Eating disorders

Eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge-eating disorder, are complex mental health conditions that often require medical and psychological intervention to help the sufferer recover.

Recognising symptoms

Signs and symptoms of eating disorders

The causes of eating disorders are many and varied, and include genetics, personality traits, and trauma. Symptoms can range from severe weight loss to uncontrollable bingeing and purging, excessive exercise, excessive dieting, and an abnormal focus on body image.

  • Odd rituals, such as cutting food into very small pieces or measuring food

  • Eating only “safe” or “good” foods, low in calories and fat

  • Dressing in layers to hide weight loss or gain

  • Excessive exercising

  • Long bathroom visits after eating

  • Spending lots of time thinking about and planning the next eating binge

  • Spending more time playing with food than eating it

  • Spending less time with family and friends

  • Being withdrawn and secretive

  • Stealing or hoarding food

More about eating disorders

An eating disorder is a complicated and debilitating psychiatric illness that can result in pain, confusion, and anxiety for the person and their family. These disorders are one of the most difficult psychiatric disorders to fully recover from, and anorexia nervosa is the psychiatric illness with the highest mortality rate of all.

This doesn’t mean that you should feel discouraged in seeking help for yourself or your loved one. In fact, this is why it’s all the more important to seek specialised, expert, understanding care from experienced healthcare professionals.

With the right treatment, people suffering from these devastating illnesses can learn to change their thinking about food, eating, and body image.

What to keep in mind

There is often a lot of shame and secrecy around eating disorders, with sufferers frequently feeling resistance to treatments that could cause them to gain weight.

It is important to address the issue if you are concerned for a loved one, but also vital to do so in a caring and non-judgemental way.

Types of eating disorders

Causes of eating disorders vary. These include genetics, personality traits, and the experience of trauma.

Different types of eating disorders include:

Mac Netcare

Take a self-assessment

Our eating self-assessment can help you better understand and reflect on what you're experiencing, and find the assistance you may need.

Complete self-assessment

Treatment programmes for eating disorders

The Netcare Akeso eating disorders programmes specialise in providing holistic and specialist treatment for those suffering from an eating disorder. The treatment programme is designed to address the patients’ immediate need for recovery and provide them and their loved ones with a means of coping with the illness going forward.

Mac Netcare

Get in touch

As part of our commitment to providing the best and safest care to all of our patients, we listen. If you have anything you'd like to ask us, or need assistance accessing our services, please get in touch.

Contact us