Eating behaviours change throughout our entire lives. Learning how to be healthy without overdoing it is a part of transitioning into adulthood. We also have to figure out how to love our body rather than be ashamed of it. This is no simple task for a number of people.
Eating disorders evolve from damaging eating behaviours and persistent negative thoughts. These disorders are characterized by a lack of control over habits, which can include consuming very small or very large amounts, and a hyper focus on your weight and body shape.
The physical impact of an eating disorder on your body can be significant. Over time, these damaging behaviours can affect your digestion, bones, skin, teeth, and your heart’s functioning. Of any mental illness, this may have the highest mortality rate. Persons with anorexia are 18 times more likely to die that their peers. So getting treatment as early as possible after behaviours appear is essential.
These disorders will also affect mental and emotional health. These would be anxiety about the number of calories being consumed or shame about weight; and depression from isolation from friends and family.
There are many types of eating disorders, including a hyper focus on gaining muscle size rather than losing weight. But the three most common diagnoses are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder.
- Anorexia Nervosa – when people who appear underweight to everyone else see themselves as overweight.
- Bulimia Nervosa – when an individual frequently eats large amounts of food and then purges the food.
- Binge-Eating Disorder – when a person loses control over their intake of food. But unlike bulimia, there is no purging or fasting that occurs afterwards. People with bingeeating disorder often struggle with their weight and feelings of shame or guilt about the behaviour.
Eating Behaviour Treatment
There are multiple treatment options for eating disorders, depending on the nature and severity of the symptoms. Most treatment recommendations however, include some type of psychotherapy and nutrition education.
Acupuncture is a supportive modality, and should be used as and when needed. The AcuDetox protocol helps to strengthen willpower, to accelerate the withdrawal process, and to ease the withdrawal experience. It helps to release toxicity restoring the body’s natural ability to heal.
Any treatment should coincide with exercise, a healthy diet, a regular sleep schedule, and stress management techniques – such as yoga or meditation.