The Best Treatment Solutions for Eating Disorders

How are eating disorders formed? What are treatment solutions to eating disorder related challenges? Find out here.

Table of Contents

How are Eating Disorders Formed?

Eating disorders are persistent and unhealthy eating habits that affect an individual’s mental and physical health. It is a psychological and mental health condition that causes an individual to develop unhealthy eating habits. Individuals with this disorder have an unhealthy obsession with their body weight and the amount of food they consume. But what are the primary causes of eating disorders, and how can understanding that help create solutions to eating disorder related health risks?

Although the causes of eating disorders are not entirely known, some factors influence them in an individual. Research shows that several factors influence eating disorders – some of the primary factors will be detailed below.

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Genetic and Biological Factors

According to recent research, an inherited genetic and biological factor increases the risk of developing an eating disorder by 56%. Most individuals whose parents or siblings have anorexia nervosa are approximately four times more likely to develop anorexia than others. These same individuals are also ten times more likely to develop bulimia than others without eating disorders in their family history.

People with close relatives that have mental health conditions can develop eating disorders. Depression, addiction, and anxiety are symptoms of mental health conditions that can run in families. These symptoms increase the chances of an individual developing an eating disorder. If there is also a family history of dieting, the individuals have a chance of developing binge eating.1


Research shows that approximately one-quarter of women diagnosed with insulin-dependent (Type 1) diabetes tend to develop an eating disorder. These individuals often skip their insulin injections – which can be potentially fatal – hence the need for treatment solutions to eating disorder challenges.2

Environmental and Psychological Factors

One of the common factors for an eating disorder is self-oriented perfectionism. These individuals often set unrealistic goals or high expectations for themselves. Also, they are often unsatisfied with their body image; therefore, they need to receive treatment solutions for eating disorders. The individuals tend to dislike their appearance and develop eating disorders because of their high body image dissatisfaction.3

People with a history of anxiety disorder tend to develop an eating disorder. Research shows that a significant number of people experiencing eating disorders and two third of people with anorexia have anxiety disorders. There is also weight stigma in society, leading to eating disorders and deter people from receiving solutions to eating disorder challenges. Other environmental factors are bullying, historical trauma, and ideal internalization.

Risk Factors

Young women and teenage girls are more likely to develop eating disorders than young men and teenage boys. However, eating disorders are cut across all genders and age ranges. It often develops in the early 20s and teenagers. The treatment solutions to an eating disorder are also effective for all ages and genders.

Some other risk factors for eating disorders are:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Traumatic events
  • Stressful situations
  • Peer pressure
  • Family dynamics
  • Cultural pressures to look muscular or thin.
  • Body dissatisfaction and dieting
  • Pressure from the media to have a certain appearance.

Role of Mental Health Conditions in Eating Disorders

Mental health conditions and eating disorders have a close relationship. Individuals with eating disorders have diagnoses that negatively affect their psychological and physical well-being. These individuals also have mental health conditions like substance abuse, anxiety, and depression. Eating disorders often impact various areas of mental health in the following ways:4

Co-Occurring Disorders

Individuals experiencing eating disorders are at risk of some co-occurring disorders, such as OCD and anxiety. However, these individuals can receive treatment solutions to eating disorder related challenges early. According to a study published by the National Library of Medicine, 97% of individuals treated for eating disorders were also diagnosed with one or several mental health disorders.

Also, 94% of individuals were diagnosed with depression, and 56% were diagnosed with anxiety disorder, both mental health conditions. Due to these stats, it is evident that mental health and eating disorders contribute to one another.

Risks of Eating Disorders

Eating disorders have a huge effect on mental health, and some of those effects can be life-threatening. It is one of the most lethal mental illnesses, and individuals experiencing this disorder can die from severe malnutrition. It is vital to seek immediate treatment from the right medical facility to address eating disorders.

Health Consequences

Individuals with long-term eating disorders tend to develop side effects like dry skin, yellow skin, and brittle nails. Most individuals with eating disorders are more likely to have digestive problems such as irritable bowel syndrome and stomach rupture. It also causes sudden cardiac arrest and congestive heart failure.

Impaired Daily Functioning

Some individuals may hide while eating to sustain their eating disorder. These individuals attempt to cover up any episode of vomiting that they experience. They also use laxatives to control and alter their weight. These individuals have erratic behaviors that disrupt their day-to-day life activities.

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Solutions to Eating Disorder Health Risks: At-Home Healing Techniques

While none of these are a comprehensive “cure” for eating disorders, there are some healthy coping mechanisms that act as solutions to eating disorder challenges, including:

  • Developing healthy coping mechanisms other than substance use.
  • Seeking professional help from eating disorder clinics.
  • Learning self-care practices and cultivating controlled eating habits.
  • Finding self-compassion and acceptance towards oneself will help to improve your treatment solutions to eating disorder related challenges.
  • Participating in support groups helps you share some personal experiences while listening to others. It helps to reduce the feeling of isolation and depression while also improving your skills to cope with future challenges.
  • Boosting your self-esteem in various ways, such as making positive affirmations, engaging in fun activities, and celebrating your small and big wins. Practicing mindfulness and creating a supportive environment helps to boost self-esteem.

How Can We Help?: Solutions to Eating Disorder Risks

As an individual, we can help and support people living with eating disorders in various ways. Some of these ways to enable these affected individuals receive solutions to eating disorder are:
  • Remaining non-judgmental
  • Showing understanding and compassion
  • Support your friends and families experiencing this disorder.
  • Encourage the individuals to participate in treatment.
  • Listen and validate their experiences.
  • Celebrate their big and small recovery progress during the treatment solutions to eating disorder related challenges.
  • Create a safe and positive environment for them at work and home.

Seek Your Eating Disorder Treatment at Alternative Options

An eating disorder is complex, affecting all genders and ages. It is a severe condition that causes an individual to have an unhealthy perception of their body image. When treating this disorder, quick fixes are not an option; rather, seek professional help. You can begin your eating disorder healing journey by seeking professional help from eating disorder medical clinics such as Alternative Options. 

At Alternative Options, we provide several treatment solutions to eating disorder challenges and other mental health conditions. Get help for your eating disorder at Alternative Options for a smooth recovery!