If you have an eating disorder, it’s important to know about treatment options, say experts at the Mayo Clinic.
The treatment depends on the individual eating disorder and symptoms. It usually involves a combination of psychotherapy, nutrition education, medical monitoring, and sometimes medication.
If the standard treatment does not help or causes health problems, you may need hospitalization or another type of hospitalization program.
Treatment also involves treating other potentially serious or life-threatening health conditions caused by a eating disorder.
They include electrolyte imbalances which can interfere with the functioning of muscles, heart and nerves heart problems and high blood pressure digestive problems and nutrient deficiencies mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder or substance abuse low bone density retardation lack of growth, lack of menstruation, infertility and pregnancy problems, and dental problems due to frequent vomiting.
Psychological therapy is the most important part of the treatment of eating disorders and can last anywhere from months to years, Mayo experts said. It aims to normalize eating habits and achieve a healthy weight, as well as improve mood and relationships. It also aims to replace unhealthy habits with healthy ones and teach patients to monitor their diet and mood and develop problem-solving skills. The goal is to find healthy ways to cope with stressful situations.
Your treatment team may include a mental health professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, a dietician who specializes in medicine or dentistry to treat other health issues caused by the eating disorder, and members of the family, Mayo experts said.
Working together, you will develop a plan to treat your eating disorder, set treatment goals, and what to do if you are unable to stick to your plan.
Your treatment team can help you find nearby resources to help you achieve your goals and identify affordable treatment options.
Inpatient and outpatient programs for the treatment of eating disorders can be expensive, and insurance may not fully cover it. Discuss any financial issues with your treatment team, Mayo experts urged.
The non-profit National Eating Disorders Association has help and support for people with eating disorders.
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