Conditions We Treat at the U-M Comprehensive Eating Disorders Program

The University of Michigan Comprehensive Eating Disorders Program treats the full spectrum of eating disorders using a a family-based approach to treatment, in which parents play an integral role in helping their child recover.

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

Anorexia nervosa

Anorexia 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 are preoccupied with their body image and often do not recognize the seriousness of being underweight.

Anorexia affects the body and mind. It can lead to life threatening health problems, including damage to the heart and brain. The initial focus of treatment is on nutritional restoration and management of medical complications. 

Bulimia nervosa

Bulimia 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, using laxatives, or compulsive exercise. Patients with bulimia often feel unable to control their eating. Like anorexia, people with bulimia place undue emphasis on body weight or shape. Bulimia can also lead to serious or life-threatening medical complications, such as electrolyte imbalances and problems with one’s teeth, esophagus, and stomach.

Medications may be helpful, but establishing a normal eating pattern in conjunction with a therapist is the major goal of treatment.

Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS)

EDNOS is the most common eating disorder. Although they do not meet all the strict criteria for anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, patients with EDNOS have problematic eating-related behaviors or thoughts that significantly affect their health and functioning, Patients with EDNOS are at risk for the same health consequences and social disruptions as are patients with anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa and require treatment to avoid complications or progression of their disease.

Atypical Eating Disorders

Increasingly, experts are recognizing a wide range of disordered eating, particularly in younger patients that do not fit neatly into the traditional classification of eating disorders.  These include selective (“picky”) eating, swallowing difficulties after a choking event, or anxieties around eating that are not driven by the usual body image or weight concerns.  We have considerable experience in managing these atypical eating disorders and can provide the full range of treatment options as determined by the clinical picture and severity for patients as young as 8 years old.

Take the Next Step

Schedule an evaluation or learn more about the University of Michigan Comprehensive Eating Disorders Program, call 877-475-MOTT (877-475-6688).