FAQ – Eating Disorders

Eating disorders affect 30 million people in the United States alone. Broken down, that equates to roughly 20 million women and 10 million women. Eating disorders can affect anyone — executives, students, stay-at-home parents and young adults. If you know of someone who is suffering from poor eating habits and you believe they might have an eating disorder, contact Dr. Pauline Powers of Fairwinds Treatment Center.

Dr. Pauline Powers leads the Eating Disorders Programs at Fairwinds Treatment Center. She is nationally and internationally recognized as a leading researcher, educator and trainer in the ongoing battle to end eating disorders. With over 40 years of experience, Dr. Powers and her team use their expertise to examine a patient’s symptoms and form a treatment strategy.

Here are some common questions people have about eating disorders:

How Common are Eating Disorders?

Millions of men and women across the U.S. (and even more around the world) suffer from eating disorders. Many of these cases go untreated. If you or your loved one is suffering from a disorder, don’t feel ashamed to seek treatment. The professionals at Fairwinds Treatment Center offer a safe environment for sufferers where they can heal and recuperate.

How are Eating Disorders Diagnosed?

There are many different types of eating disorders including Anorexia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, Bulimia Nervosa and EDNOS’, which are described as “eating disorders not otherwise specified.”

It may be difficult for you to diagnosis the disorder on your own. In fact, we suggest you leave this decision up to the professionals, such as Dr. Pauline Powers and her expert staff at Fairwinds Treatment Center. Her staff will correctly diagnosis the disorder and lay out a long-term treatment plan to help the sufferer. This plan will not only treat the disorder but the underlying reasons for development. Dr. Powers and her staff will then lay out steps to prevent relapse.


How are Eating Disorders Different from Each Other?

Aren’t they all the same? While some eating disorders have overlapping symptoms, each is unique and must be treated accordingly. For example:

  • Anorexia Nervosa: Sufferers have inadequate food intake which leads to significant weight loss. They have an intense fear of gaining weight. Binge eating/purging behaviors are typically seen in the last three months.
  • Binge eating disorder: Unlike sufferers dealing with Anorexia Nervosa, binge eaters consume very large amounts of food and do not try to prevent weight gain.
  • Bulimia Nervosa: Similar to binge eaters, these sufferers consume a large amount of food, but follow this up with periods of self-induced vomiting to prevent weight gain.

How are Eating Disorders Treated?

Treatment is best left to a professional, such as Dr. Pauline Powers of Fairwinds Treatment Center. With over 40 years of experience in the field of eating disorders, Dr. Powers was the founding president of the Academy for Eating Disorders, past president of the National Eating Disorders Association, a founding member of the Eating Disorders Research Society and is on the Editorial board of the Eating Disorders Review. She’s also a published author.

Prior to professional treatment, it’s important that a loved one confront the sufferer about their condition. At some point, he or she will have to agree to treatment. If you’re not sure how to confront this person, call Dr. Powers. She and her staff of professionals can help guide you.

Is Eating Disorders all about Food?

While food plays a key part in eating disorders, there’s much more to these conditions. Sufferers simply can’t will themselves to eat healthy. Often there is underlying mental, psychological or emotional pain that causes them to seek relief by binging or heavily restricting their food intake.

Can I Always Tell if Someone has an Eating Disorder?

The media often portrays those suffering from eating disorders as people who are severely overweight or underweight. But this isn’t always the case. In many situations sufferers appear to look healthy.

So how can you tell if someone is suffering from a disorder if they look healthy? Observe how they’re eating and what they think about food. If they binge eat more than often or purge occasionally, this could be a sign of an eating disorder. If they’re constantly worried about how much food they’re eating, this could be a red flag. 

Sufferers of Eating Disorders can Self Medicate.

Eating disorders are illnesses, and, like any illness, they must be treated by professionals. While a sufferer can, and should, make the choice to seek recovery, he or she will need professional assistance while going through it.

Self-medication is also very risky. A professional will not only treat the disorder but the underlying reasons for its development. During this process, they’ll create a plan that includes how to eat healthy and how not to relapse.



If you are ready to discuss treatment for yourself or a loved one, the Fairwinds admissions team is here to help.

Contact Fairwinds

Why Choose Fairwinds Treatment Center

Fairwinds Treatment Center is one of the top eating disorder treatment centers in the world. Our specialists, Dr. Khal El-Yousef and Dr. Pauline Powers, understand the complexities of these ailments and the underlying psychological conditions that cause them, and implement clinically backed methods to help adult men and women and adolescent boys and girls uncover and overcome the root causes of their disorders, even while assisting in their physical recovery.

At Fairwinds Treatment Center in Clearwater, Florida, we provide a unique and effective treatment approach that combines psychological and emotional support with nutritional guidance. Our medical professionals know that every patient is fighting their own intensely personal battle. With that in mind, our Eating Disorder programs are tailored to the needs of each individual and their family. We operate a small, comfortable residential treatment center where you or your loved one can take the time necessary to truly heal.

Dr. Pauline Powers is nationally and internationally recognized as a leading researcher, educator and trainer in the continually evolving field of eating disorder treatment, and has 40 years of experience fighting this fight. She currently sits on the Scientific Board of Directors of the National Eating Disorders Screening Program and the Editorial Board of the Eating Disorders Review and has also served as the founding President of the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED), President of the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) and founding member of the Eating Disorders Research Society.

If you or your loved one is struggling with an eating disorder, there is no time to waste. Contact Fairwinds Treatment Center today by phone or via our online form to start the journey toward treatment and recovery.

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