Celiac Disease & Eating Disorders
Although an eating disorder is about more than just food, we cannot neglect the damage it has on the body, specifically with regard to the malabsorption of nutrients and damage to many organ systems. It is for this reason that an eating disorder can often be masked by a medical diagnosis addressing a physical abnormality that presents with similar signs and symptoms.
A person suffering from untreated Celiac Disease often experiences rapid weight loss, nausea, vomiting, bloating, and abdominal discomfort. These same symptoms could also be observed in an individual struggling with an eating disorder. Although there is very little research that has been conducted on the correlation between Celiac Disease and eating disorders, we believe that there are elements of both disorders that could provide a potential link between the two diagnoses, therefore requiring an individualized therapeutic and nutritional approach to recovery.
The treatment team at Canopy Cove is equipped to provide the nutritional support necessary for the dissolution of Celiac symptoms, thereby allowing the client to focus on the underlying issues instead of food.
Canopy Cove has had the opportunity to work with many clients that have struggled with an eating disorder and co-existing Celiac Disease. As a result, we feel strongly that there are elements of a Celiac diagnosis that could contribute to the development of an eating disorder or perpetuate pre-existing struggles with food and body weight.
Finding a Link Between Celiac Disease and Eating Disorders
- Physical symptoms experienced in the early stages of celiac Disease often result in weight loss, possibly triggering a drive for thinness and fear of weight gain.
- The incorporation of a strict gluten-free diet can be very restrictive in nature which could lead to a socially acceptable way to avoid fearful foods (breads, baked goods, candies, etc).
- A medical diagnosis resulting in permanent lifestyle changes can be traumatic. The dietary adjustments required for the management of Celiac Disease may lead to the development of negative food associations.
- A person living with Celiac Disease is forced to be very aware and cautious of the foods they eat in order to prevent physical consequences of the disease. The constant focus on food could lead to a preoccupation with dieting and body size.
Struggling with Co-existing Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance? We’re Trained to Help.
The staff at Canopy Cove is equipped and capable to effectively handle the dietary needs of someone struggling with an eating disorder and co-existing Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance.
We understand the degree to which someone struggling with Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance needs to avoid gluten, and are able to successfully avoid cross-contamination.
Questions? Concerns? Feel free to call us at 888-245-6555 and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have!