TORONTO, ONTARIO, CANADA - 04/24/2018 — Orthorexia nervosa is defined as an obsession with eating foods that one considers healthy. Unlike deciding to eat healthy or avoiding certain foods, orthorexia is a unhealthy preoccupation with foods that damages one’s mental and physical health. Often, those suffering from orthorexia are perfectionists, have high anxiety, or have a need for control.
Like anorexia, people with orthorexia severely limit the amount of foods eaten and, therefore, can cause malnutrition, mental health issues, and social isolation. Unlike anorexia, a person with orthorexia is not necessarily preoccupied with weight or body size, but rather focus on food, food preparation, and “pure” living.
Signs of Orthorexia
Physical and Emotional Effects of Orthorexia
Orthorexia is not currently recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, and there are no official clinical treatments; however, physicians and therapists often approach this disorder with the same treatment techniques as they would anorexia and obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Treatments may include but are not limited to: Psychotherapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Medication, or Neurofeedback.
If you or a loved one is suffering from orthorexia its important to reach out to get the help you need. Like eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia, the underlying cause of anxiety and need for control may need to be identified and resolved in order to move forward to have a relationship with food that does not hinder your physical or mental health, nor does it damage your relationships with others.
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