EATING DISORDER


Eating disorders are complex mental health conditions that can affect individuals of any age, gender, or background. They are characterized by a range of abnormal eating habits and often involve a preoccupation with body weight, shape, and food.


  • Symptoms
  • Causes
  • Treatment
Symptoms

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder is essential for early intervention and treatment. Some common warning signs include:

Physical Symptoms:

  • Dramatic weight loss or fluctuations
  • Changes in eating habits, like severe restriction or bingeing
  • Frequent bathroom trips after meals
  • Fatigue, dizziness, weakness due to poor nutrition
  • Rituals around food, such as cutting it into tiny pieces

Psychological Symptoms:

  • Obsession with food, calories, and dieting
  • Preoccupation with body weight, shape, and appearance
  • Distorted body image, seeing oneself as overweight despite being underweight
  • Mood swings, irritability, depression, or anxiety
  • Feelings of guilt, shame, or low self-esteem related to eating habits

Behavioral Symptoms:

  • Avoidance of social situations involving food
  • Excessive exercising, even in extreme weather conditions or when injured
  • Hoarding food or hiding evidence of bingeing
  • Withdrawing from social activities or relationships
Causes

The development of eating disorders is influenced by a combination of genetic, biological, psychological, and environmental factors:

Genetic and Biological Factors:

  • Family history of eating disorders or mental illness
  • Brain chemical imbalances
  • Hormonal changes during puberty or other life stages

Psychological Factors:

  • Perfectionism or high levels of self-criticism
  • Low self-esteem or poor body image
  • Difficulty coping with stress, trauma, or major life changes
  • History of abuse or bullying

Environmental Factors:

  • Societal pressure to attain unrealistic beauty standards
  • Cultural attitudes toward food, weight, and body image
  • Family dynamics, such as parental modeling of disordered eating behaviors or criticism about weight
  • Professions or activities that emphasize thinness or weight control, such as modeling or competitive sports
Treatment

Effective treatment for eating disorders typically involves a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach aimed at addressing physical, nutritional, and psychological needs:

Medical Intervention:

  • Initial medical evaluation and monitoring
  • Stabilization of weight and eating patterns

Nutritional Counseling:

  • Meal plans to restore nutrition and promote healthy habits
  • Education about nutrition and challenging food fears

Psychotherapy:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) to address distorted thoughts
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to develop coping skills
  • Family therapy to improve communication and support recovery

Medication:

  • Antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications may be prescribed to manage co-occurring mood disorders or anxiety symptoms
  • Medications to address comorbid conditions, such as gastrointestinal issues or hormonal imbalances


OUR TEAM

Dr. Sameh Ibrahim - Consultant Psychiatrist Abu Dhabi
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DR. SAMEH IBRAHIM
Consultant Psychiatrist


Dr. Raya El Khoury - Psychiatrist Abu Dhabi
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DR. RAYA EL KHOURY
Specialist Psychiatry


Lara Honein - Clinical Psychologist Abu Dhabi
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LARA HONEIN
Clinical Psychologist



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