How To Manage Your Eating Disorder as an Autistic Person

How To Manage Your Eating Disorder as an Autistic Person

Autistic people are more likely to experience eating disorders.

The reason is that they experience sensory differences relating to food and texture which may lead to anxiety over their food choices, adopting strict food routines, restricted diets or undereating, and stress.

There are different types of eating disorders, but the common ones are; anorexia (undereating) and bulimia (overeating).

The negative effects of eating disorders are so much.

They can lead to serious consequences such as addiction, extreme weight loss, dizziness, hair loss, malnourishment, and in extreme cases, death.

It can also cause feelings of guilt, shame, and strained family relationships.

Hence, you need to manage it as soon as you are diagnosed.

You can manage your eating disorder as an autistic person by identifying the root cause of the disorder and addressing it promptly.

You can also manage it through therapy and medications.

Whatever treatment options you choose, must be adapted to suit your needs.

Nutrition education and family support are also ways to manage your eating disorder as an autistic person.

They help you to cultivate a healthy eating attitude and habits.

Below are ways you can manage your eating disorder as an autistic person:

Autism Therapists in Colorado

Marie Whatley LPCC

Marie Whatley LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Jenifer Seas, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Laura Brinkman, MA, LPCC

Laura Brinkman, MA, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Sarah Munk, LPC

Sarah Munk, LPC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Sarah Tapia, LPCC

Sarah Tapia, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Marta Schmuki, LPC

Marta Schmuki, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 203-7021
Jacquelynne Sils, LPCC

Jacquelynne Sils, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Mikayla Braukhoff, LPCC

Mikayla Braukhoff, LPCC

Colorado
(720) 449-4121
Samantha Zavala, LPCC

Samantha Zavala, LPCC

Aurora, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Clarissa Mendez, LSW

Clarissa Mendez, LSW

Colorado
(720) 449-4121

Identify the Root Cause 

The best way to manage your eating disorder as an autistic person is to identify what caused the disorder.

Eating disorders can be caused by stress, low self-esteem, genetic factors, or psychological factors.

Having autism can also either cause it or contribute to it.

You can keep a journal to record when you experience an eating disorder and what triggers it.

When you identify the cause of the eating disorder in your own case, you would be able to address it.

It would also help you to identify the most suitable way to manage it.

Use Therapy 

You can manage your eating disorder as an autistic person through therapy.

Therapy treats both physical and psychological symptoms of the disorder.

You can seek the help of professionals to determine the most suitable therapy for you.

Healthcare professionals such as psychiatrists, dieticians, and general practitioners have a good understanding of autism and eating disorders and will be able to help you to manage the disorder well.

Therapies for eating disorders range from individual therapy to family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and psychological therapy.

Therapy will help you to change your attitude towards eating food and manage the disorder effectively to achieve your desired result.

It would help you to normalize healthy eating habits and explore healthy ways to cope with situations that may otherwise lead to unhealthy eating habits.

You must understand that therapy may be long-term and can last a couple of years.

You need to examine the costs before you commit yourself to them.

It is necessary for you to have a treatment plan.

This will help you to determine the cost of the therapy, the duration, and if the treatment plan is working.

Use Medications 

Eating disorders can be managed with medications.

With the help of your healthcare practitioner, and depending on the symptoms you exhibit, you can obtain the right medication for your eating disorder.

Together, you can also identify the sensory issues you face around food that led to the eating disorder.

The prescribed medication must accommodate your needs.

Eating disorders may be mild or severe.

Depending on the severity of your case, the healthcare practitioner can combine medications and therapy to manage your eating disorder.

You need to also treat the physical complications or any other issues you may suffer from.

Talk to your practitioner about them and how you can treat them.

Always ensure that you carry out regular checkups so that your progress can be monitored.

This would help you to determine if the eating disorder is managed effectively.

Consider Nutrition Education 

Nutrition education is another way to manage your eating disorder. Nutrition education will teach you the role of food in the body and why a particular food is important to one's health.

The role of a dietician cannot be overlooked in this aspect.

Take their professional advice very seriously.

Nutrition education has numerous positive effects on a person with an eating disorder.

It helps them to return to normal eating patterns, stabilize their weight and develop the right attitude toward food.

It also encourages you to develop a healthy relationship with food and maintain healthy eating habits.

A critical aspect of a nutritional plan is physical exercise.

They are encouraged to help you achieve balanced health and a positive attitude.

To effectively manage your eating disorder as an autistic person through nutrition education, you need to let go of strict rules and follow a meal plan that suits you best.

Obtain Family Support 

Rather than confronting or controlling them, family members should offer as much support as the autistic person would need.

Your family showing you support is another effective way to manage your eating disorder as an autistic person.

They can show support by referring you to a medical practitioner and providing support all through the process.

They also need to learn all they can to understand eating disorders and how they affect you.

They can make note of your food intake and spot the patterns of what triggers your eating disorder.

They can actively contribute to your treatment plan by creating healthy routines around your meal planning.

Eating together as a family would also help.

If you are a picky eater, they can gradually introduce other foods into your meal plan and make adjustments where necessary.

They can also communicate your progress in the house to your medical practitioners.

Family support is also very important when the autistic person is going through therapy or medications.

When you support them through the process, it can make them feel really loved and overcome their eating disorder.

Conclusion

Eating disorders are quite common among autistic people.

It is important that you manage your eating disorder as an autistic person by identifying the cause of the disorder and treating it through therapy and medications, nutrition education, and through family support.

Resources 

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February 25th, 2024

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