An eating disorder is a severe condition that affects both a person’s physical and mental health. Left untreated, it can be potentially life-threatening. The sooner you seek treatment for an eating disorder, the more likely you are to avoid serious medical complications and see a greater chance of recovery. A residential eating disorder treatment program can help you with both treatment and recovery and get you on the right path to healthy eating. The team at Crossroads is ready to answer any questions you or a loved one may have about seeking treatment for an eating disorder and avoiding medical complications. To learn about the treatment options available, please contact our women’s treatment center today at 877.978.1667.
Do I Have an Eating Disorder?
There are specific behavioral, cognitive, and physical symptoms that can be sure signs of an eating disorder. The restricting of solid food and fluids, or binge-eating along with purging, define the extremes of eating disorders. These behaviors bring with them significant nutritional deficiencies.
Friends and family may notice changes in your behavior and appearance as well. It’s essential to listen to their concerns. They may comment on a range of concerns, such as:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Lack of strength
- Hot flashes
- Dental issues
If you’ve experienced several of these symptoms, you need to realize what you’re going through isn’t normal.
Benchmark Questions to Determine Whether You Have an Eating Disorder
Here are some benchmark questions (also known as SCOFF) developed by medical professionals in the United Kingdom that you can ask yourself, or a loved one, to determine if you’re at risk for an eating disorder:
- Do you make yourself sick because you feel uncomfortably full?
- Do you worry that you have lost control over how much you eat?
- Have you recently lost more than one stone (14 lb) in a 3-month period?
- Do you believe yourself to be fat when others say you are too thin?
- Would you say that food dominates your life?
If you’ve answered yes to these questions, there’s nothing to be ashamed of, but it’s essential to seek treatment. Doing so can prevent potential medical complications from occurring.
Possible Medical Complications From Eating Disorders
Eating disorders are severe disorders with medical complications that can be life-threatening. Abnormalities can arise in one’s heart, gastrointestinal system, brain, hormones and even result in death.
Other medical complications include:
- Neurological and cognitive abnormalities
- Electrolyte imbalances
- Tissue damage from chronic vomiting
- Severe depression
To avoid these symptoms from occurring, it’s critical to seek treatment as soon as possible.
Women with eating disorders can also struggle with other conditions, like depression, anxiety, or a substance use disorder, at the same time that they are dealing with an eating disorder. Using drugs or alcohol can be a way to keep their weight down, cope, or boost their confidence.
Those struggling with eating disorders will often use substances like:
Peer and societal pressure can play a huge role as well. It’s a vicious cycle that impacts mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health. At an eating disorder treatment program, women develop skills and tools for a positive body image and food relationship, all while avoiding additional medical complications from their eating disorder or co-occurring disorder.
Crossroads is Your Home Away From Home
At Crossroads, our goal is to help you avoid any medical complications and get you the treatment you need. We offer a variety of treatment options, including a residential women’s treatment center. Women from all walks of life begin their recovery from eating disorders in our safe, structured, therapeutic environment. We offer women a variety of evidence-based treatment modalities, including:
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Medical nutrition therapy
- Art and expressive therapies
- Motivational interviewing
- Mindfulness-based relapse prevention