Our psychiatric and mental health team are specialised in the treatment of eating disorders so that you can regain balance with support in Barcelona.

Eating disorders relates to a disturbance in the relationship with food, that significantly alters both physical health and psychosocial adaptation. They present in various forms and can appear at any age, particularly in adolescents and young adults. The diagnosis must be made by a psychiatrist in order to organise the therapeutic strategy and develop a personalised treatment plan that suits you.

Nowadays, more people are affected by an eating disorder than ever before, the vast majority of whom are teenage women or young adults.

If you suffer from eating disorders yourself or if someone close to you has symptoms of an eating disorder, don't wait to make an appointment with one of our specialists for personalised care. Screening and treatment should be carried out as early as possible to increase the chances of success.

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Please contact us for more information on your mutual insurance coverage.

What are eating disorders?

There are four medically defined types of eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder and eating disorders not otherwise specified.

Anorexia

Anorexia nervosa usually begins at puberty and affects mostly women.

This eating disorder involves starving oneself and usually includes other behaviours or signs such as:

  • Fear of gaining weight despite being underweight
  • An absolute need to lose weight
  • Preoccupation with body image
  • Distorted body image (dysmorphophobia)
  • Obsession with food and its caloric value
  • Low self-esteem

Anorexia is a particularly serious disorder as within 10 years of the onset of the disease, approximately 10% of anorexics will die from the disease and its complications, including suicide.

 

"If you notice signs of anorexia in a loved one or yourself, it is important to seek help. With the right treatment, recovery is possible."

- Dr. Elvira Herrería, our psychiatrist

Bulimia

Bulimia is an irresistible urge to eat a lot and quickly, followed by behaviours that aim to prevent weight gain: induced vomiting, use of laxatives, diuretics, fasting, intensive physical exercise.

The person's weight is normal or slightly below normal, which may help to hide the disorder from others. However, bulimia nervosa is also a serious disorder that requires professional treatment.

Hyperphagia (binge eating)

Binge eating is defined as the consumption of a very large quantity of food in a short period of time. However, unlike bulimia, these food intakes are not accompanied by behaviour designed to avoid gaining weight (induced vomiting, taking laxatives, etc.).

Hyperphagia can therefore lead to overweight or obesity.

Unspecified eating disorders

Unspecified eating disorders include issues that do not precisely meet the criteria for specific eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia and binge eating.

Eating disorder not otherwise specified includes several profiles: anorexia and bulimia nervosa (of limited duration and/or frequency), atypical uncontrolled binge eating syndrome (of limited duration and/or frequency), mericism, nocturnal binge eating and orthorexia.

It is important to take these issues as seriously as other eating disorders.

What are the causes of eating disorders?

Eating behaviour depends on individual genetic and psychological factors, but it is also influenced by environmental, family and socio-cultural factors.

Eating disorders leading to bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder are therefore the result of multiple factors.

Certain personality traits, such as perfectionism, the need for control or attention, and low self-esteem, are frequently found in people suffering from eating disorders. Similarly, trauma or difficult life events can trigger the disorder or make it worse.

These disorders usually appear in adolescence.

Eating disorders

How to prevent the onset of EDs?

In today's image-and-appearance-focused society, it is difficult to prevent the onset of eating disorders. However, there are a number of factors that can help children feel good about themselves, so that they do not develop certain physical complexes:

  • Encouraging the adoption of a balanced and diversified diet from an early age
  • Make mealtimes a time for conviviality and sharing
  • Avoid giving children a preoccupation with their weight
  • Promote self-esteem and reinforce a positive body image

If you have any doubts about your child's eating habits, don't wait to consult a doctor.

How are eating disorders treated at Turó Park Medical Clinic?

The goals of the treatment are to restore physical and psychological health, to achieve and maintain a healthier weight and to normalise eating habits.

During the initial management of an eating disorder, a comprehensive assessment of the patient is recommended, combining a somatic, nutritional and psychological assessment, including family and social dynamics.

Then, depending on the doctor's diagnosis, several approaches can be considered.

On the psychological level:

From a nutritional point of view, a nutritional and dietary re-education must be set up in order to reintroduce a normal diet in a progressive way, especially underlining the sociable nature of meals and the pleasure of sharing food.

 

"The aim of nutritional and dietary management of patients with eating disorders is the restoration of a normal relationship with nutrition through the reintroduction of avoided foods, the resumption of a regular eating pattern and the learning of culinary practices."

-Cathy Morghese, our nutritionist

 

In severe cases of anorexia or bulimia, when the person is severely malnourished or at risk of suicide or self-aggression, hospitalisation is sometimes necessary.

However, there is no specific drug treatment for eating disorders.

Eating disorders: our answers to your most frequently asked questions

There are three main types of eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating. These are also known as eating disorders not otherwise specified.
Multidisciplinary care generally works well: psychiatrist, child psychiatrist or psychologist, attending physician, discussion group, relaxation, self-expression and body awareness, dietary follow-up, family therapy, etc.
The follow-up of people suffering from eating disorders is multidisciplinary (psychiatrist, paediatrician, attending physician, psychologist, dietician). Start by consulting someone that you feel comfortable and safe with, most professionals will be able to make the best kind of referrals so that you get the care that you need.
Bulimia is characterised by compulsive eating of large quantities of food followed by compensatory behaviour (vomiting, taking laxatives, fasting or excessive physical exercise, etc.).
In binge eating and bulimia, the person eats large volumes of food very quickly. But only the bulimic person will vomit as a result of this eating.

 

Our psychiatrist

Dr. Elvira Herrería

Psychiatrist 🇬🇧 🇪🇸
Treatment of mild and severe mental illnesses
Addiction treatment
Child psychiatry
Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder
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