Residential eating disorder programs

Eating disorders very often involve thoughts about yourself that are negative and/or critical. Negative thoughts concerning body weight and food in general are the common signals of an eating disorder as well as abnormal eating habits that may disrupt daily activities and normal bodily functioning. Eating disorders are very common among girls and the most common eating disorders are bulimia and anorexia.

Patients who have anorexia typically have a morbid fear of gaining weight and view their body size in a distorted way. They typically see themselves as fat or overweight even when they have a dangerously low body weight. Many restrict their intake of food and may not eat for days. They fast, diet and engage in very rigorous exercise on a regular basis. They obsess over every small bite of food that they ingest. Bulimia involves the person bingeing or eating a lot of food at once. They typically have regular episodes of overeating and then use different methods to prevent gaining weight. Vomiting and/or laxative abuse may be used to prevent the eaten food from causing weight gain.

Many doctors agree that residential eating disorder programs are often the best method of treatment for patients with bulimia or anorexia. When there is dangerous and severe weight loss that is accompanied by improperly functioning organs such as is often seen in patients with anorexia, inpatient hospitalization is often necessary. For severe cases, feeding tubes may even be needed in order to force the patient to accept nutrition.

Residential eating disorder treatment centers typically try to get the patient to gain between one to three pounds each week. Patients are educated by nutritionists as well as doctors on the correct eating practices and how different foods and nutrients are crucial for the body to function properly. They provide information to the patient on the correct way to exercise and activities that can be done to eliminate stress and help the patient to be more relaxed with regards to the way that they view food. Residential programs are typically recommended for patients whose conditions are so severe that they can simply not function or develop psychological problems that begin to affect their relationships with others.

There are several different types of treatment that residential programs use and the type used typically depends on the patient. Most agree that a multidisciplinary approach to therapy is the best avenue. This typically includes a dietician, medical care provider and a mental health provider all working together toward a common goal. Cognitive therapy as well as family, individual and group therapy are also typically used to help patients with eating disorders.

Nutritional education is crucial in helping patients to better understand why food is needed and which foods are better for general health. Patients are taught that skipping meals and/or bingeing are not healthy and how eating at proper times throughout the day is best for overall general health. Medications are also often prescribed to help patients with eating disorders. Olanzapine works to stabilize the patient’s mood and is often prescribed to treat anorexia. Antidepressants are also used very commonly in both inpatient and outpatient treatment centers for eating disorders. Counseling and therapy sessions however have proven to be the most successful course of treatment both at home and at residential programs.

There are currently a wide variety of residential eating disorder programs in many different areas. Due to the increase in patients with these disorders, residential programs have begun opening up in many areas of the world. Insurance typically pays for at least part of the expense of residential programs although this will likely depend on the program itself as well as the individual insurance company and policy.

Last updated on Oct 30th, 2011 and filed under Healthy Eating. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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