Eating Disorders

Help with an eating disorder

Enjoy food again.

Recently, food has come to play a new role in our lives. Where it was formerly mainly a source of energy for our bodies, today we increasingly regard it as a source of enjoyment. Some people, however, have a love-hate relationship with food. An eating disorder is characterised by compulsive interaction with food. This could mean that you either eat too little or too much. In both cases, eating plays a big role in your mind: you are busy thinking about food the whole day.

Recently, food has come to play a new role in our lives. Where it was formerly mainly a source of energy for our bodies, today we increasingly regard it as a source of enjoyment. Some people, however, have a love-hate relationship with food. An eating disorder is characterised by compulsive interaction with food. This could mean that you either eat too little or too much. In both cases, eating plays a big role in your mind: you are busy thinking about food the whole day.

Eating disorder symptoms

People experience eating disorders differently

Someone with an eating disorder is obsessed with eating and / or their weight. In many cases, they have a distorted image of their body. If you have an eating disorder you probably think you are too fat, which is probably far from the reality. When food as well as body weight are part of the disorder, you may set strict rules for yourself regarding your weight. You might eat at strict times, or when you can no longer resist the temptation. People with an eating disorder often make a distinction between eating well or incorrectly, referring to food high in calories as eating incorrectly.

Symptoms

An eating disorder can have far-reaching effects on your social life and your ability to function in society. It can also have serious consequences for your physical and psychological health. An eating disorder can lead to:

  • Irregular heart beat
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Fainting
  • Infertility
  • Dehydration
  • Heart problems, High cholesterol levels
  • Sweating
  • Stomach and intestinal complaints, Dental problems
  • Feeling depressed
  • A negative self-image, Lack of self-confidence
  • Fear of socialising

How do we treat people with an eating disorder?

At U-center, we take a comprehensive approach to the treatment of all eating disorders - whether you have anorexia, bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder (BED) or obesity. Three elements are central to our treatment method: diet management, exposure and cognitive restructuring. The first element aims to help you build up a regular eating pattern again. Exposure means that we expose you to difficult eating situations, so that together with your therapist, you learn to regain control. Lastly, U-center looks at which inhibiting thoughts you have regarding food, your self-image and how you see your body. In many cases, an eating disorder has to do with a negative self-image, which is why we also look at possible underlying causes.

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Different types of eating disorders

Anorexia nervosa

People with anorexia nervosa have an irrational fear of becoming overweight. They have a distorted self-image as a result of which they really believe that they are too fat, when in reality they are often far too thin. They plan their meals meticulously and starve themselves. They are constantly thinking of food, and of not eating. People suffering from anorexia also often over-exercise, thinking that they can lose even more weight. Being excessively underweight can be life-threatening. For this reason, U-center often refers people with anorexia to other specialised centres.

Bulimia nervosa

Bulimia is characterised by binge eating attacks followed by a strong urge to undo the binge episode. During a binge, an excessive amount is eaten in a short space of time. The binge eater often chooses food rich in calories and only stops long after actually feeling full. As with anorexia, people suffering from bulimia often have a distorted image of their body, and are fighting a fear of becoming fat. Following a binge, they often vomit or take laxatives to undo the binge.

Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

People with BED often have heavy binges over which they have no control. In many cases the binges are a way of coping with emotions or tension. Since people with BED do not compensate their binge attacks, they are often overweight.

Obesity

Although genetic factors and metabolic illnesses can also have an influence, the main cause of obesity is an unhealthy diet in combination with too little physical activity. Because the amount of calories absorbed is more than the energy needed, the fat builds up and clogs up veins. The excess weight can eventually lead to heart and vascular disease, diabetes and arthrosis. Mental problems like depression and a loss of self-confidence can also result.

Integrated and personalized approach

An eating disorder often does not come alone. Rather, there are often underlying issues that sustain the problem. That is why we take an integrated approach, where we take into account everything that has had an important influence on your life. We look at your personality, relationships, family situation, work and health, all of which can influence an eating disorder. Together with your treatment team, you will examine where your unhealthy relationship to food comes from, in order to really be able to remove the cause of your eating disorder, and change your behaviour patterns.

 

Intensive programme

In an intensive programme of 7 weeks, we do everything to help you, so you can quickly make progress. The advantage of residential treatment at our clinic near Maastricht for the first seven weeks, is that you benefit from a short-term, intensive and integrated programme where all complaints can be treated in parallel. Using a personal treatment plan, you set out what you want to achieve and how you are going to do this together with your treatment team. Our clinic’s hospitable environment and its extensive facilities ensure that you have all the resources needed to work on yourself. Over the second seven-week period, you will put the new insights and knowledge you have gained into practice under the guidance of your therapist.

The future

Recovering from and living with an eating disorder

It is important to learn how to recognize signals in time. With the aid of a personal development plan you learn to deal with a possible vulnerability to eating problems.

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Loved ones

How can I support someone with an eating disorder?

Living with a partner or relative with psychological problems or addiction is not easy. As a close relative you often also have many questions and concerns or you have become overburdened. U-center offers help and information for partners and family members who want to know how to best deal with their loved ones without forgetting themselves.

Our approach

A new perspective in 7 weeks

Admission procedure

We are here for you