Eating disorders treatment
Types of Treatment for Eating Disorders
There are almost as many types of treatment for eating disorders as there are types of eating disorders themselves. This is because different eating disorders require different approaches and the severity of the eating disorder may dictate the treatment method chosen. The key lies in finding the right type of eating disorder treatment that works best for the individual.
Help for anorexia and bulimia is generally available at medical care facilities, through private practitioners and through community or faith-based groups. Treatment types include:
- Acute, medical care, typically through a hospital
- Ongoing psychiatric care, possibly including medication
- Inpatient or outpatient programs, typically eating disorder specialized
- Nutritional counseling
- Psychological counseling
- Group therapy / Self-paced
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Medical treatment for eating disorders, particularly acute, inpatient admission, is not generally required. The exception is when an
eating disorder is so severe that the physical damage must be handled immediately, as in the case of an esophageal tear in a bulimic (bulimia side effects ) or in the case of severe starvation in an anorexic (anorexia health problems ).
Medical treatment of an eating disorder that includes prescription medication is needed more frequently. In this case, medications are prescribed, generally by a psychiatrist and may be intended to help treat the eating disorder itself or any possible co-occurring mental illnesses, such as depression, which is common in those with anorexia or bulimia.
Medications used in the treatment of eating disorders typically include:
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) - the preferred type of antidepressant; thought to help decrease the depressive symptoms often associated with some eating disorders. Eg. Fluoxetine (Prozac)
- Tricyclics (TCAs) - another type of antidepressant thought to help with depression and body image. TCAs are generally only used if SSRIs treatments fail. Eg. Desipramine (Norpramin)
- Antiemetics - drugs specifically designed to suppress nausea or vomiting. Eg. Ondansetron (Zofran)