Edema in Eating Disorder Recovery
Edema occurs when excess fluid accumulates in the body, causing tissues to swell. This phenomenon tends to affect individuals more often during the refeeding process of eating disorder treatment, although it can happen at other times. In extreme cases, edema can be highly distressing as it can cause rapid weight gain and a great deal of discomfort.
Edema formation occurs as a response to many physiologic changes that take place during the eating disorder refeeding and recovery process, as discussed below. Reassurance and therapeutic support are vital when caring for patients with eating disorders who are experiencing edema. Medical professionals can take steps to both prevent and manage edema, putting each patient on a safe path to a long-term recovery.