Nicole Cain, ND, MA
Integrative Mental Health ExpertSouthwest College of Naturopathic Medicine
“Orthorexia may start out as a healthy desire to change one’s diet and lifestyle, but may progress into a seemingly obsessive pursuit of a healthy diet. Those suffering with orthorexia will obsessively avoid foods perceived to be harmful or unwholesome, experience extreme anxiety about how food is prepared, spend exceedingly long amounts of time preparing for food, spend excess money on food, and feel extreme guilt or shame when not adhering to their dietary standards. It is important for naturopathic clinicians in particular to be aware of this because patients suffering from these symptoms are often attracted to naturopathic doctors and their information on diet and nutrition. The key variable in orthorexia is the underlying motive. Commonly, patients with this condition report being motivated by the desire to enjoy feelings of health, cleanliness, and pureness. Holistic counseling into the root cause to this need and desire is key and cognitive behavioral approaches are key treatments.”