What is an Eating Disorder?
Eating disorders are a very complex and serious illness related to dangerous eating behaviors. Individuals find themselves focusing too much on body weight, body shape, and food intake. Eating disorders affect groups from all races. It mainly affects girls. However, Boys and young men can also develop eating disorders where focus on leanness, weight control and muscle building are more common. Individuals can often feel; Lonely and terrified. The person with the problem may feel more and more isolated. He/she may think that others cannot understand or help him/her. Additionally, Families often don’t know what to do. Therefore, there may be a delay between the start of an eating disorder and a decision to look for help.
Most common types of eating disorders:
- Anorexia nervosa: condition that is characterized by abnormal low body weight, intense fear of gaining weight, and extreme behaviors to control weight and shape.
- Bulimia nervosa: Repeated episodes of binge eating -eating too much food-followed by compensatory behaviors such as vomiting, misusing laxatives or excessive exercise.
- Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID): characterized by a lack of interest in food, heightened sensitivity to textures of food and fear of the consequence of eating such as choking.
Signs that parents should look out for include:
- Changes in eating behavior
- Changes in mood and concentration
- Over exercising
- Significant shifts in weight
- Restrictive eating or binge eating
- Using laxatives or purging (which can take the form of using the bathroom straight after a meal)
- Developing rigid beliefs or rituals around food
- Anxiety around eating and food-related activities
- Refusing to wear clothes that show the body
- Secretive behaviors around food, such as hiding food or avoiding social situations that involve food.
Seek expert help early and don't wait!
Eating disorders can do a lot of damage to your child’s health and can affect every organ in the body if untreated. If you suspect that your child has an eating disorder, consult with your care provider or seek professional help.
Our Services at Sidra Medicine
What Does Treatment Involve?
A team of health care professionals will be responsible for your child’s treatment. Members of the team are experienced in assessing and treating children and teens with eating disorders. The treatment involves medical monitoring from a physician, psychological support from a psychologist, dietary support from a dietitian to assist with proper nutrition, and family support from a social worker.
Adolescent Medicine Services:
We do not see patients that are self-referred. Patients must have a referral from a Sidra clinician, any primary health care provider outside, and schools.