McCallum Place is a nationally acclaimed eating disorder treatment center that has helped change the lives of individuals who struggle with eating disorders. Proudly serving St. Louis, Missouri and Kansas City, McCallum Place is the premier provider of eating disorder treatment for people of all genders age 10 and older.
What is an Eating Disorder?
Eating disorders — such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder — include extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues. Eating disorders are serious emotional and physical problems that can have life-threatening consequences for females and males.
Types of Eating Disorders
Anorexia Nervosa (AN), Bulimia Nervosa (BN), Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS), and Binge Eating Disorder (BED)
Eating disorders are generally described as psychological disorders resulting in and characterized by disturbances in normal eating behavior. Energy imbalance, fear of fat and body image distortion. Frequently, individuals suffering from eating disorders use food to satisfy a psychological need often through bingeing or by a denial of hunger and refusal to eat. These coping mechanisms become habit and difficult to change. The most common types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. All three eating disorders are characterized by unhealthy thoughts and behaviors.
Eating disorders can lead to a wide variety of dangerous and potentially life-threatening medical complications. The health risks of eating disorders include depression, bone loss, digestive problems, heart disease, kidney failure, loss of menstruation, and death. To avoid these complications, individuals and their family members should learn about the signs and symptoms of eating disorders especially dangerous behaviors such as prolonged calorie restriction or frequent vomiting. The sooner that an individual learns about eating disorder treatment and begins a treatment program that is right for them, the more likely it is that the treatment will be successful and the less likely it is that the individual will suffer from long-term complications.
Treatment for Eating Disorders: Goals & Approach
Individuals suffering from any type of eating disorder should receive treatment for their eating disorder as soon as possible because of the potentially deadly and severe health risks and complications of eating disorders. Treatment for eating disorders can include a variety of commonly used methods including individual and group eating disorder therapy techniques. While there are several different methods and approaches used during treatment for eating disorders, the overall goals for eating disorder treatment are to restore healthy natural body weight.
Goals During Treatment for Eating Disorders
Individual goals during the treatment for eating disorders can vary. However there are some main goals of eating disorder treatment that are common across patients. These goals during treatment for eating disorders are designed to promote long term healthy behaviors and prevent relapse after completing treatment for eating disorders. Some common goals across anorexia and bulimia patients include:
- Stabilize and treat co-morbid psychiatric conditions including mood, anxiety disorders, OCD and PTSD
- Deconstruct urges to binge and purge so that urges can be identified early and emotion regulation skills practiced
- Restoring a normal, healthy weight in patients receiving treatment for anorexia
- Reduce and hopefully stop the occurrence of binge eating and purging episodes in individuals suffering from bulimia
- Treat and reduce long term impact of medical complications
- Teach patients healthy, balanced nutritional habits and help develop healthy, sustainable eating patterns through meal planning and exposures to fear foods
- Identify and challenge dysfunctional thoughts, which are characteristic of their eating disorder
- Improve each individual’s self image, self-control, self-esteem, and behavior
- Provide family tools and education, improve understanding and communication to support long term recovery
- Encourage lasting motivation and prevent relapse
- Encourage healthy coping mechanisms to manage distress, including mindful acceptance and self compassion
Therapies & Treatment Options
Psychological Therapy and Treatment for Eating Disorders
Therapy is perhaps the most important aspect in successful treatment for eating disorders. Psychological therapy generally involves cognitive-behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, family therapy, or other individual or group therapy in order to understand and adjust to ones temperament and practice new coping strategies, face fears related to eating, body size, shape and weight. Additionally, therapy during treatment for eating disorders can help individuals understand the negative results from disordered eating behaviors. It takes a lot of courage to commit to the changes required for recovery. Psychotherapy can provide encouragement, insight and support to help let go of using restricting, binge eating and purging as primary coping mechanisms.
Medical Treatment for Eating Disorders
Typical medical complications include slowed gastric emptying, constipation, reflux, low blood pressure, instability of autonomic nervous system, loss of menses, reversal of puberty, loss of bone density and stress fractures. Complete treatment should include screening for and treating medical complications that have resulted from the eating disorders. Additionally, a medical doctor or professional is typically responsible for supervising weight restoration in patients recovering from anorexia. Medical monitoring is most important during the early stages of eating disorder treatment as a person’s body adjusts to normal food intake and digestion. Labratory screens, vital signs monitoring and EKGs are recommended. Refeeding after periods of prolonged fasting or after extreme weight loss can be dangerous.
Dietitians and Nutritional Counseling During Treatment for Eating Disorders
Dietitians are experts in nutrition and food science. While in intensive treatment they coordinate refeeding and meal exposures, and provide education and support to patients and their families. Dietitians can help individuals help to learn healthy meal planning and weight management skills. These skills will help prevent relapse and ease them into independent living following partial hospitalization or residential treatment for eating disorders.
Eating Disorder Treatment at McCallum Place + Next Steps
McCallum Place Centers, located in St. Louis, Missouri and Kansas City, Kansas are nationally acclaimed comprehensive eating disorder treatment programs providing intensive, developmentally appropriate care for preadolescents, adolescents, young adults and older adults, for both males and females. In addition, our signature Victory program is designed specifically for athletes who hope to be able to return to their sport.
There are many types of eating disorders, but some of the more common ones include Anorexia, Bulimia, and Binge Eating. Even though each eating disorder has its own symptoms, there are also some signs that most eating disorders have in common.
Common Eating Disorder Signs Include:
- Excessive dieting or rigid food rules
- Drastic and sometimes sudden changes in eating habits
- Becoming preoccupied with food
- Having consistently negative feelings about your body
- Exercising up to or past the point of exhaustion
- Feeling like you don’t have any emotions or that you are depressed
- Binge eating
If you are concerned that you or someone you know may have an eating disorder, you can fill out the form on this page to request a free, confidential pre-admission assessment from McCallum Place.
Taking the first step towards eating disorder treatment and recognizing the symptoms, whether for yourself or for one you love, can be challenging. McCallum Place’s nationally recognized eating disorder treatment center professionals can help guide you through the process of treatment and recovery. We have several treatment facilities in St. Louis and Kansas City Missouri that have several levels of care for females, males, adolescents, and athletes. We will work with you personally to ensure that the treatment program you choose is tailored to your individual needs.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please contact McCallum Place for a free and confidential assessment. We will help you follow a personalized path to recovery.
For More Information
If you believe that you or a loved one is suffering from an eating disorder, it is important to learn the signs, symptoms, complications, causes, and risk factors. Additionally, there are other resources available that provide important information about eating disorders including eating disorder books and articles. The following pages are designed to offer information to individuals with eating disorders and to the family members of those who are suffering from eating disorders. For additional information contact McCallum Place, an eating disorder treatment center.
McCallum Place offers a number of eating disorder treatment programs in St. Louis and Kansas City provided by expert physicians, therapists and registered dietitians. We provide comprehensive integrated care in our residential, partial hospital programs and intensive outpatient programs. Depending on an individual’s medical condition, eating disorder severity, financial situation, and accompanying mental disorders, so the best treatment option can be determined. Learn more about treatment for eating disorders or contact the intake staff at McCallum Place to schedule a free, confidential eating disorder assessment.