Nearly 30 million people in the United States will struggle with an eating disorder at some point in their lives. Eating disorders are serious medical conditions that affect mental and physical health. At Why Weight in Littleton, Colorado, board-certified obesity medicine specialist Debra Salter, MD, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders. To schedule an evaluation, call the office or request an appointment through the online scheduling tool.
Many people have the misconception that eating disorders are a choice. However, eating disorders are serious medical conditions that affect a person’s emotions, behaviors, and thoughts in relation to food and eating.
Though symptoms of an eating disorder vary, many people with eating disorders have preoccupations with food, weight, and appearance.
Eating disorders affect people of all ages and backgrounds. Though researchers are still investigating what causes someone to develop an eating disorder, it’s theorized that it may be a combination of genetic, biological, and environmental factors.
The most common types of eating disorders include binge-eating disorder (BED), bulimia, and anorexia nervosa.
BED is an eating disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of binge eating. People with BED may consume an excessive amount of food in a very short period of time. BED is the most common type of eating disorder.
Bulimia is similar to BED. However, after eating large amounts of food, people with bulimia use tactics to purge the food they consumed, such as self-induced vomiting or abuse of laxatives.
People with bulimia may also fast or spend hours at the gym as a way to “purge” the excess calories.
Anorexia nervosa is the most serious eating disorder. People with anorexia nervosa have a distorted body image and see themselves as overweight, even if their weight is normal.
Because of their distorted body image, they severely restrict their food intake, which may lead to drastic weight loss that affects organ function, and in some cases may even be fatal.
Treatment for an eating disorder depends on the type and severity of the eating disorder. Gettin treatment early may help prevent serious health complications.
Dr. Salter conducts a thorough evaluation to diagnose a suspected eating disorder and any related health conditions. She also runs lab testing to look for nutritional deficiencies, food or environmental sensitivities, and underlying diseases.
Based on the information gathered, she develops your personalized treatment plan, which may include:
Dr. Salter schedules regular follow-up appointments to monitor your progress. She also makes referrals to other health professionals as needed to ensure you get comprehensive care to manage your eating disorder.
To learn more about eating disorders and treatment options at Why Weight, call the office or book an appointment online today.