What is Anorexia Nervosa?
Anorexia is characterized by the following:
- Restriction of energy intake relative to requirements, leading to a significantly low body weight in the context of age, sex, developmental trajectory, and physical health. Significantly low weight is defined as a weight that is less than minimally normal or, for children and adolescents, less than that minimally expected.
- Intense fear of gaining weight or of becoming fat, or persistent behaviour that interferes with weight gain, even though at a significantly low weight.
- Disturbance in the way in which one’s body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or persistent lack of recognition of the seriousness of the current low body weight.
- Restricting type: During the last 3 months, the individual has not engaged in recurrent episodes of binge eating or purging behaviour (i.e., self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas). This subtype describes presentations in which weight loss is accomplished primarily through dieting, fasting, and/or excessive exercise.
- Binge-eating/purging type: During the last 3 months, the individual has engaged in recurrent episodes of binge eating or purging behaviour (i.e., self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas).
How is Anorexia Nervosa Treated?
The treatment of anorexia often requires a higher level of care (day treatment, inpatient) in order to manage the medical risks, nutritional stabilization, and psychological features. In our clinic, we work with each individual to provide education about the best possible treatment and to help facilitate the transition to/from higher levels of care across the province. Depending on the severity of the illness at the time of assessment, we can help you with medical stability, nutritional support, and working with the underlying thoughts, emotions, and behaviours that keep the disorder going. It is important that we obtain up-to-date lab results during treatment so we can best advise you in your recovery plan. Our dietitian offers meal planning, therapeutic meals, grocery prep, and food planning along with a full assessment.
The cornerstone of treatment for anorexia is nutritional and weight stabilization. It is very difficult to do psychological treatment when an individual is malnourished. While we help you achieve stabilization, we provide either CBT-E or our integrated DBT program that has been adapted for eating disorders.