Anorexia Home > Treatment for Anorexia

When a person has anorexia, treatment starts with restoring him or her to a healthy weight (which may require hospitalization). Other aspects of treatment may include psychotherapy and medications. Of course, treatment varies from person to person; there is no single method that works in all cases. Early treatment is important in helping someone overcome the condition.

Treatment for Anorexia: An Introduction

At this point, there is no universally accepted standard treatment for anorexia. Because of its complexity, anorexia requires a comprehensive treatment plan, involving medical care and monitoring, psychosocial interventions, nutritional counseling and, when appropriate, medication.
Ideally, this integrated approach to treatment would include the skills of:
  • Nutritionists
  • Mental health professionals
  • Endocrinologists
  • Other physicians.
Friends and families providing support and encouragement can also play an important role in the successful treatment.

Strategies in Anorexia Treatment

Treatment for anorexia is most successful when the condition is diagnosed early. The longer abnormal eating behaviors persist, the more difficult it is to overcome anorexia and its effects on the body.
Anorexia treatment calls for a specific program that involves three main phases:
  • Restoring weight lost to severe dieting and purging
  • Treating psychological disturbances, such as low self-esteem, poor body image, and interpersonal conflicts
  • Achieving long-term remission and rehabilitation or full recovery.

The Importance of Early Treatment

The first goal for the treatment of anorexia is to ensure the person's physical health, which involves restoring a healthy weight. Reaching this goal may require hospitalization. As part of this early anorexia treatment, feeding plans address the person's medical and nutritional needs. In some cases, intravenous feeding is recommended.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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