Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are characterized as abnormal eating behaviors and are usually diagnosed in adolescence or early adulthood. Eating disorders are usually intended to be self-protective but they end up being self-destructive. The treatment for eating disorders includes individual and/or group psychotherapy, nutritional counseling and medical treatment. If you believe you have an eating disorder it is important to realize that you are not alone. It is estimated that 10% of the population has some form of eating disorder, and even more suffer from disordered eating. Most people with eating disorders have tried unsuccessfully to control it on their own. If you are battling with an "old" eating disorder or new problems with your eating, counselors and dietitians are available at the counseling center (ext. 4210) A qualified staff member is available to help you with your problems. All information is confidential.

Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by an intense fear of becoming fat in combination with a distorted body image. Typically a person with anorexia will "self-starve" themselves denying themselves food even when extremely hungry. This behavior may lead to excessive weight loss.
Danger signs include, but are not limited to: weight-loss, feeling fat even when they do not appear so, fear of food and weight gain, preoccupation with food and calories, increase in exercise and fatigue.

Physical signs may include but are not limited to: electrolyte imbalance, loss of menstrual cycle, stress fractures, easy bruising, hair loss, and cold hands and feet.

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia Nervosa involves frequent episodes of repeated bingeing followed by purging. The purging can be in the form of self-induced vomiting, laxative use, enemas, diuretics or excessive exercise. The person may feel their behavior is out of control.

In contrast to persons with anorexia, those with bulimia may be normal weight or overweight.

Danger signs include but are not limited to: eating large amounts of food in a short period of time, use of restroom frequently after meals, irregular periods, depression or mood swings, development of dental problems, preoccupation with body weight. Physical signs include but are not limited to: electrolyte imbalance, gastrointestinal problems, damaged teeth, weakness, muscle spasms and irregular heartbeat.

Compulsive Overeating and Binge Eating Disorders

Compulsive overeaters and binge eaters are preoccupied with food resulting in either uncontrollable eating or dieting/bingeing. Many people in this category experience depression and many may be overweight or may easily become obese. Compulsive overeater and binge eater usually do not purge or get rid of their food.

Danger signs include but are not limited to: eating when not physically hungry, large weight fluctuations, frequent dieting and bingeing, feeling out of control when you eat and depressed mood.
Physical signs may include but are not limited to: weight related hypertension (high blood pressure), nausea, weight gain, increased risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and some forms of cancer in obese individuals.