‘Let’s Check Physicals’ #ReachOut2GPs
It’s easy to think of anorexia and other eating disorders purely as ‘mental illnesses’, but the impact of the behaviours that come with these illnesses can have an enormous effect on our bodies too. This is why professionals who work in eating disorders are trained not only to help with the mental health side of the illness, but also to ensure that the sufferer is safe physically and to minimise the impact on the body. Watchful waiting is an unhelpful strategy in ED treatment. Early help is key.
Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate in mental health, so it is SUPER important that the sufferer’s physical state is closely monitored. Being underweight can cause all kinds of transient and lasting problems that affect all parts of the body. Problems typically occur with the heart, bones and reproductive systems and if untreated, these problems can be irreversible.
One of the central parts of eating disorder treatment is to restore any lost weight to minimise the impact this has on the person overall and to ensure that any damage someone does to their body, either through food restricting, vomiting or over exercising, is limited.
In SEDS we tackle these difficult problems by educating the sufferer and their families about the dangers and make sure that weight and heart health are regularly monitored. However, joint working with our primary care partner services. Today we want to say thank you to colleagues in Primary care for working with us in spotting early signs and their support in keeping our service users physically safe.