Expert Bulimia Treatment at Monarch Cove

Expert Bulimia Treatment at Monarch Cove

Bulimia nervosa is a serious eating disorder that can lead to significant health problems. Without professional bulimia treatment for the medical effects of this disorder, as well as the underlying issues that cause bulimia nervosa, an individual can have a decline in their overall health. Monarch Cove’s clinicians provide a completely customized care plan, so that the treatment provided meets the client’s unique needs. Someone with bulimia nervosa overeats (binges), and then purges (including vomiting, using laxatives, or exercise) to counteract their intake of calories. This is done in order to continue to lose weight, beyond what is in the normal range for them, or in order to maintain a normal weight. Monarch Cove’s specialized programs for the treatment for bulimia nervosa helps people with this complex issue. We combine psychological support for the emotional and mental health issues that may contribute to the bulimia nervosa, as well as using bulimia specific eating disorder approaches. Each client and family are provided with the support and guidance throughout the admissions and treatment process. Treatment is provided in a beautiful, therapeutic setting near the Pacific Ocean. Multiple levels of care ensure the right amount of monitoring and intensity of treatment to effectively support the recovery process.

Understanding Bulimia Nervosa Symptoms & Bulimia Treatment

What is bulimia nervosa? What causes it, and what are the symptoms of bulimia? Bulimia is a confusing thing to understand, and yet more than 25% of female American college students admit to binging and purging as a way to control weight. These symptoms often persist and get worse, and require professional bulimia treatment. Statistics also show that currently 1.1-4.2 percent of women will have bulimia at some point in their lifetime. Men are also at risk for bulimia nervosa, but often never seek treatment for bulimia nervosa due to shame, or feeling that it is a female eating disorder. The rate of male bulimia nervosa and anorexia nervosa are on the rise. This is why it is so important for family and friends to know the facts about bulimia, and recognize the symptoms of bulimia. Getting professional help early is important in order to regain health.

The Facts About Bulimia

Researchers have been unable to find out exactly what causes bulimia nervosa. However, they do know that is seems to be a mixture of social and cultural factors, family genetics and influences, and basic personality traits. What causes bulimia? This is a difficult question, and while clinicians see overall trends or factors, scientific research has not provided any definitive proof. Sometimes people have bulimia if another family has an eating disorder, diagnosed or undiagnosed. Athletes and dancers who are expected to have a particular kind of sleek body look may binge and purge in order to achieve it. Others binge and purge as a way to control emotional issues, or they are perfectionists. Although men, women, and boys are also diagnosed with bulimia nervosa, it tends to be more common in teenage girls. When a teenager is diagnosed with this disorder, it can be much more difficult to treat, and causes problems over a lifetime. Studies show that nearly 4% of those diagnosed with bulimia nervosa die from this eating disorder, so treatment for bulimia nervosa is an absolute necessity.

Recognizing the symptoms of someone with bulimia nervosa

Many people recognize that they have symptoms of bulimia nervosa, but they ignore it. Family members may also be afraid to admit that they recognize it in a child or sibling. What someone with bulimia nervosa does:
  • Consumes large amounts of food in a very short period of time, feeling out of control, unable to stop
  • Eats normal amounts of food, but uses purging techniques and exercise to balance out the calories they took in
  • Purging includes vomiting and using laxatives and enemas, taking diuretics (water pills), exercising for long periods of time to burn off calories
  • Skips meals or fasting
  • Binges on food under stressful conditions, and then purges; bulimics often state that when they vomit after feeling stressed and binging, the sense of release feels good, and this release leads to a further cycle of binging and purging
  • Binging and purging may become a habit that is eventually difficult for a person to stop
  • Becomes isolated, cutting themselves off from friends and previously enjoyed activities
  • Obsesses about thinness, weight, body image, and diet
Physical symptoms of bulimia and serious health effects
  • Tooth decay  (particularly the back molars) due to vomiting
  • Gum disease (also from frequent vomiting)
  • Dehydration, which can be severe enough to cause a medical emergency
  • Weakening of the bones, due to malnutrition
  • Kidney and heart damage
  • Swelling and tearing of the esophagus
  • Fainting
  • Heart problems, such as an irregular heart beat
  • Vomiting and diarrhea can lead to electrolyte imbalances in the body, which can be dangerous
Some hints that bulimia nervosa is present in someone you care about
  • Checking weight multiple times a day
  • Finding hidden food wrappers, diuretic and laxative boxes, receipts for unusually high amounts of groceries that don’t seem to be in the kitchen or pantry
  • Spending most of the time talking about weight, expressing excessive worry over weight
  • Depression, anxiety, and mood swings
  • Hearing or seeing the results of vomiting on a daily basis, even if the person denies doing this
  • People with bulimia nervosa frequently talk badly about themselves and their self-worth

Bulimia Treatment Program at Monarch Cove

Our eating disorder treatment center is staffed with experts in the treatment of people with this complicated problem. We provide medical stabilization as an important first step in our program. Medication may be required to treat associated (co-occurring) disorders such as anxiety and depression. Individualized treatment plans are created for each client at Monarch Cove’s bulimia nervosa program. We have a wide array of treatment therapy options to provide a unique approach that suits each client’s needs. Bulimia treatment at Monarch Cove includes:
  • Learn coping skills
  • Increase positive self-image via evidence-based behavioral therapies and normalized eating and weight behaviors
  • Recognize personal stressors and learn to handle them in a healthy, constructive way
  • Education and daily reinforcement of healthy eating habits, stressing regular meals and snacks
  • Counseling to help clients understand why they use food to control feelings and emotions
  • Learning to make healthy choices in eating and exercise
  • Develop relapse strategies to help prevent further cycles of binging and eating under times of stress

Treatment for Bulimia Nervosa Must Include Treatment for Co-Occurring Issues

Many people diagnosed with bulimia nervosa also have emotional or psychological problems that need to be treated simultaneously. This is called a co-occurring disorder, and requires a specialized combination of therapy in order regain a state of mental and physical health.  Monarch Cove’s clinicians are skilled and experienced in treating eating disorders combined with an addiction or mental health issue. Some common co-occurring disorders that are present with eating problems:
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Borderline personality disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Panic disorders
  • Associated emotions that are difficult to control, such as guilt, anger, and confusion
  • Alcohol or drug abuse and addiction
When doing something harmful provides an emotional release, it can be hard to stop. We understand, and can provide meaningful help.
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