Orthorexia is a term for a condition involving obsessive behaviour with regard to the pursuit of a healthy diet. Sufferers are obsessed with eating foods that give the feeling of being pure and healthy. Typically, they will avoid foods containing artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, foods that have been genetically modified or treated with pesticides, foods with a high fat or sugar content – even animal or dairy products.
Sufferers will often display behaviour changes, such as an obsessive concern over the association of certain foods with illnesses such as asthma, digestive problems, low mood or allergies – avoiding such foods without first seeking medical advice. They often begin or increase their consumption of food supplements, herbal remedies or pro-biotic. They will display irrational concern over the way food is prepared – particularly the washing of food or the sterilization of utensils. Eventually, sufferers may result in finding fewer than 10 foods as acceptable to eat.
This obsession, as with bulimia or anorexia, can begin to interfere with the sufferers every day life. The stringent rules they impose upon themselves can lead to social isolation or, in extreme cases result in panic attacks or severe anxiety. Such emotional symptoms can increase to the point where the obsession progresses into a serious eating disorder.
Sufferers will, typically exhibit some or any of the following:
Because the obsession with healthy food can cause a reduction in calorie intake - merely because of the lack of food considered acceptable to their regime – sufferers often lose weight to the extent that their body mass weight is consistent with an anorexic. In extreme cases, particularly in those with undiagnosed co-occurring disorders or dual diagnosis issues, orthorexia may result in severe malnutrition or even death.
Orthorexia can sometimes be misdiagnosed as anorexia as some symptoms are similar. There is, however a basic difference between the two. Anorexics control or limit their intake of food in order to lose weight. Orthorexics control or limit their intake of food because of an obsession to eat healthily. They focus on the quality of food, rather than quantity.
Sovereign Health of California has a wealth of experience in treating all forms of eating disorder. We have a treatment team that is second to none in the U.S. and our reputation for the treatment of co-occurring disorders and dual diagnosis issues has no equal.
At Sovereign Health of California our purpose is to treat all the needs of the patient – not just the superficial symptoms of the eating disorder.
Before we admit a patient, we request extensive information from not only the sufferer, but from family and friends, in order to obtain a complete picture of the issues involved. The more complete the picture, the easier it will be to design a treatment program to meet the specific needs of the patient.
Once admitted, each patient undergoes a further comprehensive medical and psychiatric assessment. The patient is then introduced to the treatment team, which will include, among others, a personal therapist, a psychologist and a registered dietician. During the first few days, the patient will get to know each member of the treatment team who, in turn will carry out their own, individual evaluations before combining their knowledge, together with the results of the initial assessment to produce a completely individual treatment plan.
At Sovereign Health of California, our patients stay in comfortable, welcoming, gender specific residences, situated in the picturesque, coastal community of San Clemente, California.
We offer treatment to both men and women. So, to learn more about treatment and recovery here, at Sovereign Health of California, why not visit the What We Offer page of our website. Alternatively, call us now! We have advisors available 24/7 to answer any question you may have with regard to Sovereign Health of California and all its treatment programs. Our success rate speaks for itself!