Eating Disorders

Weaver Wellness Care

Family Medicine Practice located in Herndon, VA

About 30 million people in the United States currently suffer from an eating disorder. If you’re one of them, know that you’re not alone and that your disorder is treatable. At Weaver Wellness Care, Dr. Elizabeth Weaver specializes in serving young adults with eating disorders. If you or a family member need help for an eating disorder in the Herndon, Virginia area, make an appointment with Dr. Weaver online or over the phone.

Eating Disorders Q & A

Weaver Wellness Care

What is an eating disorder?

Eating disorders are conditions that cause severe mental, behavioral, and physical problems related to body shape and weight. A person with an eating disorder has a dysfunctional relationship with food or body image, causing them to either overeat or not eat enough food.

The major types of eating disorders include:

  • Anorexia nervosa: a serious eating disorder marked by unrealistic body image, calorie restriction, and inability to maintain a healthy weight
  • Bulimia nervosa: characterized by alternate periods of bingeing followed by purging
  • Binge-eating and compulsive overeating: recurrent periods of overeating accompanied by feelings of guilt, shame, and lack of control
  • Eating disorders that aren't elsewhere classified: dysfunctional eating behaviors that don’t meet the diagnostic criteria for the categories above but still involve unhealthy eating patterns, strict dieting, or compensatory behaviors

Women in their teenage years are most likely to suffer from eating disorders. Eating disorders often coexist with depression, anxiety, and substance abuse.

What are the risks of eating disorders?

Eating disorders can lead to life-threatening complications and even death, so it’s critical to seek medical help as soon as possible. The deprivation of necessary nutrients associated with anorexia can lead to:

  • Lowered heart rate and blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Bone deterioration or osteoporosis
  • Dehydration that leads to kidney failure
  • Weakness and fatigue

The binging and purging associated with bulimia leads to imbalances in the body that can cause:

  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Heart failure
  • Gastric rupture
  • Esophageal inflammation or rupture
  • Tooth decay
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Pancreatitis

Binge-eating or overeating creates many of the same health risks as obesity, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Gallbladder disease

How do you treat eating disorders?

Dr. Weaver incorporates four of the essential approaches to eating disorders into her treatment plan: monitoring, therapy, nutritional counseling, and medication.

Monitoring

Its important for Dr. Weaver to monitor you with frequent follow-ups to check your progress and ensure your return to health.

Therapy

To help reinforce your support system, Dr. Weaver provides referrals to therapists and offers medical counsel for eating disorders. Talk and behavioral therapy benefit many people with eating disorders.

Nutritional Counseling

Dr. Weaver provides nutritional counseling and can also enlist the help of nutritional specialists to help you re-establish healthy eating behaviors.

Medication

Although medication doesn’t treat eating disorders, antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can help treat co-existing or contributing mental health conditions. Treating underlying depression and anxiety may make you better able to address your eating disorder.

If you or a family member are struggling with an eating disorder, get in touch with Dr. Weaver online or over the phone as soon as possible.