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Eating Disorders

Expert eating disorders treatment in the Twin Cities

An eating disorder is a mental health condition that significantly impacts food decisions, self-image and everyday activities. If you have an eating disorder, you’re not alone. They can affect anyone of any age and any gender. Millions of Americans are diagnosed with an eating disorder each year. In fact, half of Americans personally know someone who has struggled with an eating disorder.

Melrose Center has over 35 years of experience in eating disorder treatment, research and community education. We know that the most successful eating disorder treatments strive to heal the mind and body. No matter how long you’ve struggled with an eating disorder, it’s never too early or too late to get help.

At Melrose Center, our team of experts works with you to create an individualized treatment program that addresses the unique causes and symptoms of all types of eating disorders.

What are eating disorders?

An eating disorder is a mental health condition where people experience severe or significant disturbances in their eating behaviors, thoughts about eating and emotions around eating. Unhealthy changes in what we eat, how much we eat or how much we exercise can make it difficult to get the proper nutrition our bodies need. Over time, these changes can add up to serious complications that affect the heart, brain, digestive system, bones and other parts of the body.

Eating disorders we treat

There are several types of eating disorders, and each eating disorder comes with its own distinct symptoms and corresponding behaviors. At Melrose Center, we provide comprehensive treatment for all eating disorders, including:

  • Anorexia nervosa – A condition where you restrict the amount of food you eat to control your weight and body shape. It can cause malnourishment and other severe health conditions. Common symptoms include extreme weight loss, frequently skipping meals and a preoccupation with food.
  • Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) – A condition that causes you to excessively limit the types of food you’ll eat. It’s common for people with ARFID to have a lack of interest in eating, avoid foods based on their sensory characteristics, or have a severe fear of choking or vomiting. This can lead to malnourishment and other health concerns.
  • Binge eating disorder – An eating disorder where you eat unusually large amounts of food and feel unable to control how much you eat. Binges are followed by feelings of guilt or shame. People with binge eating disorder usually eat until they’re uncomfortably full, eat alone or eat in secret.
  • Bulimia nervosa – A condition where you eat large amounts of food, then purge the food in order to get rid of excess calories through vomiting, exercise, abuse of laxatives or diuretics, or food restriction. Common symptoms include noticeable weight changes, dental concerns, eating in secret and using the bathroom immediately after eating.
  • Other specified feeding and eating disorders (OSFED) – When your symptoms don’t match the symptoms of other eating disorder diagnoses, you might be experiencing OSFED. This is the most commonly diagnosed eating disorder. People with OSFED struggle with unhealthy eating behaviors and distorted body images that may cause emotional or mental distress and severe health concerns.

We know that other health conditions can increase the risk of developing an eating disorder, or make recovery more challenging. That's why we provide specialized care for people struggling with eating disorders and substance use disorders or eating disorders and type 1 diabetes.

Eating disorder treatment options

We take a team-based approach to treating eating disorders so we can offer comprehensive care no matter what you’re experiencing. Our care team is made up of licensed psychologists, dietitians, medical doctors, psychiatrists, care managers and other experts.

If you have an eating disorder, we’ll work with you to create an individualized treatment plan to help you recover. We might recommend:

We also provide specialized treatment for children and teens with eating disorders.

Getting started with treatment begins with an initial assessment. To set up an initial assessment, please call 952-993-6200 to speak with one of our compassionate team members.

Frequently asked questions

No, you don’t need a referral to make an appointment. Simply call 952-993-6200 to schedule your initial assessment.

Stigmas still exist around eating disorders, and many people believe that only teenage girls and young women are affected. But the truth is, eating disorders can affect people of every gender, age, ethnicity and social status.

However, some people have a higher risk of developing an eating disorder, including:

  • Those with a history of dieting
  • Those with perfectionistic personality traits
  • Those with a close relative who has an eating disorder
  • Those with a history of another mental health diagnosis including depression, anxiety or substance use disorders
  • Those with type 1 diabetes
  • Those with a history of being teased or bullied about their weight
  • Those with a history of trauma
  • Those who participate in a sport focused on weight or appearance such as gymnastics, dance or wrestling

An initial assessment is an appointment where you’ll meet with a licensed psychologist and/or a primary care clinician. During the appointment, we’ll ask you questions about your symptoms and medical history, listen to your concerns and answer your questions. At the end of the session, we’ll be able to diagnose whether you have an eating disorder.

After your assessment, one of our care managers will meet with you. A care manager is someone who helps patients and their families coordinate care, understand their treatment and get answers to their questions. We’ll help you make your next appointment.

You can schedule an initial assessment by calling 952-993-6200.

If you think someone you love has an eating disorder, talking to them about it can be a first step toward getting the help they need. We know that finding the right words to start the conversation can be difficult. We’re here to give advice, support and guidance as you prepare to talk to your loved one about asking for help.

Read our guide, how to talk to someone with an eating disorder, for helpful advice on starting the conversation or call us at 952-993-6200 for help.

Melrose Center treats people of all ages, including children. If you have concerns about your child, talk with your pediatrician or call us at 952-993-6200.

We accept most health insurance plans, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, CIGNA, HealthPartners, Medica, Medicare, PreferredOne and many others.

Our onsite financial counselors can work with you to confirm your insurance coverage at Melrose Center. You can speak to one of our dedicated financial counselors by calling 952-993-3453.