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Archive for the ‘Eating Disorders’ Category

Intuitive Eating as a Tool for Recovery

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

The idea behind intuitive eating has become a well-respected approach to help people recover from their eating disorders, and many California Eating Disorder Treatment Centers are adopting this way of thinking.

Intuitive eating utilizes mindfulness when sitting down for a meal, essentially, eating when you’re hungry and stopping when you are full. While this thinking seems relatively straightforward for a person without an eating disorder, for many people who struggle with overeating, it is not so simple because eating is often not tied into the feeling of hunger. However, intuitive eating is something many feel is teachable. Therapists explain that with practice, it will eventually become second nature.

Some tips for eating intuitively:

  • Make sure you unplug: Turn the t.v. off, don’t text or surf the internet; just being in the moment.
  • Don’t label food as “good” or “bad.” Such labels of good or bad, can cause a person with an eating disorder to actually fear whole food groups.
  • Slow down and actually enjoy your food. Pay attention to what your body is telling you–if you are hungry eat, and if you are full, stop. It becomes simple once incorporated into your daily routine.
  • This article was contributed by Rebecca’s House, a treatment facility that specializes in eating disorder treatment programs.

    Understanding Eating Disorder Treatment Options

    Friday, April 20th, 2012

    Eating disorders—anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating, compulsive overeating and food addictions— can do ruinous damage to every facet of your life. Many who suffer from eating disorders have spent years seeking therapy and yet they continually struggle to control of the disease. Many therapists have limited real-life experience with eating disorders and oftentimes address the patients’ relationship with food rather than their relationship with themselves: mind, body, feelings and emotions. Sometimes, an eating disorder treatment program within a facility is the best opportunity to address eating disorders and their root cause and to get the comprehensive help and recovery needed.

    Treatment facilities are varied but most have similar options and plans:
    • Treatment facilities span the spectrum of disordered eating, some offer treatment for multiple eating disorders, while others focus on anorexia nervosa treatment, bulimia nervosa treatment or other specialized treatment.
    • There are recovery centers that are women only or men only as well as those geared towards children.
    • Each facility typically has a staff of medical doctors, registered nurses, therapists, dietitians and volunteers that offer recovery assistance on a daily basis.
    • Most centers will offer different levels of inpatient or outpatient treatment programs.
    • Every person is different, much like every eating disorder; therefore, each person requires an individualized recovery program.

    Why an In-Patient Program?
    The severity and duration of the eating disorder, as well as the presence of co-occurring disorders, dictate the eating disorder treatment program that has the best chance of securing recovery. Depending on the facility, inpatient care may consist of different levels of recovery known as “extended care,” “residential living,” “Recovery Living” or some variation. As an inpatient, the patient lives at the eating disorder treatment housing facility for a certain period of time, which can range from a couple of weeks to several months. Each facility will have its own recovery regimen that dictates the client’s activities and therapy schedules during their stay. Who might benefit from in-patient recovery:

    • Inpatient treatment is for people who find it difficult to maintain their recovery when they are alone, especially at night and is an important first state of an eating disorder treatment program.
    • It is usually the appropriate treatment option for individuals in early remission or with chronic bouts with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.
    • Inpatient treatment programs address the issues at the root of the eating disorder and helps establish the preventative measures needed for life-time recovery.

    The goal of inpatient treatment is to replace self-sabotaging with new methods of coping. This type of eating disorder treatment program facilitates an easier transition back into day-to-day living

    While, not all programs are the same, all share the same goal: healthy recovery. Regardless of where someone chooses to get treatment, we as a community applaud and encourage their journey. It is not about this place or that place; most of us are in the battle, we are one in the war against eating disorders. Together, we can create awareness about body image and self-acceptance. The best place for recovery is wherever someone finds it.

    This article was contributed by Rebecca’s House, a treatment facility that specializes in eating disorder treatment programs.

    Eating Disorders in Men

    Monday, July 20th, 2009

    Understanding Eating Disorders in Men

    Of all the millions of people in the United States that are suffering from eating disorders, only 10% of that is men.  Eating disorders in men aren’t often associated with them because it has long been believed to be something that only effects women.  This just isn’t true.  Men do have eating disorders and it can be detrimental and even deadly to their health if they do nothing for it.

    Learn about Eating Disorders in Men

    While Anorexia and Bulimia do exist in men, eating disorders in men usually revolve around overeating or compulsive eating.  In homosexual men, there is more chance for Anorexia or Bulimia than in heterosexual men.  Since so many of the therapy groups surrounding eating disorders are filled with women, men feel isolate without anywhere to turn.

    SoberRecovery.com can be used to locate clinics and specialists who can help men with eating disorders get the help they need.   They’ve been online 8 years and continue to serve the population of people who need help with addictions of all kinds.

    Eating disorders in men do exist and they need to be dealt with.  Men don’t have to be left in the dark to die from their poor relationship with food.  Help is out there, go and search for it.  Help someone you know with an eating disorder today!

    Eating Disorders

    Sunday, July 19th, 2009

    General Information on Eating Disorders

    Eating disorders are a serious problem in the United States.  What’s worse is that it can affect so many young people, and could have easily been prevented.  Some of the causes of eating issues are: body image, physical or sexual abuse or stress in the home or at school.  It’s a very deadly disease.  Eating disorders are more than just eating and then throwing up food (Bulimia).  There is also the unwillingness to eat (Anorexia) or just binging in general, which leads to obesity, a very large death contributor in the United States today.  Find out what you can do to battle this problem.

    Learn About Eating Disorders

    It’s no joke; eating disorders are dangerous.  Bulimia can rot your body from the inside out and Anorexics go so malnourished for such a long time, their frail little bodies just shut down.  It spreading every year to young and younger people who have body issues  There is something you can do.  If you or a loved one has a problem with food, there is help!

    SoberRecovery.com might seem like a site that deals with just drug and alcohol addiction, but that isn’t the case. Learn about different types of eating disorders and find out what you can do to stop it from destroying a life.

    Food can bring comfort in times of stress, but some people can take it too far.  Overeating, under eating or throwing up food on a constant basis can and will eventually kill you.  Get help with eating disorders as soon as possible to stop the long term health risks that are associated with these illnesses.

    Help for Eating Disorders

    Thursday, February 19th, 2009

    Finding help for eating disorders is different from finding help for any other addiction. This is because other substance abuses can be stopped cold turkey. If you go through alcohol withdrawal–or any withdrawal–you may become very sick. You may wish you were dead. But if you go through food withdrawal, you’ll die for real.

    There is help for eating disorders.

    There is no abstinence from food. There is only management. This means that individuals who have eating disorders have to learn moderation, and that is very difficult, considerably harder than abstinence. There are a number of eating disorders which could be part of the problem. It’s not just all overeating. There is also anorexia nervosa, (which is basically starving yourself… sometimes to death) or bulimia nervosa (which involves inducing regurgitation). Some of these problems include a mental disorder in which the individual can not see a true picture of their own body but see only some imagined defect that exists only in their mind. There’s also binge eating, and compulsive eating disorders –both of which serve somewhat as sedatives to calm or hide other psychological issues.

    Just as in other addictions, inpatient and outpatient treatment is available; and programs are designed specifically to deal with psychiatric and physical problems as well as providing moral support. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and psychotherapy are also useful tools in dealing with dysfunctional eating behavior. Choosing a treatment is crucial but magic does not happen overnight. As they say, it took more than one day to develop the disorder. It is going to take more than a single day to cure it. The most important thing to realize is that eating disorders can be treated.

    Alcohol Detox

    Thursday, January 29th, 2009

    Living with alcohol abuse can be difficult and scary. If you’ve been drinking for a long time, you will probably be living with not only the effects of alcohol abuse, but will need an alcohol detox because of the physical addiction.

    When you decide that you’ve had enough and want to kick the addiction, you’ll want to get a medical checkup so that your doctor can determine what you need in your alcohol detox program. Don’t neglect this and go cold turkey without medical supervision! Alcohol detox symptoms can be severe and quite uncomfortable. Symptoms include: insomnia, anxiety, nausea or vomiting, sweating or rapid pulse, increased hand tremors, various sorts of hallucinations, and in extreme cases Grand Mal Seizures. The withdrawal process can last seven to ten days, and with these unpleasant side affects, it is important to go through alcohol detox with medical supervision. A doctor can prescribe the detox medication that can counter the symptoms, making the process more comfortable and safer.

    After going through an alcohol detox center, you’ll start to feel better physically and will need to go through counseling. You’ll want to develop coping mechanisms to help you learn how to live sober and not re-addict yourself. Remember how it felt to go through detox? You don’t want to ever go through that twice!

    Medical Supervision is Needed in Alcohol Detox

    When you’re going through an alcohol detox, make sure you have a doctor taking care of you. A doctor who is experienced in substance abuse problems will be able to help make you comfortable while you’re going through detox and will know of any dangers signs you need to look for while you’re breaking your addiction. But once you’ve gone through it, the healthy life you will be able to lead is amazing. Be ready for a change that will be worth it all.

    Men at Risk due to Binge Eating

    Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

    Even though the label that eating disorders are considered to be women’s disorder binge eating disorder affects just in relation to as many men as it does women. About 25 million people are struggling with Binge Eating Disorder daily. Out of that 25 million, you may be surprised to know that 40% are men. According to survey, that three women for every two men suffer from Binge Eating Disorder. There are different reasons as to why men develop Binge Eating Disorder. One cause is if they play or played sports sometime in their life that required them to be thin or to lose a lot of weight for a particular competition, such as a wrestling match or running. Football players and body builders are still at risk, but it is lower since these sports require some meat and muscles in order to be successful. Another reason is that the chosen profession calls for thinness, such as modeling and acting. Men feel a pressure, just as women do, to maintain a level of thinness when they are in the public eye and when they are in looked at.A man is more at risk for developing Binge Eating Disorder at a older age than a woman does, especially if the man had a tendency to be overweight at a child.

    Binge Eating and Men

    This is because growing up a man believes that he needs to be strong and be able to protect not only himself, but also a female. If he is thin, this translates to fragile and he will see himself as not being powerful and not being able to get the things that he wants in life because he is considered weak. Treatment for men is the same as women; although, men are more reluctant to visit a professional since eating disorders are considered to be female difficulties. The professional will go into detail to find out why the man comforts himself with food. Once the reason why he binges comes to the surface, the professional can give him ideas of how to change his behaviors. Once this happens and once the man feels comfortable with the professional, then the journey to recovery begins. Clearly binge eating disorder is not only a female disorder, as many males are affected too. Despite of male or female, you have to admit that your relationship with food is not healthy and try to find the help on how to build it healthy again.

    Warning Signs of Eating Disorders

    Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

    One of the serious behavior problems is eating disorders that are extremely dangerous and can cause heart and kidney problems and even leads to death. Eating disorders are the symptoms of the underlying problems of a person’s life and not a sign that a person has a problem with food. Eating disorders involve serious disturbances in eating behavior, such as extreme and unhealthy reduction of food intake or severe overeating, as well as feelings of distress or extreme concern about body shape or weight. Researchers are investigating how and why initially voluntary behaviors, such as eating smaller or larger amounts of food than usual, at some point move beyond control in some people and develop into an eating disorder. Dieting to a body weight leaner than needed for health is highly promoted by current fashion trends, sales campaigns for special foods, and in some activities and professions. Eating disorders frequently co-occur with other psychiatric disorders such as depression, substance abuse, and anxiety disorders. These are also the three most common eating disorders. All three have severe consequences to a person’s immediate and long-term health and can cause death.Eating disorders are characterized by an abnormal obsession with food and weight. Eating disorders are much more noticed in women than in men. Environmental factors have a large influence on developing eating disorders but more research is being performed on hormonal imbalances, brain lesions and their effects on eating disorders. Many types of eating disorder such as , anorexia nervosa , starvation diet ,binge eating disorder , bulimia nervosa , diabulimia and night eating syndrome. Girls and women are 10 times more likely than boys and men to suffer from anorexia or bulimia. However, eating disorders do seem to be getting more common in boys and men. Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are more commonly known as anorexia and bulimia. The two disorders can be difficult to distinguish from each other because they have similar characteristics. Anorexics consider themselves to be fat, no matter what their actual weight is. Often anorexics do not recognize they are underweight and may still “feel fat” at 80 lbs. Anorexics close to death will show you on their bodies where they feel they need to lose weight.

    Symptoms of Eating Disorders

    Most people with eating disorders will try to avoid conflicts at all costs, so they usually don’t express negative feelings and try to wear a happy face all the time to try and please people. Treatment can include medical supervision, nutritional counseling, and therapy. Treatment of anorexia calls for a specific program that involves three main phases: restoring weight lost to severe dieting and purging; treating psychological disturbances such as distortion of body image, low self-esteem, and interpersonal conflicts; and achieving long-term remission and rehabilitation, or full recovery. These medications also may help prevent relapse. The treatment goals and strategies for binge-eating disorder are similar to those for bulimia, and studies are currently evaluating the effectiveness of various interventions. Many parents worry about how to get their kids a healthy diet, and prevent them from becoming obese or overweight without giving them anxiety about food that might lead to an eating disorder. Take an active role in creating a healthy lifestyle for your child. Involve your child in the preparation of healthy, nutritious meals on a regular basis.

    Eating Disorders Treatment Tips: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – emphasizes the relationship between thoughts and feelings by focusing on a person’s thought processes; Interpersonal therapy – focuses on addressing difficult relationships with others; Rational Emotive Therapy – focuses on a person’s unhelpful beliefs; Psychoanalytic psychotherapy – focuses on a person’s past experiences; Family therapy usually involves those who live with the person with the eating disorder, such as parents, siblings, and partner or spouse; A supportive network for people who have similar eating disorders is provided with the help of a Group therapy and these groups are directed by a group of health professionals or trained volunteers.

    Discovering the Suitable Treatment for Children and Adolescents with Eating Disorders

    Wednesday, October 29th, 2008

    Illnesses with a biological origin inclined and altered by emotional and cultural factors are called as eating disorders. The professionals and the public do not recognize the eating disorder changes due to insufficient information about eating disorders. Eating disorders are serious. They are potentially life threatening and there is help available. Recovery from eating disorders is possible. If you are the parent of a child with an eating disorder you probably already monitor meals, friends and activities. Two new studies from researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital tell us there is now a need for monitoring your child’s internet use, and pre-teen weight loss in seemingly healthy children. Watch out for bad advice from pro-eating disorder websites. One study indicates that pro-eating disorder websites may promote dangerous behaviors in adolescents with eating disorders. The second study indicates that pre-teens with eating disorders tend to lose weight more quickly than adolescents with the condition and weigh comparatively less at diagnosis.Researchers found that about half of the patients surveyed said they had visited websites about eating disorders. A huge percentage of these teens reported they had learned new dieting and purging techniques. Researchers are also finding that pro-eating disorder site visitors tend to have a longer duration of disease, spent less time on schoolwork and spent more time online each week than did those who never visited the sites. Researchers also warn that even those sites who claim dedication to helping people recover from eating disorders (pro-recovery sites) are not harmless. Nearly half of the patients who visited such sites reported learning new methods to lose weight or to purge.

    Treatment of Eating Disorders

    The most effective and long-lasting treatment for an eating disorder is some form of psychotherapy or psychological counseling, while medical and nutritional needs are met. The care of a person with an eating disorder should be coordinated and provided by a health professional with expertise and experience in dealing with eating disorders. Many times this type of care can be obtained as outpatient therapy that involves individual, group, and/or family therapy. Medical management is best provided by a primary care provider. Nutritional counseling and psychiatric medications under careful medical supervision have also been helpful for some individuals. Inpatient hospital care including residential care in an eating disorders specialty unit or facility is necessary when an eating disorder has led to physical problems that may be life-threatening, or when the eating disorder is associated with severe psychological or behavioral problems. The exact treatment needs for each individual varies. Try to find a experienced health care professional to assist you in coordinating the recovery process as this is the very first step in treatment and recovery of eating disorders.

    My Life with Food Addiction

    Wednesday, October 3rd, 2007

    “I always have a weight issue in my life. It is also an issue of self-confidence level. Food like chocolates, sweet, cakes etc., was often a reward or “to keep me happy” kind of thing. Even as a child I am sure that I was given more food when I wasn’t given personal attention.

    Diet’s are a form of restrictions.

    When a person is on a “diet” it is like a statement to everyone around them that they are trying to lose weight. They are telling the people around them they can only eat a certain foods… That food is the food that is on the diet. It is a form of restriction on a loved one. They now have to show their love by helping me stay on a diet. With a “diet” it seems easier for a person to watch me sweat and work out harder to obtain that new weight that I have set for myself.

    I seem to think that being one of the reasons for me being fat. As a baby, a child is given a bottle to drink to make them happy and stop crying. Even I give myself pleasure with food. I have learned to have pleasure from food.

    Now diet, is a plan of food a person eats for life to keep a certain weight. OK.. the rules change, and now my self esteem is up and I am worth surviving. Yes, it is a survival issue. Eating too much can kill me.

    Of course the story of being fat isn’t that easily answered or talked about. There are many other factors on the way I think about this issue. There is much more to it. Much, much more.
    And this wonderful web site and you wonderful gals are helping me. Women need more self esteem on many issues. Women can and deserve to be happy”- Peggy (WSE member)

    Thank You Peggy for allowing me to share your post in my blog. For people with an emotional addiction for food, losing their extra weight is a lot harder than eating less food and getting on the treadmill. Many people are over weight because they are suffering with an inner issue. They will use food as an emotional void filler. The only reason they are hungry is because they are sad. They have confused hunger with sadness. They use food as their drug to feel calmness. They will eat and space out as an addict does after a fix.

    They will also fall into the roller coaster of self-loathing. Loathing the fact that they once again fell into the unnecessary need for food. People that are obese and actually have lost weight, are of two minds. They feel like they are someone else when they are thinner and live a life where they fear that they could fall into that food addiction at any second. The other mind is the one that is consumed with self-disgust and a weakness for the addiction of food. People with eating addictions love and hate food. Again being of two minds.

    They try to justify themselves, by criticizing people without food addictions. They will drive by fast food restaurants and debate within themselves, only to increase the need for food, which only causes them to devour even more than usual. They are in a constant battle with, should I or shouldn’t I. I know I shouldn’t but I so want to. It’s a viscous circle for them.
    One of the hardest things for obese people to deal with is the whispers and snickers from other people as they pass by them. They know well enough that they disgust people just by watching their reactions, yet is is not enough to make them stop eating. Obese people are ridiculed in public all the time and they loose out on many relationships because the other person cannot understand their addiction for food. Food addicts will even ignore that they are literally killing themselves with every bite that they do not need.

    They choose to not think about it, as any addict does. Some will say that solving food addiction is as easy as just telling people to stop being lazy, to exercise and to stop over eating. For them, food means so many things besides fueling their bodies with nutrients. Their addiction will totally over rule their nature to protect themselves, health wise or society`s concerns about appearance.

    Depression, low self-esteem, history of abuse, poverty, family obesity and emotionally troubled childhood upbringings are a few of the greatest causes that trigger off food addiction. As I said earlier in this article, people are desperate to fill an emptiness. Food is the easiest route to reaching that full feeling they desire. Emotional emptiness is the monster that creates the addiction in obese people.

    You would think that with all the methods that have proven to help people with their weight issues, there would not be a single overweight person, but the numbers are growing faster every day. Obesity is one of the only health issues the we know how to battle and prevent, yet we fail to do so.

    Why is that? Is it because FAT is one of those HUSH words? Do we ignore the overweight issues of others, so not to hurt their feelings? Are we doing them any favours by pretending it is OK to be dangerously overweight? Do we feel that if they like themselves like that, who are we to judge them? Do we think to ourselves, better them than me?

    People that are addicted to the food drug are just as mprisoned as any other addict. There is only one way to get off the drug, and that is to seek help. Also they must want to get off this drug, for themselves. They must want to feel good about themselves. To be able to get to that point, they must build their self-esteem and address the skeletons in their closets. This is why I created womensselfesteem.com. This is one road to an addiction-free place in your mind.

    As you read in Peggy`s post, she has finally begun her climb up the mountain to a better feeling person. She wanted to share her moments and effects of food addiction with the other women. You just have to want to start the struggle against food addiction,