Eating Disorders Treatment in Philadelphia, PA

Welcome to Elium Health, your trusted partner for mental health treatment and testing services in the Philadelphia area. With four strategic locations, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive and compassionate behavioral healthcare, including specialized therapy for eating disorders. Our approach is rooted in understanding the unique circumstances of each individual, and our team is committed to empowering you on your journey towards recovery. At Elium Health, we believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to live a fulfilling, healthy life. Let us be your guide in overcoming the challenges of eating disorders.

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Schedule an appointment, ask questions, or talk about something else we haven’t covered. Our qualified experts are here to help you navigate your Eating Disorder treatment journey!

What are Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders are serious mental health conditions characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits that negatively affect a person’s physical health and emotional well-being. They often involve intense emotions, attitudes, and behaviors surrounding weight and food issues.

Session with therapist

There are several different types of eating disorders, including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss, while bulimia nervosa involves a cycle of bingeing on large quantities of food followed by purging to prevent weight gain. Binge-eating disorder, on the other hand, is marked by regular episodes of excessive eating without the purging behavior seen in bulimia.

Eating disorders can affect anyone, regardless of age, sex, or cultural background. While they often appear during the teenage years or young adulthood, they can also develop during childhood or later in life. These disorders often coexist with other conditions such as anxiety disorders, depression, or substance abuse.

It’s important to understand that eating disorders are not a choice, but rather serious illnesses that require medical treatment. The exact cause of eating disorders is unknown, but they are believed to be caused by a variety of biological, psychological, and environmental factors. Early intervention and comprehensive treatment can significantly improve the chances of recovery. If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, the team at Elium health is standing by to help.  Call us today at 866-552-3758 to take the crucial first steps toward recovery.

What are the causes of Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders are complex conditions that arise from a combination of long-standing behavioral, biological, emotional, psychological, and social factors. While eating disorders may first appear to be solely about food and weight, they are often related to deeper issues such as control, stress management, or self-esteem.

Biologically, some people may be genetically predisposed to developing eating disorders. Research suggests that certain genes may increase the likelihood of developing these disorders, suggesting a hereditary component. Moreover, changes in brain chemicals that control hunger, appetite, and digestion could also have a role in developing eating disorders.

Psychological factors can also contribute to the onset of eating disorders. For instance, individuals who struggle with low self-esteem, perfectionism, or impulsive behavior may be at a higher risk. Additionally, people with other mental health problems like anxiety disorders, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder are more likely to have an eating disorder.

Social factors, including cultural pressures that glorify thinness and place value on obtaining the “perfect body,” can also contribute to the development of eating disorders. This is often perpetuated by unrealistic portrayals of beauty in media. Furthermore, stressful life events or transitions such as moving, starting a new job, or going through puberty can trigger an eating disorder.

Finally, certain behaviors, such as dieting or over-exercising, can also lead to eating disorders. These behaviors can become addictive and spiral out of control, leading to anorexia, bulimia, or binge-eating disorder. It’s important to note that while these factors can contribute to the onset of an eating disorder, they do not guarantee that an individual will develop one. The causes of eating disorders are complex and multifaceted, often involving a mix of several factors.

How do I know if I have an Eating Disorder?

Eating disorders can be identified by a range of physical, behavioral, and emotional signs. Typically, a preoccupation with food, body weight, and shape is a clear indicator. However, it’s important to note that these disorders often involve a lot more than just dieting or overeating. They are complex mental health conditions that require professional diagnosis and treatment.

Physical signs of eating disorders can vary depending on the type of disorder. In anorexia nervosa, symptoms might include extreme weight loss, thin appearance, fatigue, insomnia, dizziness or fainting, and blue discoloration of the fingers. People with bulimia may experience noticeable fluctuations in weight, tooth decay, chronic sore throat, and swollen salivary glands. Those with binge-eating disorder may experience frequent episodes of eating large quantities of food and feel unable to stop eating.

Behavioral and emotional signs can include constant worry about being fat and dieting, obsession with calories, fat grams, and dieting, refusal to eat certain foods, progressing to restrictions against whole categories of food, discomfort eating around others, skipping meals or taking small portions of food at regular meals, withdrawal from usual friends and activities, and frequent checking in the mirror for perceived flaws.

It’s crucial to remember that these symptoms can be signs of other health issues, not just eating disorders. If you recognize these symptoms in yourself or someone else, it’s important to seek professional help. Eating disorders can have serious health consequences if left untreated. A healthcare provider or a mental health professional can provide a full evaluation and determine whether an eating disorder is present.

What are the treatments for Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders are treatable, and a variety of methods can be utilized depending on the type and severity of the disorder. The primary goal of treatment is to restore the individual to healthy weight, treat any psychological issues related to the eating disorder, and reduce or eliminate behaviors or thoughts that lead to insufficient eating and prevent relapse. 

It’s important to remember that recovery takes time and patience. Each person’s recovery from an eating disorder is unique, and it can take a long time. Treatment should be tailored to each individual and will vary according to both the severities of the disorder and the patient’s particular problems, needs, and strengths.

Here are the common aspects of an eating disorder treatment plan:

Medical Care and Monitoring:

Medical Care and Monitoring

This is the most critical component for individuals with eating disorders who have life-threatening medical complications. Regular health monitoring includes regular checks on vital signs, hydration level, and electrolyte balance. Medical care also involves treating the physical complications of eating disorders, which may include osteoporosis, heart difficulties, or digestive problems.

Nutritional Therapy:

Nutritional Therapy

A registered dietitian can provide guidance and education about nutritional needs, help restore regular eating patterns, and promote a balanced diet. The aim is not just weight restoration but also the reestablishment of normal eating behavior. This therapy can help people understand how their diet affects their body, the risks and effects of malnutrition, and the importance of eating a balanced diet.



This can be delivered in individual or group settings, such as with the patient’s family, and it’s often the most effective treatment for eating disorders. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is commonly used and has been shown to be successful in treating eating disorders. It helps individuals understand the thoughts and feelings that influence their behaviors and then works to change negative thinking patterns.



While medication cannot cure an eating disorder, it can be used as part of the treatment plan. Antidepressants, antipsychotics, or mood stabilizers can help some people when given as part of a complete treatment program. These medications can help control urges to binge or purge or to manage excessive preoccupations with food and diet. It is important to know that each individual reacts differently to pharmaceuticals so a medication management program is often an essential part of any prescription drug plan. 

Support Groups:

Support Groups

Peer support can be a helpful part of treatment. These groups provide a safe environment where individuals can talk openly about their struggles, learn from others facing similar problems, and gain encouragement and insight.

Elium Health

Speak To An Expert Near Me

Our well trained and compassionate staff at Elium Health is here to help answer your questions about Eating Disorders. Book an appointment with us or call us on: 866-552-3758

Where to get diagnosed and treated for Eating Disorders near me in Philadelphia?

Elium Health operates 4 mental health facilities spread out across the greater Philadelphia area:

Each of our mental health centers offer a wide range of services to tailor a unique treatment plan for each individual . Our professional teams are here if you or your loved one is seeking diagnosis and treatment for eating disorders.  Contact us today to see how you can get started.

How much does it cost to treat an eating disorder?

The cost of treating an eating disorder can vary greatly depending on the specific diagnosis, severity of the illness, and the type of treatment required. Often, individuals will need a team of providers for eating disorder treatment and programs can cost upwards of 50,000 dollars depending on the exact details. Remember, the cost shouldn’t deter anyone from seeking help. There are resources available to help navigate the financial aspects of treatment, and many providers and organizations are committed to making treatment accessible and affordable.  Continue reading for payment options:

Private Pay:

Private Pay

Many outpatient eating disorder providers are not paneled with insurance and operate on a private pay basis. This means that the patient or their family pays for treatment directly. While this can be expensive, it often provides the greatest flexibility in choosing a provider and treatment plan. Most of our patients at Elium Health are private pay and we are happy to provide detailed receipts for our services to submit to your insurance provider. 

Insurance Coverage:

Insurance Coverage

Some health insurance plans may cover a portion of the costs associated with eating disorder treatment. Coverage can vary widely, so it’s important to check with your insurance provider to understand what is covered and what your out-of-pocket costs might be. Keep in mind that even with insurance, there may still be significant costs in the form of deductibles, co-pays, and uncovered services. Our team is happy to check your insurance coverage on your behalf.  Call us today at 866-552-3758.

Non-profit Organizations:

Non-profit Organizations

Some non-profit organizations offer grants or scholarships to individuals who cannot afford the cost of treatment. For example, Project HEAL provides treatment access grants to applicants who demonstrate a financial barrier to accessing quality treatment.

What are the most common Eating Disorders?

Eating disorders are serious mental health conditions that involve disturbances in eating behavior. The most common eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Binge Eating Disorder.

These are just a few examples of the most common eating disorders. There are also others, such as Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), Pica, Rumination Disorder, and others. It’s important to remember that these conditions are complex and serious, often requiring professional help to overcome.

Anorexia Nervosa:

Anorexia Nervosa

This disorder is characterized by an intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted body image leading to self-imposed starvation and excessive weight loss. Individuals with anorexia nervosa often perceive themselves as overweight, even when they are dangerously underweight. They may obsessively monitor their food intake, exercise excessively, and use other methods to lose weight such as vomiting or misuse of laxatives.

Bulimia Nervosa:

Bulimia Nervosa

Bulimia involves periods of uncontrollable binge-eating followed by behaviors aimed at preventing weight gain such as forced vomiting, excessive use of laxatives or diuretics, fasting, or over-exercising. Similar to anorexia, individuals suffering from bulimia often fear weight gain and feel intensely unhappy with their body size and shape.

Binge Eating Disorder:

Binge Eating Disorder

This is the most common eating disorder in the U.S. It’s characterized by recurrent episodes of eating large quantities of food quickly and to the point of discomfort, feeling a loss of control during the binge, experiencing shame, distress or guilt afterwards, and not regularly using unhealthy compensatory measures to counter the binge eating. People with binge eating disorder may be of normal weight, overweight, or obese.

Additional Information about eating disorders and mental health in Philadelphia

See below for additional notes about eating disorders and mental health and their impacts on Philadelphia.

How to get treated for eating disorders near me

How to get treated for Eating Disorders near me

Getting treatment for eating disorders near you involves a combination of physical, psychological, and nutritional therapies. These treatments are typically provided by a team of health professionals that include psychologists, dietitians, and physicians. Remember, getting help is the most important step, and it’s never too late to start treatment. Reach out to someone you trust and let them know you’re ready to seek help. Here are some steps to help you find the appropriate treatment:

  • Consult with a healthcare professional: Start by speaking with your primary care physician or a mental health professional. They can provide initial assessments and refer you to specialists in treating eating disorders.

  • Research local clinics and treatment centers: There are many specialized clinics and treatment centers that focus on eating disorders.  

  • Use online directories: Organizations such as the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) provide online directories to help you find treatment options in your area.

  • Contact local mental health organizations: Reach out to local mental health organizations or support groups. They often have resources and can provide recommendations for local treatment providers.

  • Consider Telehealth Options: With advancements in technology, virtual therapy sessions have become a viable option. This could be particularly useful if there are limited resources in your area or if you prefer the privacy of your home for therapy sessions.

What is Philadelphia known for?

What is Philadelphia known for?

Philadelphia, often referred to as the “City of Brotherly Love,” is known for its rich historical significance, vibrant arts and culture scene, distinctive cuisine, and passionate sports culture.

History: Philadelphia holds a prominent place in American history. It’s the birthplace of the United States, where the Founding Fathers met, discussed, debated and formed a new nation1. Iconic landmarks include the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were signed.

Geography and Demographics: Philadelphia is located in the Northeastern United States along the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. It’s the largest city in Pennsylvania and the sixth-most populous U.S. city. The city is diverse with a mix of races and ethnicities contributing to its multicultural fabric.

Culture: The city is renowned for its arts and culture. It boasts numerous museums, art galleries, theaters, and music venues. Philadelphia’s murals are famous worldwide, and it has more public art than any other American city.

Cuisine: Philadelphia is famous for its food, most notably the Philly Cheesesteak. Other local favorites include soft pretzels and water ice. The city’s cuisine carries influences from the many immigrants who have made Philadelphia home.

Economy: Philadelphia’s economy is diverse and robust, with key sectors including healthcare, education, financial services, and information technology. The city is also known as America’s Garden Capital due to the lush gardens scattered throughout the city.

Universities: Philadelphia is a major center for higher education. It’s home to several prestigious universities, including the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University, and Temple University.

Sports Teams: Philadelphia has a passionate sports culture. The city’s major professional sports teams include the Philadelphia Eagles (NFL), the Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL), and the Philadelphia Phillies (MLB).

In summary, Philadelphia is a city known for its historical significance, cultural richness, culinary delights, and enthusiastic sports fandom.

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