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Educating and Treating Athletes with Eating Disorders

Last updated Wednesday, February 5, 2014 15:13 ET

The Eating Disorder Center of Denver Offers Advice for Eating Disorder Prevention and Treatment

02/05/2014 / SubmitMyPR /

With the 2014 Winter Olympics approaching, it is important to remember how the world’s finest athletes may be affected by eating disorders and what can be done to prevent them. The Eating Disorder Center of Denver (EDCD) reports that a percentage of elite athletes in eight class sports experience abnormal eating behaviors from dieting. These behaviors can lead to physical health issues, performance issues and psychological concerns.

However, the Eating Disorder Center of Denver offers treatments for a variety of eating disorders for athletes, including the most common anorexia and exercise bulimia at their treatment center. They also provide educational opportunities on eating disorders ranging from cultural body image to eating topics. Specifically, the Eating Disorder Center of Denver specializes in the assessment and treatment for ELITE athletes who are either a compensated professional athlete or on a college athletic scholarship.

In many cases, athletes struggle to disclose information to coaches, friends and family. The key challenges with treating exercise bulimia are athletes may think their competitors view them as mentally weak, or the stigma of illness contraindicates athletic identity. At EDCD, treating athletes with an eating disorder like exercise bulimia begins with understanding and appreciating athletics and athletic temperament.

Dr. Tamara Pryor, Eating Disorder Center of Denver Clinical Director, suggests athletes consciously evaluate their athletic pursuits and assess their goals realistically, taking exercise recovery days, planning during their off-season, and monitoring exercise intensity and volume carefully.

“Many athletes are so dedicated to their craft it can be easy to overlook the health risks of excessive exercise,” said Dr. Pryor. “Athletes need to remember to maintain a healthy, competitive nature and sustain those thoughts with realistic exercise routines and diets to increase their athletic performance.”

The Eating Disorder Center of Denver suggests athletes plan meals carefully, maintain regular exercise progression and avoid extreme fad diets or weight control supplements to prevent eating disorders.

About Eating Disorder Center of Denver
Established in 2001, Eating Disorder Center of Denver (EDCD) is one of the nation's foremost centers for the diagnosis and treatment of the full range of eating disorders. EDCD is committed to empowering individuals 18 years of age and older suffering with anorexia, bulimia, binge eating and related disorders to help them achieve and sustain recovery. A multidisciplinary team of board-certified psychiatrists, physicians, clinicians, family therapists and registered dietitians work together to create a specialized, evidence-based treatment plan for each patient. For additional information about EDCD, check out our website, www.edcdenver.com, visit us on Facebook, and/or follow us on Twitter (@EDCDenver).