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Eating Disorder Team

The Eating Disorder Team includes health, counseling, and nutrition professionals. A team treatment approach has been proven to be the most successful treatment for eating disorder patients. Pepperdine University remains on the cutting edge of outpatient treatment programs. The Student Health Center works with counseling and nutrition services to develop a treatment plan tailored to the individual patient's needs.

Students interested in learning more about this program may contact the Student Health Center at 310.506.4316, option 3, or the Counseling Center at 310.506.4210.

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 an 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. 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 overeaters and binge eaters 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.