Athletes and Eating Disorders

At Oliver-Pyatt Centers we offer a variety of options when it comes to eating disorder treatment for athletes. While we have a great deal of experience treating anorexia nervosa, the most common eating disorder in athletes, we also have a great deal of expertise for the treatment of all eating disorders that impact the lives of athletes, including:

  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Binge Eating Disorder
  • Exercise Addiction

Many people are shocked to learn that the prevalence of eating disorders among elite athletes is notably greater than its prevalence among the general population. In fact, athletes face a three times greater risk of developing eating disorders than the rest of the population according to the study.

The study concluded that coaches, parents, trainers, doctors, and athletes themselves need to be work together to understand the signs and symptoms of eating disorders. Then they need to be proactive in encouraging healthy eating habits among athletes to avoid potential eating disorders.

Whether you are the parent of an athlete you believe is dealing with an eating disorder or you are coming to terms with an eating disorder of your own, there are options available for treating eating disorders in athletes that are science-based programs that focus on medical and psychiatric care as primary treatment methods.

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What Causes the Correlation Between Athletes and Eating Disorders?

The most common eating disorder in athletes is anorexia nervosa. It is especially common among athletes who participate in what are known as “lean” sports, such as:

  • Ballet
  • Cycling
  • Diving
  • Gymnastics
  • Jockeying
  • Martial Arts
  • Rowing
  • Running
  • Wrestling

People who participate in these sports competitively need to watch closely for symptoms of eating disorders that may include things like:

  • Dehydration
  • Dental Problems
  • Fatigue
  • Gastrointestinal Problems
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Stress Fractures
  • Substantial Weight Loss
  • Sudden Intolerance to Cold
  • Weakness

If you notice these symptoms, consider getting specific eating disorder treatment for athletes. The long-term health consequences for failing to get help can be devastating to everyone.


What Are the Risk Factors for Eating Disorders in Athletes?

Within the sports arena, there are many risk factors to consider for inadvertently encouraging unhealthy relationships with food among athletes. Ultimately, that’s what eating disorders come down to. Extremely unhealthy relationships between athletes and food. Some of the risk factors, according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association include things like:

  • Pressure from coaches to obtain or maintain a certain weight.
  • Watching other team members and/or competitors dieting.
  • Uniforms that make athletes feel uncomfortable or self-conscious.
  • Ideas or attitudes that achieving certain physical aesthetics will enhance performance.

The challenge for parents, coaches, and physicians is replacing incorrect perceptions with accurate representations of a healthy athletic body. Which is why it’s so important to enlist the help of professionals who have been trained specifically to offer eating disorder treatment for athletes.


What Sets Oliver-Pyatt Centers Apart for Treating Eating Disorders in Athletes?

The highly-trained and professional staff at Oliver-Pyatt Centers understands the connection between athletes and eating disorders. Here you will find the highest level of care outside of a hospital setting, offering outstanding medical treatment and psychologically gentle treatment that encourages athletes living with eating disorders to be honest with themselves about what’s going on with their bodies, their athletic performances, and their health as a result of their disordered relationships with food and movement.

The staff provides thorough medical and psychiatric treatment to athletes to help them achieve their fully recovered selves through high-frequency individual therapy, daily exposure therapy, group therapy sessions, and a variety of other programs designed to address the issues at the core of their eating problems while giving residents the tools they need to live meaningful lives without a preoccupation with food and weight to hold them back.


We Believe a Full Recovery is Possible

We are here to help! Call us today!