24 January 2009

Anorexia & Bulimia - Treatment

Of all the psychological illnesses, anorexia has the highest mortality rate.

The doctor's first goal is to get some weight and nutrition back into the patient's body. In cases of serious underweight, the patient checks into the hospital, either as an outpatient or overnight. Some states have Mental Health Laws allowing involuntary hospitalization and treatment.

Vital signs, hydration levels and electrolyte levels are constantly monitored. The patient might have a feeding tube that goes into through the nose, down the throat and into the stomach. There might also be IV's in the arm or hand.

The patient will be referred to a psychotherapist for counseling to build a healthier self-esteem and finding new ways of coping with stress. Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a popular approach to changing ways to coping. If the patient lives with their parents and/or siblings, there will probably also be group or family therapy meetings to help everyone deal with what's going on in a positive way, and to help the patient recover.

There is no cure for anorexia or bulimia. It's a life-long battle the comes and goes. The patient will find times when they are extra vulnerable to falling back on their old ways. They need ongoing therapy or periodic appointments during times of high stress.

A dietician will probably be assigned to the patient. Meal plans will be created to encourage a minimal amount of calories eaten per day that are very healthy. Sometimes zinc is prescribed because it affects the amygdala which is the part of the brain that controls appetite.

Many people with anorexia and/or bulimia also suffer from depression. The doctor might prescribe anti-depressants to help fight off such feelings. Meetings with the psychologist will also deal with the patient's depression.

For the signs and symptoms of anorexia click on http://brainsyoursmineours.blogspot.com/2009/01/anorexia-nervosa-symptoms-causes.html#links

For a list of famous people with anorexia/bulimia click on http://brainsyoursmineours.blogspot.com/2009/01/famous-people-with-eating-disorders.html#links

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