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Orthorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an obsession on consuming only healthy and clean food.
What are the symptoms of orthorexia?
Long-term effects of orthorexia
This obsession with healthy food can crowd out other interests and activities, impair relationships, and even becomes physically dangerous since it can lead to malnutrition and/or starvation.
What causes it?
In many of the cases, orthorexia begins with the desire to improve one’s overall health or to overcome a certain chronic illness.
An individual can start off by following a “normal” diet, which would restrict carbohydrates or protein only diet, but in extreme cases this can lead to orthorexia. Orthorexia occurs when the restrictions of diet dominate the individual’s thoughts and they become their primary obsession. Diets restriction such as those followed by vegetarians, vegans and rawfoodists have been linked as potential starting points for both orthorexia and anorexia nervosa.
For some individuals, attempting to follow a vegetarian or a vegan diet in order to improve their overall health can be the starting point for both orthorexia and anorexia nervosa.
Orthorexia can also be motivated by a wanting to be thin, improving self-esteem, safety from poor health and a compulsion for complete control.
Who gets it?
Orthorexia affects both men and women, at any age.
How is it treated?
Due to the complexity of this condition, orthorexia recovery requires comprehensive treatment from an experienced, multidisciplinary treatment team, including medical and psychiatric stabilization, nutritional intervention and psychological support.t.
At ACPN, our trained multi-disciplinary team provides evidence-based treatments based on Family-Based Therapy (FBT or “The Maudsley Approach”) and Enhanced Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT-E). With proper treatment, a full and lasting recovery is possible. The ACPN has the only specialized program in the U.A.E. dedicated to the treatment of eating disorders, like orthorexia.
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