Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center - Health Library

Other Treatments for Eating Disorders

Eating disorders can be treated with:

  Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT can help you start to think in real terms when it comes to your weight and self-image. You will find new ways to think about your body and yourself. CBT has been very helpful for those who have bulimia. It's often used with medicines. CBT may help you with your eating patterns, and to end bingeing and purging. It will also help you to learn to eat small amounts of food at a time.

CBT is used to boost self-esteem in those with binge eating disorder (BED). It can help you to stop binge eating. It can also help treat depression, which is common among binge eaters.

CBT can also be done in a group.

  Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal therapy may help you cope with problems you have with people in your life. It may help treat anxiety and depression. These are common with eating disorders. You will learn how social issues play a role in your eating habits.

Interpersonal therapy will help you express your feelings. This helps with building a better sense of self and coping with change. It will also bring you to the causes of your eating disorder.

  Group Support

There are many types of support groups for people with eating disorders. A therapist, recovered person, or other person may lead the support groups. Topics may deal with how to cope, changing your body image, eating habits, spirituality, or family issues.

  Family Therapy

How your family works often plays a major role in eating disorders. Many people can't get better until people in their family learn to move on. Those in your family will learn how to give you support when you need it. Family therapy can help with these problems.

  Nutritional Therapy

Severe anorexia may need to be treated in a hospital. The goals are to safely gain weight and change your eating patterns. This can be done by:

  • Slowly bringing your food intake levels up.
  • • Working with a dietitian to help you plan meals. This will help you eating a variety of well-balanced foods.
  • Taking vitamins and minerals as needed.

Sometimes, a feeding tube is used to give nutrition. It may be as a nasogastric tube. In extreme cases, a jejunostomy (J-tube) or gastrostomy tube (G-tube) are used.

After these problems have been fixed, counseling can start.

REFERENCES:

About eating disorders. National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders website. Available at: http://www.anad.org/education-and-awareness/about-eating-disorders. Accessed September 6, 2018.

Anorexia nervosa. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114614/Anorexia-nervosa. Updated June 15, 2017. Accessed September 6, 2018.

Binge eating disorder. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T563461/Binge-eating-disorder. Updated June 15, 2017. Accessed September 6, 2018.

Bulimia nervosa. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114924/Bulimia-nervosa. Updated July 16, 2018. Accessed September 6, 2018.

Eating disorders: About more than food. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/eating-disorders/index.shtml. Updated 2018. Accessed September 6, 2018.

4/29/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance.http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114614/Anorexia-nervosa: Lock J, Le Grange D, Agras WS, Moye A, Bryson SW, Jo B. Randomized clinical trial comparing family-based treatment with adolescent-focused individual therapy for adolescents with anorexia nervosa. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2010;67(10):1025-1032.

Last reviewed June 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrian Preda, MD  Last Updated: 9/6/2018