The three eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by weight loss, body image disturbance, and a morbid fear of weight gain. Bulimia nervosa is characterized by binge eating and compensatory purging by vomiting; use of laxatives, diuretics, or diet pills; exercise; or fasting. Binge-eating disorder is characterized by binge behavior and loss of control of food intake, with an absence of purging.
Eating disorders may create significant psychological and physiological impairment. Medical complications associated with anorexia are those related to malnutrition, amenorrhea, and semi-starvation. Medical complications associated with bulimia are those related to electrolyte imbalance and the physical effects of vomiting.
The core struggle within women with anorexia is the “2 Ps”: feeling powerless and striving towards perfectionism. The core conflict within a bulimic person appears to be the “2 Ds”: deprivation and dependency. The treatment of eating disorders includes psychotherapy, nutrition counseling, exercise prescription, cardiac assessments, adjunct therapy, education and prevention, and psychopharmacologic intervention. In addition, antidepressants, especially serotonergic agents, have been found to be beneficial.
Unfortunately, a majority of the cases of these disorders continue in secrecy due to shame and embarrassment and go untreated, developing into an unhealthy lifestyle. Chronic dieting can be a gateway to potential eating disorders, in which the patient forms a negative and then destructive relationship with all types of food. However, The Walker Wellness Clinic offers a history of success in treating patients with formal eating disorders.
The Walker Wellness Clinic provides Intensive Outpatient Programs, Standard and Basic Outpatient Programs. We incorporate individual, group, and family programs for patients with anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder. Patients must be medically stable in order to meet the criterion for outpatient treatment. The Walker Wellness Clinic’s exercise physiologists, psychologists, and nutrition consultants offer an opportunity for patients to achieve long-term lifestyle changes.