Orthorexia nervosa is defined as the obsession with eating only healthy food to the point that it intereferes with certain aspects of your life such as you social life, personal life and/or professional life. You may find yourself not wanting to go to a party because you are afraid there will be unhealthy and impure foods there that you may be forced to it. You may find yourself in the aisle of the grocery store obsessing over the ingredients and nutritional facts on the back of every packaged food item or spending hours food prepping to the point that is consuming your life. You may think this is healthy however these obsessions and compulsions with food can actually be more harmful than healthy.
Unhealthy and obsessive thoughts, emotions and behaviors about eating “clean” or “healthy” food can drive individuals to isolate themselves from their friends and family; causing a strain on their social life and personal relationships. Additionally their health can take a toll if they restrict too many food groups resulting in the elimination of necessary nutrients and vitamins. The following are known signs and symptoms of orthorexia:
Center For Discovery's Treatment Centers specialize in treatment for eating disorders, mental health and dual diagnosis treatment with unique treatment programs for every individual to get them on their way to eating disorder recovery.
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Orthorexia nervosa may be difficult to diagnose because the individual most likely will not exhibit severe weight fluctuations however eating disorder experts and therapists strongly believe that othrorexia nervosa could lead to more severe eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. In fact, many individuals will not be diagnosed with othrorexia nervosa until they have developed anorexia nervosa. Unlike anorexia and bulimia nervosa, orthorexia nervosa differs in that its preoccupations are centered on the quality of food rather than the quantity of food. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by significant weight loss and a fear of weight gain, whereas individuals with orthorexia nervosa are not necessarily concerned with weight loss but rather are focused on the desire to establish feelings of health, cleanliness, and pureness, particularly through their eating habits and food choices.