Eating Disorders

Battling an eating disorder can take a toll on the mind and body. While the disorder can affect your mental health, your body’s nutrition and growth can be significantly impacted as well. According to the National Eating Disorder Association, in the United States, there are about 20 million women and 10 million men who have or previously had an eating disorder. The experts at Banner Health are here to provide comprehensive care for you during this time. Find out more about how Banner can assist with diagnosis and treatment options for eating disorders.

What is an Eating Disorder?

An eating disorder is a condition in which a patient places a heavy focus on eating behaviors and his or her relationship with food and exercise. While eating disorders are most common in adolescent women, they can and do affect people regardless of gender, age or size. 

Types of Eating Disorders

The three most common types of eating disorders include:

  • Anorexia: This disorder is related to excessive dieting and exercise
  • Bulimia: This disorder includes binge eating followed by purging
  • Binge eating: This disorder is characterized by overeating and loss of control while eating

Additional eating disorders include purging, pica and more. 

If you are struggling with one of these conditions, there is help. Reach out to someone you trust or your doctor to discuss ways to get on track to a healthy life.

Causes of Eating Disorders

While the cause of eating disorders is unknown, there may be an association between mental illness and eating disorders which can affect psychological and emotional health. Genetics also plays a role in eating disorders and may increase the likelihood of developing an eating disorder.

Signs and Symptoms of an Eating Disorder

It can be difficult for someone dealing with an eating disorder to admit they have a problem and need treatment. Some eating disorder symptoms may include:

  • Weight fluctuations
  • Lack of energy
  • Depression
  • Skipping meals
  • Obsessions over body image and size
  • Mood swings

If you are concerned about a loved one, start a conversation with them about some of the signs and symptoms you’re observing. It’s important to come to the conversation with compassion and an open mind. Be aware, not everyone may recognize a problem.

Screening and Diagnosis for an Eating Disorder

Once you have acknowledged the signs or symptoms of an eating disorder, it’s important to receive a clinical evaluation. This professional assessment can help prevent the disorder from progressing. The evaluation can include a physical exam, dental exam, bloodwork and/or urine test. These tests help determine your vitals and the best treatment route for you.

Treatments for Eating Disorders

The team at Banner Health is here to help implement healthy eating behaviors and thoughts. With a team of experts including nutritionists and mental health professionals, we can assist you through this journey.

Treatment options for eating disorders can include:

Talk to your doctor about your treatment options to determine the best route of care. 

Banner Health’s compassionate staff is dedicated to helping you through this. We’re here for you every step of the way.