We provide psychological and dietitian services for those experiencing Orthorexia
What is Orthorexia?
Whilst Orthorexia is not a formally diagnosed eating disorder as per the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), it may fall under the condition of Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder ARFID, and was a term coined in 1998. The term Orthorexia refers to the presentation by which a person is obsessed or preoccupied with the healthfulness of foods and beverages.
WARNING SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF ORTHOREXIA
- Compulsive checking of ingredient lists and nutritional labels
- An increase in concern about the nature and health benefits of foods or ingredients
- Cutting out an increasing number of food groups (e.g. all sugar, carbs, dairy, meat, animal products, etc.)
- An inability to eat anything but a narrow group of foods that are deemed ‘healthy’ or ‘pure’
- Unusual interest in the health of what others are eating
- Spending increasing periods of time each day thinking about what food might be served at upcoming events
- Showing high levels of distress when ‘safe’ or ‘healthy’ foods aren’t available
- Obsessive following of food and/or ‘healthy lifestyle’ blogs on various online platforms
- Body image concerns may or may not be present
Whilst eating a range of healthy, nutritious foods is not always problematic, it becomes a problem when this desire to eat healthily and consume only foods by which the individual deems to be ‘pure’ becomes obsessive in nature and the individual begins experiencing psychological distress and impairment to their daily functioning as a result of this. This may present as a desire to consume foods which are additive-free, refined sugar-free or only organic foods.
It is not uncommon for people with Orthorexia to also suffer from some level of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), however, this is not always the case.
It is important to speak with our Clinical Psychologist or Psychologist about your concerns to obtain a proper assessment and clarify any diagnoses of eating disorders or other mental health conditions. The outcome of your assessment can then also be communicated to your Dietitian.
How Our Accredited Practicing Dietitian Can Help You with Your Anorexia Nervosa
With Orthorexia, there is a risk that the individual may not be eating enough food for their daily energy and nutrient requirements which in turn can lead to nutritional deficiencies. When working with our Dietitian to treat Orthorexia Nervosa, they will help provide a thorough assessment of your health and wellbeing including your nutritional needs and with this provide nutrition education and recommendations to help you to overcome your fears of eating certain types of foods. This will assist you in improving quality of life, learning to enjoy food and ensuring your body and mind are getting the nutritional requirements they need.
With your permission, your Dietitian will work alongside your Clinical Psychologist or Psychologist within our Clinic to enhance your recovery.
Get started with treatment for overcoming your eating issues today with our experienced and passionate Clinical Psychologists, Psychologists, and Dietitian. Phone our Clinic today on 07 5574 3888, or email email@example.com, or Book your Initial Appointment for Psychology and Dietetics Online.
Learn about some of the other common eating disorders below:
Bulimia Nervosa is the recurrent binge-eating episodes (the intake of abnormally large amounts of food in a short period of time), which is then immediately followed by self-induced vomiting, fasting, over-exercising and/or the misuse of laxatives, enemas or diuretics so to prevent that food intake converting to weight gain, and to clear oneself of the guilt from consuming the food.
Orthorexia is an obsession with eating food that is ‘pure’; their focus is on the quality of the food consumed to an excessive degree, rather than the quantity, beyond that of ‘clean eating’.
Muscle Dysmorphia is a subtype of Body Dysmorphic Disorder, and is the person’s perception of themselves as being less muscular and smaller than what they actually are and causes significant distress.
BINGE EATING DISORDER
Binge Eating Disorder is a condition where a person has regular episodes of consuming an excessive amount of food within a particular space of time (e.g., two-hour sitting) that would be more than what the average person would consume in that same period of time. It is typically accompanied by a feeling of a loss of control over the binging behaviour whereby the will struggle to stop the food consumption even if they wanted to, and associated distress. Furthermore, the person with this condition will not engage in compensatory behaviour such as self-induced vomiting or excessive exercise after binge eating to counteract the calories consumed.