What is Orthorexia:
An obsessive behavior for a healthy diet is termed as Orthorexia; it’s not a medically recognized term. Rare cases of eating disorder are to be of Orthorexia Nervosa as it focuses on fixation of healthy eating to such an extent that it leads to serious malnutrition and even death. Hence, one of the preliminary symptoms of Orthorexia is obsessive behavior for a healthy diet.
The person suffering from Orthorexia Eating Disorder will keep defining a healthy diet and will only eat food that gives him/her the feel of being healthy and pure. People suffering from Orthorexia Nervosa tend to be very selective and they will avoid diet which contains artificial colors or flavors or preservatives.
When a person is suffering from Orthorexia, his behavior changes and the symptoms of this may include:
- Obsessed with the healthy food and the relationship between food choices and healthy food
- Avoiding food with an excuse like food allergy
- Increase of use of probiotics and herbal remedies
- Extra cautious about the food preparation process and its hygiene
- Concerns over proper cleaning of utensils
- Frequent planning for the next day meal
- A strict diet guidelines and feels guilty if these guidelines disrupt
- Boosting about having healthy food
According to Dr. Bratman, who coined this term "Orthorexia" in 1997, you may be an orthorexic if, more than four of these apply to you:
- Spend more than three hours a day thinking about healthy food.
- Plan your day’s menu more than 24 hour ahead of time.
- Take more pleasure from the "virtuous" aspect of your food than from actually eating it.
- Find your quality of life decreasing as the "quality" of your food increases.
- Are increasingly rigid and self-critical about your eating.
- Base your self-esteem on eating "healthy" foods, and have a lower opinion of people who do not.
- Eat "correct" foods to the avoidance of all those that you’ve always enjoyed.
- So limit what you can eat that you can dine "correctly" only at home, spending less and less time with friends and family.
- Feel guilt or self-loathing when you eat "incorrect" foods.
- Derive a sense of self-control from eating "properly."
Orthorexia is an obsession where person gets obsessed with healthy diet and it goes so intense that it rules out all other activities of interests. With the time, it turns to become a serious and proper eating disorder, affecting -
- Superiority: One of the aftereffects is the sense of superiority. As an individual has self imposed norm to eat right, pure and healthy, the person recognizes himself superior to others. And this also affects family relationships as everything else become less important than a so called healthy diet.
- Weight Lose: Limited choice of food and neglecting all other variants of foods leads to intake calorie restriction which lead to weight lose.
- Malnutrition: With self restricted and obsessed diet, the person develops drive for healthy and very selective eating; this eventually results in limited eating and lack of required nutrition hence causing malnutrition.
Orthorexia and Anorexia:
Anorexia has been a known eating disorder since 1598, whereas Orthorexia is a new term recently used for a different kind of eating disorder. As of now, these can be classified as Orthorexia being a concern on correct and healthy diet and anorexia being extreme lack of food appetite. Treatment community for eating disorder still has different viewpoints on Orthorexia. Few of them take Orthorexia as a discrete diagnosis like anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa while others believe orthorexic are actually suffering from anorexia. There are lots of similarities as well as dissimilarities between Orthorexia eating disorder and anorexia nervosa.
Similarities: Orthorexia and Anorexia
- Individuals from both the groups put healthy eating as an excuse for their food habit
- Feel proud and seek self-esteem with the above fact
- Giving excuse of different kind of food allergies for avoiding food
Dissimilarities: Orthorexia and Anorexia
- Individual suffering from anorexia are obsessed with weight whereas this is not a case with individual suffering from Orthorexia.
- Anorexic restricts food to lose weight whereas Orthorexic does this to feel healthy and pure.
- Anorexic concentrate on the quantity of food whereas Orthorexic concentrate on quality of food.
Treatment for Orthorexia is best judged by a specialized eating disorder Doctor, who can indentify, and cure the problem by developing a normal eating routine. It’s highly advisable to seek medical guidance even if a doubt of Orthorexia exists. Being a very critical eating disorder, Orthorexia treatment needs serious attention and expertise, especially when it is accompanied by co-occurring disorders.
An Orthorexic individual is obsessed with healthy food and hence the prescription of drugs like antidepressants makes treatment difficult since an Orthorexic will consider such drugs to be impure. Orthorexics will not often conform to the treatment due to their belief and practice of following the best and healthy diet, so a breakthrough will be through guidance and education on diet, nutrition and health.
Orthorexia Treatment at Sovereign Health of California:
Dealing with different kind of eating disorders, we have a second-to-none treatment team for eating disorder. At Sovereign Health of California our purpose is to treat the each and every need of a patient rather than just the symptoms of eating disorder and our reputation for eating disorders, co-occurring disorders and dual diagnosis treatment has no comparison.
WE TREAT THE INDIVIDUAL – NOT THE DISORDER!
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 offered here, 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!