Some dealing with eating disorders after recovering from COVID
SOUTH BEND, Ind. --The loss of taste and smell has been one of the hardest symptoms for COVID-19 patients to deal with and experts in Michiana say they’re seeing an increase in more patients seeking help for eating disorders after recovering. These symptoms have become the most noticeable signs of COVID, but for many they have lingered far longer than two weeks.
“Some patients are finding that as a result of not being able to taste food they’re looking to meet that craving and so they try food after food after food to try to find what will satisfy them but without the sense of taste it’s very difficult to find what that is which can lead to overeating," said Michelle Mannia, Certified Eating Disorder Specialist.
Registered Dietician Erin Hertz says this loss has removed the enjoyment of food presenting an opening for the development of eating disorders.
“It increases some of those food fears and it increases anxiety. It definitely changes depressive symptoms," said Erin Hertz, Registered Dietician.
Whether its under or overeating Michelle Mannia says recovery is possible even while still dealing with the lingering sensory loss.
“If it’s something where your eating is just a little bit off a dietician would be a great resource to make sure you’re meeting your nutritional needs and if it starts to take hold psychologically or mentally and emotionally talking to a therapist about your concerns as soon as you notice them is super important," said Mannia.
And while some have turned to social media trends for extreme ways to gain their taste back Hertz says there’s just not enough data to prove they work.
“In terms of being able to say what are the food combinations to resume that sense of taste and smell there really isn’t," said Hertz.
Both experts say making sure you have a balanced diet is the best way to overcome any food challenges you may be facing.