Male Athletes & Eating Disorders: When is it Time to Consider Treatment?

Male Athletes & Eating Disorders: When is it Time to Consider Treatment?

Travis Stewart, LPC, NCC – Director of Enterprise Growth and Advertising and Riley Nickols, Ph.D., CEDS McCallum Place

Lately extra male athletes have begun to speak overtly about consuming problems and the influence that consuming dysfunction behaviors have had on their relationships, sport efficiency, and psychological and bodily well being. It is a welcome change and bodes properly for different males (not simply athletes) who could face the challenges of anorexia, bulimic or binging behaviors.

Traditionally, males with consuming problems are much less more likely to search remedy. That is probably attributable to quite a few limitations males face in terms of getting assist for consuming problems:

  • Consuming problems are sometimes perceived to be a “feminine situation” and stigma could hold males from asking for assist
  • Though this has been altering in recent times, many consuming dysfunction remedy facilities solely admitted feminine sufferers
  • Males could really feel misunderstood and lonely if they’re the one male in a gaggle setting
  • Consuming dysfunction behaviors amongst males might be seen with much less frequency and decrease concern than can be given to a lady utilizing the identical behaviors


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When males do select to hunt remedy, there are sometimes delays in doing so. In truth, research present that usually, and never simply within the case of consuming problems, males are much less more likely to search out assist for psychological well being points. These realities make it essential for pals, household, coaches, athletic trainers, power and conditioning coaches, crew docs and teammates to concentrate to indicators of consuming problems amongst male athletes and search the suitable care for many who need assistance.

Moreover, many individuals consider that consuming problems amongst male athletes are restricted solely to sports activities like wrestling or different sports activities with weight lessons (e.g., boxing). In truth, consuming problems amongst male athletes can, and do, happen in any sport together with soccer, baseball, basketball or golf.

Some male athletes might be helped in an outpatient setting for consuming dysfunction behaviors whereas others want the next stage of care to be able to recuperate and return to their sport. With a view to do that one should acknowledge the warning indicators of an consuming dysfunction amongst athletes, no matter gender. These embody, however usually are not restricted to:

  • Extreme train
  • Poor physique picture, preoccupation/give attention to weight and form
  • Physique checking, inspection, vital self-evaluation
  • Modifications in physique form/weight/temper
  • Lack of ability to take relaxation days with out feeling responsible
  • Accidents
  • Isolation from others
  • Efficiency decrements at school/work
  • Inflexible meals guidelines, consuming beliefs, rituals round consuming
  • Acute indicators: Fainting, dizziness, and dehydration

Male athlete throwing the javelinBecause the founding of The Victory Program at McCallum Place, we’ve got collaborated with skilled groups, college athletic departments, and elite athletic packages to determine key markers in recognizing when it’s time to refer an athlete to the next stage of care similar to our residential programming. A few of the elements we think about to necessitate intensive remedy embody:

  • Weight reduction to beneath 85% of anticipated/objective weight
  • Caloric consumption is low, and affected person continues to withstand growing caloric consumption
  • Signs are worsening over time
  • Continues to interact in train regardless of damage and/or that exceeds remedy crew’s suggestions
  • Psychological issues (e.g., despair, anxiousness, obsessional pondering) that intrude with normal functioning (i.e., faculty, work, social)
  • Medical issues (bradycardia, EKG adjustments, electrolyte abnormalities, syncope)
  • Poor progress in outpatient setting

With out remedy, an athlete can turn into remoted, and restoration from an consuming dysfunction is unlikely. Over time, the bodily and psychological state of the athlete will deteriorate, negatively affecting their well being and efficiency.

Poor athletic efficiency will probably end in extra consuming dysfunction behaviors and can improve the chance of great metabolic accidents similar to:

  • fluid and electrolyte imbalances
  • impaired focus and judgment
  • brittle bones and accidents to the musculoskeletal system
  • coronary heart injury or failure

These dangers not solely influence well being and athletic efficiency however might be probably life-threatening.

Why Athletes with Consuming Problems Must be in Remedy

Athlete runningRestoration for athletes with consuming problems with out remedy is unlikely. With out remedy, the athlete can isolate, withdrawing from coaches, teammates and social relationships. Left unattended, over time the athlete with start to expertise damaging bodily and psychological issues.

In a extremely aggressive atmosphere, this will likely probably improve the stress to carry out for the athlete and creates a dependence on consuming dysfunction behaviors in an try to enhance efficiency and relieve stress.

Initially the efficiency could enhance, however finally, the consuming dysfunction behaviors may have harmful and probably lethal outcomes. With out intervention and acceptable remedy, the athlete is not going to recuperate.

2019 Consuming Problems in Sports activities Convention

by The Victory Program at McCallum Place

The Victory Program - EDIS 2019 - 1200x628July 19-20, 2019

David Brower Heart in Berkeley, California

For Particulars, Go to The Web site!

In regards to the Sponsor:

McCallum Place is a nationally acknowledged consuming dysfunction remedy heart the place professionals may help information you thru the method of remedy and restoration each step of the best way. We function remedy amenities in St. Louis, Missouri, and Kansas Metropolis, Kansas, that provides complete medical, dietary, and psychological care inside the flexibility of a number of ranges of remedy for grownup women and men, adolescents, and elite athletes alike. We are going to work with you personally to create a remedy program that’s best for you.

In regards to the Authors:

Riley Nickols, Ph.D., CEDS

Riley Nickols PicRiley Nickols, Ph.D. is a counseling and sports activities psychologist for McCallum Place Consuming Dysfunction Facilities who focuses on treating athletes with consuming problems. Dr. Nickols obtained an MS in Sports activities Psychology from Ithaca Faculty and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Fordham College. He frequently speaks to athletes, coaches, and sports activities drugs personnel about points associated to disordered consuming and unbalanced train in sports activities.

Moreover, Dr. Nickols consults with consuming dysfunction professionals on finest practices for integrating train throughout remedy. Dr. Nickols maintains a personal observe in St. Louis, MO the place he primarily works with athletes addressing each medical and efficiency issues. He’s delicate to the distinctive calls for of restoration in relation to coaching and competing in sports activities.

Dr. Nickols’ analysis has examined the connection between self-confidence and anxiousness amongst athletes earlier than and after competitors and has centered on the psychological experiences of athletes returning to competitors after experiencing an damage. Along with competing in endurance sports activities for over 15 years, Dr. Nickols is a operating coach and a USA Triathlon coach.

Travis Stewart, LPC, NCC, MATS – Director of Advertising & Enterprise Growth at McCallum Place Consuming Dysfunction Facilities

Travis Stewart Headshot Photo

Travis Stewart, LPC, NCC, MATS is the Director of Advertising & Enterprise Growth at McCallum Place Consuming Dysfunction Facilities. He has labored within the subject of consuming problems since 2003 in each medical and advertising roles at each stage of care. He brings a novel mix of medical experience and communication abilities to his function with McCallum Place. He’s captivated with connecting folks to assets and experiences which might be transformative and therapeutic.

Travis graduated from the College of Nebraska in 1991 with a level in promoting and instantly started working with the worldwide ministry of The Navigators, mentoring college students. After eight years, his want to raised perceive how folks change and heal led to acquiring a Grasp of Arts in Counseling (2001) and a Grasp of Arts in Theological Research (2003) from Covenant Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri the place he now lives together with his household.

The opinions and views of our visitor contributors are shared to supply a broad perspective of consuming problems. These usually are not essentially the views of Consuming Dysfunction Hope, however an effort to supply a dialogue of varied points by completely different involved people.

We at Consuming Dysfunction Hope perceive that consuming problems consequence from a mix of environmental and genetic elements. When you or a beloved one are affected by an consuming dysfunction, please know that there’s hope for you, and search quick skilled assist.

Revealed on April 29, 2019.
Reviewed & Authorized on April 29, 2019, by Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC

Revealed on

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