a food and mood journal that tracks what you eat and how you feel can be an effective tool. It can help identify potential emotional and food triggers and promote healthier eating habits.
One study in 17 people showed that using an online self-help program that involved keeping a food diary was associated with fewer self-reported episodes of binge eating .
Several other studies also suggest that tracking your intake may be linked to increased weight loss and aid long-term weight management .
To get started, simply start recording what you eat and how you feel each day using either a journal or app.
Summary Food and mood journals can help identify triggers to address potential problems. Studies show that using a food diary is associated with fewer episodes of binge eating, as well as increased weight loss.
Fully Letting Go To Find Healing
One big turning point in my journey was when I came to terms with the fact that recovery meant not only getting rid of the parts of the eating disorder that I hated , but it also meant giving up those parts that I liked .
I discovered that I couldnt hold onto any of Ed . To heal, I had to let go of all of Ed. This meant grieving the good. In the end, I found other waysbetter waysto navigate life. Of course, I needed the help of an expert treatment team to do all of this.
Read Also: How Early Can Schizophrenia Start
How To Prevent Eating Disorders For Parents
It definitely pays to be informed about eating disorders in order to spot warning signs and seek out the proper treatment. This is especially true for parents of tweens and teens, who may be at an especially sensitive place for eating disorders as their bodies are changing due to puberty, and may also be facing increased peer pressure to have their figures look a certain way. Here are some eating disorder prevention tips for parents to help instill positive body image in their children and help head off eating disorders before they can take root.;
Getting Treatment For An Eating Disorder
While there are a variety of different treatment options available for those struggling with eating disorders, it is important to find the treatment, or combination of treatments, that works best for you.
Effective treatment should address more than just your symptoms and destructive eating habits. It should also address the root causes of the problemthe emotional triggers that lead to disordered eating and your difficulty coping with stress, anxiety, fear, sadness, or other uncomfortable emotions.
Read Also: Can You Be Bipolar And Have Bpd
Strategies For Effective Treatment
Consult your family doctor for an assessment or a referral to an appropriate specialist. There are a variety of specialists, including adolescent medicine, who are specially trained to diagnose and treat disordered eating. Trying to address it on your own is often difficult and ineffective, notes Dr. Heinberg.
From the beginning, having family support is associated with better outcomes for patients with disordered eating. Family-based treatments are considered the most effective in treating adolescents and young adults. However, the involvement of a support system is very helpful for patients of any age.
Strategy 6: Practice Intuitive Eating
Intuitive eating means eating when you feel hungry and stopping once you are full. It involves giving yourself unconditional permission to eat, but with curiosity and no judgment.
We are all born with the ability to eat when we are hungry and to stop when we are fullbut many of us lose that intuition about eating for a variety of reasons as we grow up. Intuitive eating is about trusting your body to make good choices around food and reclaiming that ability.
Becoming aware of what you eat through intuitive eating and regaining your natural relationship with food can help control compulsive eating. One study that followed patients for eight years found that intuitive eating was associated with lower odds of binge eating.
Intuitive eating is also linked to better psychological health. In the same study, people who engaged in intuitive eating were also less likely to have depressive symptoms, low self-esteem, body dissatisfaction, unhealthy weight control behaviors , and extreme weight control behaviors .
The 10 principles of intuitive eating include:
- Reject the diet mentality
- Honor your health with gentle nutrition
Digestive Issues & Eating Disorders: How To Ease Discomfort Without Obsessing
Digestive Issues & Eating Disorders: How to ease discomfort without obsessing
For many eating disorder clients, digestive difficulties are, unfortunately, something that they are dealing with in parallel with their eating disorder. In one study of ED clients, 90% reported abdominal distention and more than half reported abdominal pain, gastric distention and early satiety and nausea. It has also been found in research that 41-52% of patients with EDs also have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome . Gastrointestinal symptoms are very common in anorexia and are often misdiagnosed as IBS rather than a symptom of an eating disorder. These, and additionally studies, support that digestive difficulties are a barrier in treatment and recovery.
Because EDs and digestive difficulties are so closely intertwined, this post offers up some simple strategies that may help in alleviating digestive discomfort and pain. Remember that is very important to talk to your doctor and dietician about your gastric symptoms, as well, in order to rule out any other GI issues such as dairy intolerances, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or celiac disease.
Below are some simple strategies to implement into your daily routine for alleviating GI symptoms
Does It must be something I ate sound familiar? There are some foods that help support our digestive health. Here are some tips:
S To Take When Dealing With Binge Eating Disorder
Binge eating disorder, a disorder characterized by an overwhelming desire to eat large amounts of food, can be a difficult problem to overcome. Some may need the assistance of an eating disorder treatment center. In fact, this disorder may be especially difficult due to the fact that food is a necessary part of life. Unlike those with drug problem or a smoking addiction, food cannot just be eliminated from ones life. How then can you overcome this challenge associated with binge eating disorder? The following steps may help in coping with binge eating disorder:
You May Like: What Are My Chances Of Getting Schizophrenia
The Power Of Removing Nutrient Deficiencies
Heres just one example : Research in the British Journal of Psychiatry shows that providing fish oil and a multivitamin to prison inmates reduces aggressive and violent behavior by 35% and decreases antisocial behavior by 26%.
Also, a paper published in Nutrition Reviews;shows that giving children fish oil and a multivitamin improves both their behavior and intelligence scores.
Thats the power of removing nutrient deficiencies.;When our bodies dont have the nutrients they need to do their work, we all suffer. But as soon as we get these nutrients, we thrive.
Don’t Insist That You Can Recover On Your Own
Research shows that people with eating disorders are more likely to recover with a specialized treatment team in place. In most cases, willpower, self-help books, and independent work cannot replace the professional guidance of a therapist, dietitian, and physician. These professionals have years of experience and training to help you on the road to recovery.
Read Also: Do You Cry During A Panic Attack
The Link Between Ptsd And Eating Disorders
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a very specific disorder related to trauma and recent studies have examined the correlation with this diagnosis and eating disorders. According to studies, approximately 75 percent of women who have enrolled in residential treatment for their eating disorder admit to experiencing some form of trauma while 50 percent of these women have a history of PTSD. Additionally, studies have also shown a strong correlation between binge eating and PTSD.
Develop A Support System
Most people who recover from bulimia dont do it alone. They have a network of support that helps them along the way. And so, building your network of support is a crucial step of how to recover from bulimia. Your network can include close friends, trusted family members, your treatment team, support groups, and even online groups for people in recovery. These people can help you through bad moments, cheer on victories and milestones in recovery, and be there to support you as you recover.
Linda Gerhardt is writer and content creator who works in nonprofit technology by day and runs a fat activism & Health at Every Size-focused blog called Fluffy Kitten Party by night. She lives in northern Virginia with her husband and rescue pets.;
Recommended Reading: Is There Medication For Bipolar
How To Support Someone With An Eating Disorder
If someone you care about is struggling with eating or food, we strongly recommend that you consult with eating disorder treatment professionals such as psychiatrists, licensed therapists and dietitians at eating disorder treatment centers. Professionals who work in the eating disorders field have experience in helping people find relief from anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and dual disorders, and can advise you on next steps. Individuals with eating disorders may not be ready to admit they have an eating disorder, or they may be resistant to getting help and entering treatment. Eating disorders professionals can give you advice on how to support someone with bulimia or anorexia and handle the situation in the best way possible.
Eat Breakfast Every Day
Starting each day off with a healthy breakfast might reduce the risk of binge eating later in the day.
Several studies have found that maintaining a regular eating pattern is associated with less binge eating and lower levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates feelings of hunger .
Plus, filling up on the right foods can keep you feeling full to curb cravings and reduce hunger throughout the day.
For example, one study in 15 people found that eating a high-protein breakfast reduced levels of ghrelin to a greater extent than eating a high carb breakfast .
Meanwhile, eating fiber- and protein-rich oatmeal was shown to improve appetite control and promote fullness in another study in 48 people .
Try combining a few fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, or whole grains, with a good source of protein to avoid overeating.
Summary Eating a fiber- and protein-rich breakfast can prevent cravings and keep you satisfied throughout the morning.
You May Like: How To Help With Panic Attacks Anxiety
Check If You Have An Eating Disorder
If you or people around you are worried that you have an unhealthy relationship with food, you could have an eating disorder.
Symptoms of eating disorders include:
- spending a lot of time worrying about your weight and body shape
- avoiding socialising when you think food will be involved
- eating very little food
- making yourself sick or taking laxatives after you eat
- exercising too much
- cutting food into small pieces or eating very slowly
- wearing loose or baggy clothes to hide their weight loss
How To Cope With An Eating Disorder
Within the United States, The National Eating Disorder Association has forecasted that approximately 30 million people suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder in their lifetime. Worldwide it is around 70 million people in total. Let those numbers sink in!
There is a good chance you may know someone struggling with an eating disorder, or maybe it is you. It is so important to note, that whoever is affected, eating disorders are real, complex medical, and mental illnesses that cause severe physical, mental, and social effects. They are NOT a fad, phase, or lifestyle choice.
Whether you or a friend or family member is in need of treatment but has not yet accepted help, is in treatment, or has completed treatment, care and concern can go a long way in helping someone with an eating disorder.
Whatever the situation may be, there is no easy fix for these complex conditions. However, there is a multitude of ways that an individual can offer encouragement and support to others. There are many ways to help them cope with these disorders.
Eating disorders can be life-threatening and even fatal if not recognized and treated accordingly. At Unity Behavioral Health, our facility provides comprehensive treatment methods and resources. These services can help people with mental illness and addiction to effectively learn how to cope with their conditions. This enables these individuals to recover and live healthier and purposefully.
Read Also: How To Handle Eating Disorders