Eating Disorders

Mental Health Services located in Jacksonville, FL
Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders services offered in Jacksonville, FL

Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia nervosa involve a relationship with food that can cause potentially life-threatening harm. If you or your child shows signs of having an eating disorder, contact the Heath Counseling and Consultation Services team in Jacksonville, Florida. Using advanced, proven techniques, their experienced counselors help people of all ages understand their condition and recover successfully. Call the office today to schedule a consultation with an eating disorder specialist, or go online to book an in-person or telehealth appointment.

Eating Disorders Q&A

What are eating disorders?

Eating disorders are mental health problems developing from a destructive relationship with food. Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening conditions — more people die in the United States each year from eating disorders (specifically anorexia nervosa) than any other psychiatric disorder.  

Anyone could develop an eating disorder, but they affect women more frequently than men. These conditions typically start causing problems during adolescence and early adulthood but could develop at any age.

The obsession with your size and diet typical of eating disorders can be profoundly disabling. These conditions aren’t ones people bring upon themselves, but distressing, life-changing diseases.

What eating disorders might affect me?

Eating disorders that the Heath Counseling and Consultation Services team treats most often include:

Anorexia nervosa

People with anorexia believe they’re overweight even when they become severely underweight. This leads to malnutrition and sometimes starvation when patients refuse to eat because they’re unable to see how they really appear. 

As malnutrition from anorexia worsens, patients develop symptoms such as:

  • Anemia (lack of iron in the blood)
  • Constant coldness
  • Muscle wasting
  • Thinning bones
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Dry, discolored skin
  • Constipation
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Infertility
  • Fine hair growth (lanugo)

Without expert treatment, anorexia can result in organ failure and death.

Bulimia nervosa

People with bulimia frequently eat large quantities of food (binge), often over a short period. After binging, you feel shame and hate yourself, leading to purging. This involves making yourself vomit and/or using laxatives to speed the passage of food through your digestive system. 

Signs of bulimia include:

  • Acid reflux
  • Dehydration
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen neck glands
  • Tooth decay
  • Worn, sensitive teeth
  • Digestive problems

Between binges, you might try to regain control by not eating much and exercising frequently. Binge-eating disorder is similar to bulimia but doesn’t involve purging.

How are eating disorders treated?

The personalized eating disorder treatment plan you receive from Heath Counseling and Consultation Services might include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy (Maudsley approach)
  • Nutrition counseling

Some people with eating disorders require medication in addition to therapy, and most people with severe conditions see an internal medicine specialist as well as a mental health professional. Your Heath Counseling and Consultation Services therapist works with your other health care providers to ensure you receive the best possible care.

Contact Heath Counseling and Consultation Services today to start on the road to recovery from your eating disorder. Call to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.