Bariatric surgery is an increasingly common approach to promote weight loss in severely obese individuals. Psychological health conditions are common among these individuals and if the eating disorder behaviors are not treated, they could lead too much greater problems. A significant amount of post-bariatric patient struggle with eating disorder symptoms, therefore learning to adapt to necessary changes is fundamental for success.

A common statement from PBSD clients is, “I couldn’t eat my emotions, so I had to find new coping skills when I was stressed or anxious”. This is a powerful and debilitating feeling. If someone is not proactive in identifying healthy coping skills the root to their distorted behaviors towards food and eating will continue to be exhibited, just in different forms.

PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS

  • Eat until feel sick or become sick

  • Loss of control around food

  • Purging could be present (laxatives, diet pills, diuretics, over-exercising)

BEHAVIOR SYMPTOMS

  • Restriction in daily caloric intake

  • Intense fear of weight gain

  • Feelings of guilt from eating

  • Food rituals

  • Distorted Body Image

  • Preoccupation with food, weight, calories, body image

  • Engages in preparing elaborate meals for others to eat but not themselves

  • Poor self-esteem

  • Withdrawn from friends and family
     

COMMON HEALTH CONCERNS

  • Type II Diabetes

  • High blood pressure

  • Gastrointestinal damage

  • Surgery side effects

 

Psychiatric conditions commonly co-occurring with PBSD may be combined with:

  • Depression

  • Panic/Anxiety disorders

  • Personality Disorder

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • Substance abuse disorder

 

This disorder is often accompanied with other eating disorders, which will determine behaviors and physical symptoms the increased health risks.

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