Watching our weight is something that everyone seems concerned about today. It’s a normal behavior for most people to diet, overeat or eat poorly on occasion. However, sometimes diets and eating behaviors escalate to the point where it is a problem and becomes an eating disorder.
Some individuals may view eating disorders as phases, fads or lifestyle choices. Eating disorders are actually serious and often fatal illnesses that are associated with severe disturbances in people’s eating behaviors and related thoughts and emotions. Preoccupation with food, body weight, and shape may also signal an eating disorder. Common eating disorders include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder.
According to the National Institute of mental health, nearly 1 million men and women in the United States suffer from eating disorders.
Anorexia nervosa — often simply called anorexia — is characterized by weight loss often due to excessive dieting and exercise, sometimes to the point of starvation. People with anorexia feel they can never be thin enough and continue to see themselves as “fat” despite extreme weight loss. Efforts to reduce your weight, even when underweight, can cause severe health problems, sometimes to the point of deadly self-starvation.
Bulimia nervosa — commonly called bulimia — is marked by cycles of extreme overeating, known as bingeing, followed by purging or other behaviors to compensate for the overeating. It is also associated with feelings of loss of control about eating. Many people with bulimia also restrict their eating during the day, which often leads to more binge eating and purging.
Binge-eating disorder is characterized by regular episodes of extreme overeating and feelings of loss of control about eating. You regularly eat quickly or eat more food than intended (binge), even when you’re not hungry, and you may continue eating even long after you’re uncomfortably full. A new round of bingeing usually occurs at least once a week. You may be normal weight, overweight or obese.
Treatment of Eating Disorders at the Yang Institute
The Yang Institute treats eating disorders with a mix of medical and psychological evaluation, nutritional counseling, traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture and other alternative therapies.
If you believe that you or a loved one has an eating disorder, we encourage you to contact the Yang Institute to schedule an appointment.