stlpublicradio.org 18 Oct, 2020 13:30 am

Eating Disorders Surge In St. Louis. Doctors Blame Stress, Isolation From Pandemic

Eating Disorders Surge In St. Louis. Doctors Blame Stress, Isolation From Pandemic
Medical providers braced for a wave in eating disorder cases when the pandemic first took hold in early spring. What they didn’t expect was for that surge of cases to continue lingering through fall.

Experts say anxiety and stress from the pandemic can trigger unhealthy eating behaviors in people who struggle with eating disorders.Part of the reason is eating disorders worsen in isolation, eating disorder specialists say.Sarah Garwood, a pediatrician at Barnes-Jewish, is seeing patients as young as 11 years old with eating disorders.But virtual settings can eliminate accountability and support for teenagers struggling with eating disorders, Garwood said, creating “kind of a perfect storm.

Alsana is the largest center treating adults with eating disorders in the St.Malnutrition from serious cases of eating disorders could put people at higher risk for complications if they do contract the coronavirus, Mascolo said.

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