Personalised and effective treatment for individuals with eating disorders
The Institute for Healthy Living offers a holistic approach to eating disorders
Call us to find out about how our Dietitians and Psychologists can work together to help you
Anyone can develop an eating disorder
If only everyone who had a difficult relationship with food spoke up about it – you may be surprised to realise how common and pervasive these challenges are. The pervasiveness does not make eating disorders normal or ok – life can be much, much better!
What is an ‘eating disorder’?
Eating problems or disorders are not only about dieting, body image and weight loss. Disordered eating patterns can develop as a complex response to handling stress, low self-esteem or filling a void in one’s life.
When your behaviours, thoughts and feelings regarding food or your appearance cause damage to your physical, mental, or emotional functioning; when it distorts your perception of your own body, it can be considered an eating disorder. There are many types of eating disorders. The National Eating Disorders Association website defines the main categories of eating disorders as:
Bulimia Nervosa involves episodes of binge-eating – consuming an unusually large amount of food in a short period of time followed by behaviours aimed at compensating for the food consumed.
After taking in a large amount of food, the person experiences feelings of guilt, followed by the urge to remove the effects of the food from your body through vomiting, restricting food intake, taking laxatives, and extreme exercise in order to avoid weight gain.
Binge Eating Disorder (BED)
Binge eating disorder is characterised by repeated binge episodes: Eating a large amount of food within a relatively short period of time (e.g. within two hours); and feeling a sense of loss of control while eating (e.g. feeling unable to stop yourself from eating). These patterns are usually preceded by weight dissatisfaction and / or difficulty managing emotions.
Anorexia nervosa is usually characterised by a very low body weight (not always), desire to lose weight and a fear of being over-weight. Because of this, food intake is restricted to a dangerous level. The reasons for developing Anorexia Nervosa are varied. Among all mental health conditions, it has one of the highest mortality rates.
Signs of Anorexia Nervosa:
- Sudden weight loss
- Obsession with weight, calorie intake, food rules and dieting
- Frequent remarks about feeling fat despite being dangerously thin
- Consistent skipping of meals
How to Treat Eating Disorders
Receiving effective treatment is critical for taking back control from an eating disorder that has taken over your life.
Multidisciplinary treatments often involing a combination of psychotherapy, nutrition therapy and possibly pharmacotherapy are considered the most effective treatment for eating disorders.
At Institute for Healthy Living our Sydney-based eating disorder treatment is provided by experienced Clinical Psychologists and Dietitians. We work collaboratively to address both the symptoms and the related factors that contribute to and maintain the eating disorder. The treatment we provide is supported by research, informed by best practice guidelines for our field and is tailored according to personal needs.
Book an appointment today to see how we can best assist your personal needs.