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Top Treatments for Eating Disorders

written by: Brandy A Burgess • edited by: jen2008 • updated: 8/30/2010

The best practices treatment of eating disorders includes a combination of several forms of emotional and behavioral therapies, as well medication in some cases. Learn the top treatments of eating disorders and the importance of obtaining these treatments promptly.

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    Treatments for Eating Disorders

    The best practices treatment of eating disorders includes a combination of therapy, medications, and support groups. Determining theEating Disorders  proper treatment plan for an individual diagnosed with an eating disorder can be difficult. Each patient requires an intense evaluation and an approach depending on his or her specific symptoms and the severity of the disorder. The goal of any treatment plan consists of a healthy relationship with food, productive eating behaviors, and strong coping skills.

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    Eating Disorder Therapy Treatments

    In severe cases of an eating disorder, hospitalization or residential care may be necessary. However, many eating disorder patients are able to control their condition though nutritional counseling, therapy, and support groups.

    Nutritional Counseling. When a treatment plan is developed for a patient, a nutritionist or dietitian is usually recommended to participate in the recovery. Programs are set up to achieve a healthy weight and design meal plans that contain healthy portions of food. Nutritional counseling may also benefit a patient as it involves food education and the consequences that can arise from eating disorders.

    Psychotherapy. Group, or individual, therapy can be effective for many patients. This form of treatment is used to explore the underlying causes of the eating disorder and improve self-esteem. Participating in a group therapy with family members and friends is also recommended as the patient often feels more comfortable confronting their fears with the people he or she knows and trusts.

    Residential Treatment. Hospitalization or residential care may be needed if dealing with a severe eating disorder case. Strong behavior or physical problems may not be properly treated in a home environment and may require professional care. Residential treatment may also be appropriate with individuals with medical issues or for those who refuse treatment.

    Support Groups. Talking through the underlying causes of an eating disorder can greatly help work out problems that may be holding the patient back from a safe recovery. Support groups provide a comfortable environment where patients can obtain advice, coping skills, and encouragement from people going through the same situation. Private one-on-one support counseling can also be an option.

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    Eating Disorder Medication Treatments

    Medication is not always used as part of a treatment plan for patients with eating disorders. Typically, medication is used to treat bulimia, rather than anorexia. Common drugs such as anti-depressants are used to relieve the symptoms that are worsening the condition. Another reason that medication may be used is in the case of appetite suppressants. These are used to treat a binge eating disorder.

    It’s highly unlikely that medication will be given to an eating disorder patient as an only treatment. Proper treatment plans will include a holistic view of the individual and help treat mental, physical, and emotional issues. Medications will usually be accompanied by counseling, cognitive behavior therapy, nutritional advice, and meal plans.

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    Eating Disorder Prognosis

    Learning about the best practices treatment of eating disorders can greatly benefit a loved one that may have an eating disorder. Eating disorders can lead to severe complications if not treated promptly. If you suspect a family member or loved one has an eating disorder, it’s important to seek the help of a professional in this field.

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