Anorexia Treatment in Los Angeles
What is Anorexia Nervosa?
Anorexia Nervosa or known as Anorexia is an eating disorder that is classified as someone with an abnormally low body weight, extreme fear of gaining too much weight and a distorted view of their body or weight. People who suffer from anorexia do whatever they can to control their body weight and go to extreme measures to make sure they don’t gain weight. Generally, they go to dangerous measures that interferes with their daily life.
In order to maintain their ideal body weight, people with this eating disorder will limit and restrict their food intake. They may vomit after eating or use other forms of diet aids such as laxatives, diuretics or enemas in order to maintain their body shape, form and weight. No matter how much weight is lost, the person continues to fear that they will gain too much weight.
For most people that have an eating disorder, it is not about the food, but rather a coping strategy for dealing with emotional stress. The person associates being thin with their own self-worth and it can be very challenging to overcome.
- Extreme weight loss
- Wears baggy or oversized clothing to hide weight loss
- Obsesses over diets, weight loss and appearance
- Restricts specific foods such as whole food groups (ie. Carbohydrates, sugar, etc)
- Makes frequent statements about being overweight or fat
- Has constipation, abdominal pain, lethargy and sometimes sensitivity to cold
- Avoids meal times or makes food for others and does not eat
- Concerned about eating in front of other people
- Has a very rigid exercise routine
- Denies hunger cues
- Becomes more isolated and avoids social interactions with friends
- Has a need for control
- Fluctuations in weight
- Gastrointestinal issues (constipation, acid reflux, etc)
- Dry skin or brittle nails
- Impaired immune system
- Sleep issues
- Dental problems
- Being cold all the time
- Muscle weakness
Risk Factors for Eating Disorders
There is no definite cause of eating disorders, but research shows that there are many factors that contribute to it such as physical, social, genetics and psychological factors.
Our Serotonin levels, a naturally occurring brain chemical that regulates our mood, learning and sleep, also plays a factor in whether someone may develop an eating disorder.
Pressure from friends, family or society to have a slim physique and physical beauty can be a factor in someone developing an eating disorder. The need to feel wanted and accepted can fuel the behaviors associated with eating disorders.
Anorexia is more prevalent among women and effects about 1% of the United States population according to the National Eating Disorders Association. It is much less common for men who make up about 5-10% of the total people with Anorexia.
Your doctor will determine if you have Anorexia based on different testing and exams performed in their office. They will check to see if there are other medical causes for weight loss.
The exams and tests can include:
Physical Exam- This can include checking your vital signs such as blood pressure, heart rate and pulse, checking your height and weight, listening to your lungs and heart and checking your abdomen.
Labs– Blood tests and labs can check your electrolytes and protein and how your liver is functioning. This is done from a complete blood count (CBC). Another test that can be done is a urinalysis.
Psychological Exam– A mental health professional can discuss your thoughts, feelings and eating habits. There may also be other questionnaires or exams that they can perform to determine your mental health around eating.
Other tests- In order to check your bone density, stress fractures or for broken bones, x-rays may be done. Electrocardiograms are used to check for heart abnormalities.
Eating Disorder Therapy
Treating Anorexia Nervosa requires a treatment team that includes qualified nutritionists, psychological counseling and behavior modification. Depending on the situation, a patient may be placed in an inpatient or outpatient treatment program. No matter what type of treatment they end up doing, family support is essential in the success of a person’s recovery from Anorexia Nervosa.
How aggressive treatment is depends on what a patient’s weight is. If they lose more than 15% of their ideal body weight, then they will require an inpatient program or a highly secured outpatient program. If it is a child or young adolescent more intervention may be required in order to avoid any irreversible health damage.
Other things to consider are how quickly the weight was lost and whether the patient has other serious medical complications.
Nutritional Therapy – Mental health professionals often promote positive reinforcement and encourage the patient to gain weight. This includes praising and rewarding weight gain along with monitoring the person’s weight gain by having someone sit with them while they eat. Different strategies offered include increasing caloric intake, limiting excessive exercise regimens and being there to support the patient.
Medications – Although there is little evidence to support medication, sometimes it is prescribed for people during eating disorder treatment.
- Antidepressants – These are sometimes used to treat eating disorder patients who have anxiety or depression
- Antipsychotics – There is not a lot of research that supports the use of antipsychotics for the treatment for Anorexia, but some studies have shown improvement. More often the drugs are used to treat other mental health issues rather than helping with the Anorexia.
Anorexia Treatment in Los Angeles
Breathe Life Healing Center offers evidence-based clinical solutions and a welcome place for spiritual awakenings to reduce suffering and help clients recover dignity.
Utilizing powerful trauma-informed approaches to healing, Breathe’s world-class treatment team and community support commitment help clients rebuild life and get better.
Breathe’s services both on Campus and Clinic include individual and group therapy, SPARK spiritual life groups, one on one therapy with a commitment to phase one safety and stabilization featuring sensorimotor, IFS, and DBT skills building alongside Family Class.
We are more than a drug and alcohol rehab center, we are a LIFE HEALING CENTER. We utilize innovative, proven approaches to incorporate the newest treatment techniques, which make a notable difference in the lives of our client’s and their families. We regularly evaluate our program’s effectiveness to ensure the best possible treatments are always used.
We provide the medical expertise together with an innovative approach to treatment that’s focused on you, not just your disease. Within the comfortable, relaxed environment of our Los Angeles Life Healing Centers, we give you the chance to step outside the problem and help you rediscover and rebuild your life, on your terms.