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What is Bulimia?

Bulimia Nervosa involves a cycle of overeating and subsequent attempts of the individual to purge food from their body. The individual may engage in self-induced vomiting after eating, resort to laxative abuse, engage in extreme exercise, or a combination of these behaviors, in an effort to purge.

It may seem as if obsession of body weight and thinness is central to bulimia, but this disorder has in fact emotional roots. Those who live with bulimia often have had profound experiences that led to mental and emotional challenges including trauma. For some, the binge-and-purge behavior can be a way to regain control and power.

Without an effective bulimia recovery program, the disease can take a harmful toll not just on the individual’s body, but also on their mind and spirit. As the disease progresses, it may even prevent the person from carrying out everyday tasks.

EDCare, a trusted bulimia treatment center, understands the many ways bulimia can manifests itself and adversely affect those who live with it. We create an environment where you can feel safe as you reach full recovery.

Individualized plans to meet each patient’s specific bulimia treatment needs. Contact us today to schedule a free clinical assessment.

The symptoms of physical damage from bulimia nervosa often become apparent as time passes. Some of the signs and symptoms of the disease include:

  • Dehydration
  • Dry brittle nails and hair
  • Abdominal Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Fainting
  • Memory Loss Poor Concentration
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dental Erosion

Prior to admission of an Eating Disorder Treatment Program, an eating disorder specialist works with a psychiatrist to identify certain combinations of bulimia behaviors and confirms a diagnosis. These symptoms include:

  • Obsession with weight, dieting, and body image
  • Loss of control during binge eating episodes
  • Recurrent binge eating episodes over a specific period of time
  • Purging behaviors following a binge episode, in an attempt to compensate for the excessive food intake
A person with bulimia nervosa will often try to conceal their symptoms. Despite their attempts to hide, certain warning signs associated with the disorder can be visible, including:

  • A distorted, excessively negative body image
  • Obsession with body shape and weight
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Social isolation
  • Episodes of bingeing and purging (binge-purge cycles)

During bingeing episodes, the individual may consume a large amount of food, likely in private, only to purge after. If you suspect someone you care about is going on a binge-purge cycle, here are the signs to look out for:

  • Eating much more food than someone normally would
  • Feeling they have no control of their eating habits
  • Hoarding or hiding food
  • Eating until they feel pain or physical discomfort
  • Habitually going to the bathroom (to induce vomiting), during or immediately after meals
  • Persistent sores in the mouth and throat
  • Damaged teeth and gums
  • Sores, calluses, or scars on the hands (specifically the knuckles) due to self-induced vomiting

Bulimia comes with potentially life-threatening effects and complications on both the person’s physical and emotional health. Unfortunately, some of these effects may be invisible to onlookers. Some of the often-unseen effects of the disorder include:

Inability to sleep

  • Extreme social isolation
  • Damaged relationships
  • Loss of connection to one’s religion, faith, or belief in a higher power

It may also have negative effects on the person’s lifestyle such as:

  • Forced withdrawal from school or work
  • Bankruptcy
  • Drug and alcohol addiction

The health complications associated with bulimia are often extreme and life-threating. This may include:

  • Internal bleeding
  • Infertility
  • Heart attack
  • Self-harming behavior
  • Suicide

EDCare offers help and support for a number of different conditions.

Tailored Treatment Programs for
Bulimia Nervosa at EDCare

Bulimia nervosa may be quick in impacting an individual’s quality of life, from the decisions they make to the way they see the world and themselves. In the long run, the disease may also take a toll on the person’s physical, mental, and emotional health.

To help you recover from bulimia and the effects associated with the disease, you need a treatment plan that addresses not just your symptoms, but helps you achieve growth and development as a whole.

When formulating your unique treatment plan for bulimia nervosa, our qualified professionals at EDCare analyze the circumstances that may have affected the disease’s development and progression. You deserve a treatment plan that effectively addresses your needs and to do that, our team takes the time to sit down with you and listen to your story.

When exploring your options for bulimia treatment facilities, it’s important to consider the kind of service they provide at the onset. EDCare takes pride in providing warm, personalized, and compassionate service from the moment you step into one of our offices, throughout your entire recovery process.

Your path to recovery begins with a thorough medical and psychiatric assessment. After the results have been compiled, you will be assigned your own bulimia treatment team that includes several members of our staff, a primary therapist, registered dietitian, a psychiatrist, a family therapist, and a specialist on eating disorders. After you have settled into our program, we introduce you to the team that will work with you toward achieving long-term recovery.

Bulimia is a complex psychiatric illness. To achieve long-term recovery, it’s essential to receive comprehensive care and keen attention from qualified and experienced eating disorder specialists.

EDCare’s team believes every individual who lives with bulimia can live the kind of life they love. Our dedication goes beyond making sure you identify and receive the appropriate level of care – we also help you navigate the costs associated with your bulimia treatment.

EDCare has an established network with more than 35 different insurance providers, including Colorado TRICARE® and Colorado Medicaid. We can also work with out-of-network insurance providers to negotiate single-case agreements and when necessary or arrange individual payment plans.

The appropriate treatment is integral to the success of bulimia recovery. EDCare helps you find the kind of support you need to navigate your path to recovery with a comprehensive treatment plan.

After you have completed your assessment, our team of bulimia experts will help you determine the right level of care for your needs before you decide to admit. You may be under the following programs:

Partial Hospitalization Program

If you seek an intensive and highly structured program that treats even the most challenging eating disorders, EDCare’s Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) may be for you.

Intensive Outpatient Program

The Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), you’ll be able to internalize and practice the skills you have acquired in PHP. These skills are essential as you begin to return to your daily life at home.

Evening Intensive Program

The Evening Intensive Outpatient Program (EIOP) is similar to the intensive outpatient program, only, the evening setup makes it ideal for individuals who may be unable to attend IOP because of school, work, or other daily responsibilities.

Adolescent Intensive Program

EDCare’s Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program (AIOP) specifically supports teenagers and their families who may be dealing with the challenges of bulimia. This program is available to teens between the ages of 14-17.

Outpatient and Aftercare Services

Recovery from an eating disorder takes time. EDCare’s Outpatient and Aftercare Services can help you stay on track through ongoing recovery support.

At EDCare, we strive to provide the support you need at each stage of your recovery journey. Our treatment plans for bulimia nervosa help you develop stronger coping mechanisms and leave unhealthy diet patterns behind.

Binge eating disorder program – Our BED program is designed to help you modify perceptions about body image, implement healthier eating habits, and set purposeful goals beyond weight.

Athlete program – We empower high-performance athletes by integrating recovery-focused strategies into both their athletic and daily lives.

Substance abuse program – This program helps you develop skills to better handle stressors, recognize relapse triggers, and improve overall well-being.

Trauma program – We help you understand how any past traumas may relate to your current eating disorder. In this program, patients learn to effectively manage fears while detaching from negative behaviors.

Recognizing the need for treatment is pivotal to your recovery. When you recognize the role treatment plays in your wellness and health, you can take full control of both your treatment and your recovery.

After your treatment team formulates a comprehensive recovery plan, we will meet with you to discuss our recommendations.  At EDCare, we believe it is important for you to fully understand our recommendations, while also being about to communicate your thoughts about your treatment plan. You can make suggestions on the elective elements of your treatment plan, so it becomes more achievable for you. We encourage you to make suggestions on how we can address any co-occurring substance addiction or psychiatric concerns.

Each person experiences bulimia differently, therefore recovery is also different for everyone. It may be impossible to provide a specific treatment duration or precise amount of time a person may need achieve full recovery, but we can give you an estimate based on our programs.

The Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) may last between 30-60 days, depending on how you respond to the program. However, you may spend more or less time at this level of care. . Our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is often the next step for those who complete PHP. Your move from PHP to IOP will give you access to skills that let you ease back into your daily life at home, while still receiving consistent clinical support.

In some cases, those with eating disorders encounter a relapse. To keep this from happening, we create a detailed discharge plan for you, which includes transitioning you back into your previous outpatient team’s care. We can also connect you with local resources, if you don’t have one. Rest assured we will arm you with the skills, connections, and resources to will help you achieve your long-term recovery goals and needs.

The EDCare Treatment Process

EDCare believes that no two people experience bulimia the same way. This is the reason we tailor your treatment plans to your unique situation and needs.

However, we have established different levels of care to help individuals find treatment options for bulimia nervosa, regardless of where they are in their path to wellness and recovery. Whether you are seeking treatment for the first time, have gone to a few treatment providers without success, or are looking for ways to supplement your recovery efforts following admission into EDCare, there is an appropriate level of care for you.

Your treatment will be facilitated by one of our experienced and qualified Outpatient therapists who will continue to help you bring out change through empowerment. We utilize a unique CAMSA® approach to heal not just the body, but also the mind and spirit.

If you have received treatment in the past and have gone from one treatment center to another, only to fail in finding a program that works, our Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP) is for you. This program is specifically for addressing the most challenging eating disorder situations in people with anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, and other specified feeding or eating disorders. Some individuals who live with eating disorders also see co-occurring symptom such as substance abuse. For this reason, PHP is available with an integrated substance use track.

Our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) is available only to those who were under our Partial Hospitalization Program, as it fortifies the skills you have acquired from PHP. At this stage, you will practice eating meals on your own and will begin practicing your skills outside of EDCare. Using what you have learned through our CAMSA® treatment philosophy, you will be empowered to challenge old eating behavior patterns and create lasting, positive changes that help improve your daily life.

In our Evening Intensive Outpatient Program (EIOP), you will learn how to steer clear of old behavioral patterns and negative feelings about food and eating. It arms you with skills that are useful in your transition into your daily life, including doing grocery shopping, creating meal plans, and preparing your own meals. This is a flexible, multifaceted program that is similar to the Intensive Outpatient program, but is offered in the evenings so you can accommodate school, work, or any other important daily responsibilities.

EDCare also addresses the eating disorder recovery needs of teenagers ages 14-17 and their families. Interaction, forming and maintaining relationships, and participating in activities is especially important for teens. This is why we have designed our unique Adolescent Intensive Outpatient Program (AIOP) that helps young individuals who live with bulimia resolve eating disorders without interrupting their activities and compromising their lifestyles.

Our job does not end even after you show signs of recovery. We continue to support the success of your treatment by giving you access to vital recovery resources and ongoing support through our Outpatient and Aftercare Services.

Treatment Modalities

Our evidence-based programs focus on diagnosing and treating all types of eating disorders. We utilize the following treatment modalities based on each patient’s unique needs and pain points.

In DBT, we use four distinct modules to help you connect with your authentic self. These modules are centered on mindfulness, interpersonal effectiveness, distress tolerance, and emotion regulation.

Using this approach, we help you change unhelpful thoughts, feelings, and actions to improve your health and mood.

A personalized form of transdiagnostic psychotherapy, CBT-E addresses the behavioral and psychological processes that underlie and sustain the eating disorder.

IPT focuses on the connection between your personal relationships and your mental health. Using this approach, we help you navigate unresolved grief and loss, role disputes and transitions, and interpersonal deficits.

ACT is designed to teach patients how to effectively manage both positive and negative emotions, in order to take meaningful action.

Bulimia Nervosa may be a complicated and challenging disorder, but with a team of dedicated clinicians to support you, long-term recovery is possible. EDCare’s clinical leadership team brings many years of in treating bulimia. We have helped many other individuals whose symptoms are similar to yours, find empowerment in making healthy decisions about food.

At EDCare, you will be assigned your own treatment team. You will be working with a qualified team of clinicians, psychiatrists, dietitians, and therapists who are committed to providing you with the highest standard of care and patient safety. Our accreditation for Behavioral Health Care with the Joint Commission is testament to this commitment.

Years of experience has taught the EDCare team that judging or policing behaviors are not the best way to address eating disorders. Instead, we utilize an approach that alleviates negative emotions and promotes empathy and listening. With these principles at the core of our programs, we guide you towards making long-term changes in your eating behavior.

An Environment that Encourages Change

Often, those who have eating disorders refuse to talk about their experience. We want you to feel safe about sharing your experiences and emotions about food, so we know how we can assist you in your recovery.

Please know that you’re not alone. Our team is here to help you navigate bulimia nervosa, understand your experiences, and cope with your feelings. We will provide you with the support you need to be able to regain your confidence in developing a healthy disposition toward food and eating.

Every person heals at their own pace. We begin small by creating activities such as eating out or grocery shopping, to gently prepare you for the real-world settings.

Building Your Support System

Family and friends are the strongest components of a bulimic person’s support system.  We engage your support system and integrate them into the program through family therapy session and multi-family groups. For patients whose families live outside the area, we conduct conferences over the phone to keep them updated on their loved one’s progress.

Going Down the Path to Long-Term Recovery

It’s not uncommon to feel apprehensive about continuing treatment. But when you feel like you’re not making any progress it’s important to remember the outcome. Receiving treatment is your first step to regaining control of your life story. By continuing treatment, you’re turning a new leaf and making your way towards living a healthier life – the kind of life you’ll love.

Just as bulimia has devastating effects on a person’s health, it also has adverse effects on the individual’s an individual’s entire family.

Family members who feel that they’re responsible for their loved one’s struggle may, for example, be left with guilt and feelings of helplessness. They may also experience feelings of frustration and anger with themselves, the condition, and their loved one who lives with bulimia.

EDCare’s Group Therapy and Individual Family Therapy helps families understand the value of knowing the proper way to communicate with a loved one who has bulimia, ways they can help, and how their loved ones can achieve recovery.

Contact Us

EDCare has locations in Denver, Colorado Springs, Kansas City and Omaha. You may reach us by calling us or fill out an inquiry form. One of our friendly and knowledgeable Admissions Clinicians will be assist you and give you more information about any of our programs.

Denver – (303) 771-0861
Colorado Springs – (719) 578-5132
Kansas City – (913) 945-1277
Omaha – (402) 408-0294