Eating disorders are abnormal eating behaviours caused by environmental and behavioural factors. They range from acute to chronic states depending on the level of severity of the condition. These disorders cause psychological distress and embarrassment to those who have them. They also cause a whole lot of physiological changes to the body. It is imperative for men and women dealing with these disorders to seek professional help. This becomes important with more severe cases. If these disorders aren’t promptly managed, they can lead to a whole lot of complications. Here are effective measures to stop eating disorders.
Eating disorder treatment depends on the particular disorder and symptoms. It typically includes a combination of psychological therapy (psychotherapy), nutrition therapy, medical therapy. If an eating disorder doesn’t improve with standard treatment or causes health problems, hospitalization or another type of inpatient program might be considered.
Psychological therapy is the most important component of eating disorder treatment. It helps to normalize eating patterns. It also helps to achieve a healthy weight and exchange unhealthy habits for healthy ones. This usually involves seeing a psychologist or another mental health professional on a regular basis for treatment. The treatment could last months or years depending on the level of improvement. It is composed of several types of therapies aimed at improving cognitive and behavioural changes. These therapies include:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy: This type of psychotherapy focuses on behaviours, thoughts and feelings. It helps to build healthy eating patterns.
- Family-based therapy: This therapy is highly effective as it helps parents and close relations participate in the care of their patients. It also helps them restore healthy eating patterns and achieve a healthy weight until they can do it on your own.
- Group cognitive behavioral therapy: This is a support group approach where people with the same eating disorders meet together. They may also meet with other mental health professionals to address thoughts, feelings and behaviours related to their eating disorder. In addition, they can learn skills to manage symptoms and regain healthy eating patterns.
Nutrition therapy for Eating Disorders
This therapy involves nutritionists helping patients to normalize their eating patterns and stabilize their health conditions through:
- Knowing different kinds of foods and its impact on health.
- Knowing the metabolic effect of purging, binging and restricting dieting on the body.
- Eating adequately to meet the body’s daily nutritional needs
- Creating a balanced and sustainable relationship with food
- Eating in a balanced and moderate way with the right food portions.
- Structuring an effective and healthy meal plan to restore their health
- Having clear perceptions and positive thoughts about food
- Making peace with all food types and decrease time spent thinking about food.
- Identifying the belief about food, weight and body issues responsible for the eating disorders
- Having a positive self-image to boost appetite
- Listening to and trusting your body’s internal cues to determine hunger and fullness
- Overcoming challenges of fear of food
- Eating comfortably around people.
Medical therapy for Eating Disorders
There are no specific medications to cure eating disorders. Medications are most effective when combined with other therapies. Some used are:
- Orlistat is used in obesity treatment.
- Olanzapine is used to promote weight gain as well as the ability to ameliorate obsessional behaviors concerning weight gain
- Zinc supplements have been shown to be helpful.
- Anti-depressants like amitriptyline and imipramine to help elevate moods. They also reduce anxiety symptoms in binge or anorexic cases.
- Vitamin B complex can help to boost appetite in a cases of anorexia nervosa