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Eating Disorders- Adult & Child

Eating disorders have become a rising concern, affecting millions of people globally regardless of gender, age, or ethnicity. These disorders not only disrupt one's relationship with food but also impact their physical and mental well-being. Fortunately, there are effective treatment options, and outpatient care has gained recognition for its success in treating eating disorders. There are several benefits in an outpatient setting for treatment of ED, especially if the outpatient clinic has a multidisciplinary team of a psychiatrist, trained psychologist in ED, general physician or paediatrician, and a dietitian specialized in ED.

Understanding Eating Disorders:

  1. Anorexia Nervosa: This disorder is characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight, leading to self-imposed starvation and extreme weight loss.
  2. Bulimia Nervosa: Individuals with bulimia experience recurrent episodes of binge eating, followed by behaviors like self-induced vomiting, excessive exercise, or fasting to compensate for the binge.
  3. Binge Eating Disorder: This disorder involves excessive consumption of food in a short period, accompanied by a feeling of loss of control and subsequent guilt or shame.

The Causes of Eating Disorders:

Eating disorders are complex conditions that are influenced by a combination of genetic, biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors. These issues often stem from low self-esteem, body image concerns, societal pressure to conform to unrealistic beauty standards, and stress-related triggers. Additionally, co-occurring mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression, can further contribute to the development of eating disorders.

Addressing Eating Disorders through Outpatient Treatment:

Outpatient treatment programs at Medcare have gained popularity for their effectiveness in treating eating disorders. Here are some key advantages of outpatient care:

  1. Flexibility: Outpatient treatment allows individuals to receive therapy while maintaining their daily routines. This flexibility is especially beneficial for individuals who have family or work responsibilities.
  2. Individualized Treatment: Outpatient programs prioritize personalized treatment plans to address the unique needs of each patient. These plans may include therapy sessions, nutritional counseling, and group support.
  3. Home Environment Support: Outpatient treatment provides patients with the opportunity to practice healthy eating habits and coping skills within their own home environment. This allows for better integration of treatment strategies into their everyday lives.
  4. Access to Family and Social Support: Outpatients benefit from the support of their family and friends during the recovery process. Involving loved ones creates a positive, supportive network that can contribute greatly to long-term recovery.
  5. Relapse Prevention: Outpatient treatment equips individuals with relapse prevention strategies, focusing on teaching them lifelong skills to maintain a healthy relationship with food, manage triggers, and cope with stressors.

Recognizing the seriousness of eating disorders and seeking appropriate treatment is vital for recovery. Outpatient treatment offers a comprehensive and flexible solution for individuals struggling with these disorders. It combines therapy, nutritional counseling, and a supportive environment to facilitate lasting recovery while allowing individuals to maintain their normal daily lives.

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Last update date: 04-07-2023

Ms. Lina Doumani is a Clinical Dietitian in the Department of Diet and Nutrition at the Jumeirah branch of Medcare Medical Centre. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the well-known American University of Beirut in Lebanon and subsequently, did her Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics from King’s College, University of London in the UK.

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