Anorexia is a common and challenging eating disorder. It is known for its extreme caloric restriction. Patients with anorexia often consume little to no food every day, resulting in substantial weight loss in ways that can be dangerous in both the short and long term.
Anorexia that involves extreme caloric restriction is known as “anorexia nervosa.” But some people may suffer from a different form of anorexia, known as anorexia athletica.
What is Anorexia Athletica?
Anorexia athletica refers to a form of anorexia where a patient uses extreme and excessive exercise to reach their “ideal” body goals. Like anorexia nervosa, those with this type of eating disorder may still struggle with the way they see their bodies. But instead of being concerned with their weight, they may be concerned with their physical performance or appearance of fitness.
A person with anorexia athletica shows an obsession with calories, weight, and physical performance, and reacts on that obsession in ways that are out of touch with reality. They may eat healthy overall – including salads and foods recommended for sports performance – but the degree to which they exercise burns away all those calories, resulting in similarly significant caloric restriction.
Patients with anorexia athletica, like anorexia nervosa, often fail to see or deny the effects of this excessive exercise. It can be especially difficult for them to seek help, because the “eating healthy and exercising” is generally seen as an admirable goal, and they do not view their activities as excessive. But the result of this eating disorder is similar, as patients will eventually develop a dangerously low body weight.
Patients with this type of eating disorder do generally eat a healthy diet. If the patient binge eats before exercising, this is known as “exercise bulimia” instead.
What Causes Anorexia Athletica?
Anorexia athletica, like all eating disorders, may be caused by a range of different factors including those both environmental and biological. Causes include:
- Pressure from Coaches to Lose Weight for Better Sports Performance
- Weight Categorization for Sports like Wrestling/Gymnastics
- Media Consumption
Part of our treatment for eating disorders here at Right Path Counseling on Long Island is to work to determine if the cause of anorexia can be identified, and what issues may need to be addressed in order to treat it successfully.
About Our Anorexia Treatments in Jericho, NY
Right Path Counseling is a Long Island eating disorder treatment team that provides therapy and support for those struggling with conditions like anorexia athletica. “Sports anorexia” is treated using a multi-tiered approach that addresses the patient’s:
- Relationship with food and exercises.
- Potential eating disorder causes.
- Struggles with comorbid conditions like anxiety and stress.
- Negative self-talk that contributes to poor exercise habits, and more.
Our approach can integrate many different eating disorder treatments depending on the patient’s struggles, with options such as CBT, DBT, psychoanalytic, and more. We choose our approaches based on you, and as we learn more about you or your loved one’s struggles, we determine a plan that will address the issues in the most effective way possible.
Start Today With Right Path Counseling Right Path Counseling is here to help you rebuild a healthy relationship with food and with your body. If you or a loved one of any age struggles with anorexia, bulimia, or other eating disorder or mental health conditions on Long Island, contact Right Path Counseling, today. Our office is located in Jericho, NY, and we are also able to provide remote therapy if needed.