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Eating Disorders

Why you are not alone if you have an eating disorder.

Eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia, are serious illnesses that can cause fatal outcomes if left untreated – in fact, they have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. This is because they command and fuel extreme emotions and behaviour regarding food and weight issues.

 

While the exact number of those affected in the UK is difficult to gather, the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has suggested that there are around 1.6 million people in the UK affected by eating disorders.

 

In the US the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders says that there are up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffering from an eating disorder, yet only one in ten people receives treatment for their illness.

Despite raised awareness of eating disorders over the last decade, thanks to dedicated associations and charities such as Beat (the Eating Disorders Association), the numbers unfortunately continue to rise.

 

According to a recent study by King’s College in London, the number of people diagnosed with eating disorders has increased by 15% since 2000. And while 90% of sufferers are women, the study also showed that over the last 15 years male incidents have risen by nearly 30%.

 

At Red Umbrella, we want to help you find the right treatment for your particular eating disorder. A bridge between the sufferer and the solution, our advice is friendly, independent and, most important of all, completely focused on getting you the care that you need.

How our experience of eating disorders could save your life

 

We know that too many clinics offering eating disorder treatment don’t have the necessary staff, dieticians and expert physiologists on hand to deal with the recovery process properly. As most recommended stays in treatment for eating disorders are three months, there are only a few clinics that have the highly trained staff and programmes in place to effectively treat these disorders.

 

Due to our personal experiences at Red Umbrella, we only wish to have close working relationships with the clinics we know deliver exceptional treatment for eating disorders. We can connect you with primary, secondary, step-down and day-care treatment for eating disorders, and, of course, exclusive bespoke options.

 

Our care doesn’t stop once you start treatment, as we keep a close eye on the progress of our clients. We are sensitive to the fact that most people we treat for eating disorders are young women – on average the illness develops at around the age of 16 – who will often compete with one another when placed together in a treatment setting. Many also feel the need to self-harm, which is exaggerated under these circumstances.

 

While finding the right treatment for people with these complex illnesses, great care is taken to provide everything needed for a successful recovery.

Red Umbrella will not compromise on the treatment necessary for eating disorders. So, rest assured, we do not work with clinics that may have a good addiction programme and want to add eating disorders to the list.

 

From our experience, and based on many clients’ feedback, it is vital that the clinic has expert staff on hand and robust treatment programmes in place to deal with these complex and life-threatening disorders.

 

Likewise, we will not send clients to these highly successful treatment facilities with false expectations. The time required to effectively treat eating disorders is a minimum of six to eight weeks of primary treatment with a view to secondary treatment for a further six to twelve weeks, depending on the individual.

 

“Eating disorder voices” and behavioural traits associated with these kinds of illnesses are so ingrained that it is unrealistic to achieve any results in a shorter time frame.

What eating disorders can we treat?

 

At Red Umbrella, due to our personal experiences and in-depth knowledge of treatment methods, we work with just three clinics – two in the UK and one on mainland Europe – regarding primary treatment of the following:

 

  • Anorexia Nervosa.
  • Bulimia Nervosa.
  • Binge Eating Disorder (BED).
  • Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS).
  • Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID).
  • Pica.
  • Rumination Disorder.

 

Anorexia Nervosa

 

If you suffer from an overwhelming fear of gaining weight, yet weigh and eat far less than you should, then you could be suffering from anorexia nervosa.

 

Whether you suffer from the “purging type”, where vomiting and laxatives are used to counteract binge eating or purging behaviours, or the “restricting type”, where sufferers restrict food intake and do not binge eat, further symptoms include:

 

  1. Overpowering obsession with weight and insufficient intake of food.
  2. Relentless pursuit of thinness, constant calorie counting and weight loss.
  3. Self-worth that is entirely dependent on a distorted body image.
  4. Complete unawareness of the severity of the problem.
  5. Other problems, such as self-harming, depression or alcohol abuse.

 

If you think you could be suffering from anorexia nervosa, then a treatment programme designed specifically for you is only one conversation away.

 

Give us a call or drop us a line on live chat to find out how we can help you to feel well again.

Binge Eating

 

Do you find yourself guiltily consuming large amounts of food, even if you are not hungry, yet cannot stop until you have eaten it all? If compulsive overeating is a behaviour you can identify with then perhaps you are at the mercy of binge eating disorder.

 

Symptoms for this illness include:

 

  1. Frequent uncontrollable consumption of food.
  2. No “making up” for the binges through methods such as vomiting.
  3. Feelings of guilt, distress or shame during the binge-eating episode.
  4. Ability to eat normally in front of others and secretly binge eating once alone.
  5. A desperation to be thin that fuels feelings of disgust after overeating.

 

We can put you in touch with expert therapists and counsellors who can help you to come to terms with your overwhelming urges to consume food.

 

Talk to us via live chat or on the phone to find out how we can help you beat binge eating disorder.

Bulimia Nervosa

 

Frequently bingeing on food followed by frantic efforts to wipe out the effects by self-induced vomiting or taking laxatives is a destructive cycle that affects men and women of all ages. This “binge and purge” cycle is known as bulimia nervosa.

 

If this sounds like you, then additional symptoms you might be experiencing are:

 

  1. The feeling of being out of control while you are binge eating.
  2. The use of laxatives, diuretics or enemas believing they will counteract the calories consumed.
  3. Low self-esteem and severe body image issues.
  4. Secret eating sessions, so that your friends and family won’t notice your bingeing.
  5. A desire to over-exercise after bingeing to make up for the over-eating.

 

Purge tactics – whether vomiting, laxatives or diuretics – can never make up for the calorie intake during the binge part of the cycle. Most people with bulimia nervosa are likely to be either a normal weight or overweight so the goal of losing weight is rarely met and the “binge and purge” cycle never ends.

 

You know how frightening it feels to be so out of control, and we know what therapy can help you to break free from the grasp of this illness once and for all.

 

Call us, or get in touch through live chat, for a confidential conversation on how you can get back in control and enjoy life without bulimia nervosa.

Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS)

 

EDNOS is used to describe any eating disorder that does not meet the exact criteria of those already classified. If you have, for example, what appears to be anorexia, but your weight is considered normal, you would be treated for EDNOS – but this doesn’t mean your struggle is any less difficult than that of someone suffering from anorexia.

 

Here are some more symptoms to help you identify EDNOS:

 

  1. Compulsions associated with bulimia nervosa, but with a lesser frequency.
  2. All the criteria of binge-eating disorder, but where uncontrollable consumption is repeated less often.
  3. Regular purging after small portions of food to counteract what has been eaten.
  4. Large amounts of food are chewed or spat out, but not swallowed.
  5. Guilt and shame over consumption is coupled with a desire to “do better” tomorrow.

 

The risks of suffering from EDNOS are just as severe as those with other eating disorders – the “not otherwise specified” part of the name does not mean they are less serious or devastating.

 

We can put you in touch with therapists and counsellors who are experienced at dealing with and caring for those suffering from EDNOS.

 

Contact us by phone or through live chat to find out how we can help you to rediscover a healthy relationship with food.

Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)

 

If you have difficulties eating enough food, but your problem doesn’t quite correspond with the criteria for existing eating disorders, then it may be that your problem falls under the new ARFID category.

 

Here are some symptoms that can help you to identify ARFID:

 

  1. You are not able to take in enough calories or nutrition through eating.
  2. Digestion of food is difficult.
  3. Certain colours and textures of food are rejected and only small portions of food are consumed.
  4. Problems occur at school or work due to avoiding meal times or them taking too long.
  5. There are no signs of negative body image issues.

 

ARFID is a relatively new diagnosis and symptoms typically emerge during childhood. For example, a choking incident experienced by a young boy while eating a corn on the cob could lead to a refusal of eating all foods, even previous favourites, such as chocolate cake. This would be diagnosed as ARFID.

 

If any of these symptoms ring true for you or someone in your family, let us know, as we can connect you with treatment programmes that will banish ARFID and its associated problems.

 

Call us or get in touch through live chat and we will help you to plan your next move.

Pica

 

Studies show that up to 30% of children between the ages of one and six have pica: the eating of non-food materials, such as dirt or paper. Pregnant women lacking certain nutrients can also develop the condition through unusual cravings.

 

Some of the symptoms associated with pica include:

 

  1. The eating of non-food items, such as clay, dirt, ice, hairballs, paint and sand.
  2. Inappropriate behaviour for your child’s age – at 18-24 months old this type of behaviour is typical and in line with normal development.
  3. Consumption of non-food items to aid dieting and enhance the feeling of fullness.
  4. The eating of non-food items, such as dirt, when it is not due to cultural or religious reasons.
  5. Problems such as infection and diarrhoea occur as a result of eating indigestible substances.

 

Whether child or adult, the eating pattern must last for at least one month for a diagnosis of pica to be made. But if you feel that pica could be a problem for you or your child, then call our team as we can offer you advice and support on how to get the best treatment.

 

Contact us now on the phone or through live chat so we can advise you on the most effective treatment programmes for combating pica.

Rumination Disorder

 

If you feel compelled to bring up and re-chew food that has already been swallowed, and then either swallow it again or spit it out, then you could be suffering from rumination disorder. Most common in children – and rare in adults – in order to be diagnosed this behaviour should occur on an almost daily basis for a period of at least a month.

 

Symptoms for rumination disorder include:

 

  1. Undigested food is regurgitated (if the food tastes the same as when first consumed it is undigested).
  2. Loss of weight and the emergence of bad breath.
  3. Intensely sore and chapped lips.
  4. Problems with indigestion and frequent stomach aches.
  1. Respiratory conditions, such as bronchitis or asthma, caused through the regurgitation of food particles that have been sucked into the lungs

 

While rumination disorder is gaining more recognition among teenagers and adults, research shows that it most commonly occurs in children who are, on average, six years old.

 

Not all clinics know how to treat this problem effectively, but we can put you in touch with professionals who are experienced at diagnosing rumination disorder and run successful treatment programmes.

 

Call us or send us a message through live chat so that we can advise you on the right facility for your unique set of symptoms relating to rumination disorder.

Contact us by phone on +44 (0)300 002 0061, or via live chat, to find out how we can help you make the right recovery choice for your eating disorder.