Conditions We Treat at the Comprehensive Eating Disorders Program

The Michigan Medicine Comprehensive Eating Disorders Program treats eating disorders using evidence-based approaches to treatment. Our partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient programs emphasize family-based treatment, in which parents play an integral role in helping their child recover. Our outpatient program offers family based treatment and/or cognitive behavioral therapy.

We specialize in caring for patients ages 8-24 with the following conditions:

Anorexia nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is characterized by weight that is significantly below what is expected for one’s sex, age, and height, as well as an intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat. Patients with anorexia nervosa are preoccupied with their body image and often do not recognize the seriousness of being underweight. Individuals with anorexia nervosa may engage in a range of behaviors including restriction of food intake, compulsive or driven exercise, and/or compensatory behaviors such as self-induced vomiting or medication misuse.

Anorexia nervosa results in undernutrition of the body and brain. It can lead to life threatening health problems such as abnormal heart rhythm or metabolic disturbances, as well as long term effects on reproductive and bone health. The initial focus of treatment is on safe nutritional restoration and management of medical complications. 

Bulimia nervosa

Bulimia nervosa is characterized by repeated episodes of binge eating, followed by compensatory behavior in an effort to avoid weight gain. These behaviors occur several times a week on average.  Compensatory behaviors can take the form of self-induced vomiting, laxative or other medication misuse, fasting, compulsive exercise, or other behaviors aimed at preventing weight gain. Patients with bulimia nervosa often feel unable to control their eating. People with bulimia place undue emphasis on body weight or shape. Bulimia nervosa may also lead to serious or life-threatening medical complications, such as electrolyte imbalances and problems with one’s teeth, esophagus, and stomach.

Treatment of bulimia nervosa involves establishing a healthy eating and activity pattern along with effective and healthy coping skills. Medications can also be helpful in reducing binge eating episodes.

Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)

ARFID is characterized by an eating disturbance that results in weight loss or failure to gain expected weight, nutritional deficiency, and/or dependence on supplemental feeding that is not due to concerns about one’s weight or body shape. Individuals with ARFID may have extreme selective (“picky”) eating, swallowing difficulties after a choking event, fear of other aversive consequences of eating (e.g., vomiting) or other anxieties around eating that are not driven by body image or weight concerns.  We have considerable experience in managing these symptoms and can provide a range of treatment options as indicated by the clinical picture and severity for patients as young as 8 years old.

Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder (OSFED)

OSFED includes individuals who do not meet the strict criteria for anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder, or binge-eating disorder, yet have problematic disordered eating behaviors or thoughts that have a significant impact on their health and functioning.  Some of the described patterns of behavior in the OSFED category include atypical anorexia nervosa, subthreshold bulimia nervosa, and purging disorder. Patients with OSFED are often at risk for the same health consequences and social disruptions as are patients with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa and also require treatment to prevent these complications.

Take the Next Step

To schedule an evaluation or learn more about the Michigan Medicine Comprehensive Eating Disorders Program, call 877-475-MOTT (877-475-6688).