What Should You Know About Eating Disorder Treatment?

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Anorexia is an eating disorder that can affect people of any age and gender. However, it's particularly prevalent in adolescent girls. Anorexia describes a condition in which people restrict calories to facilitate weight loss. People can lose dangerous amounts of weight when they're anorexic, which is why treatment is so vital. Here are four things you should know if you're considering eating disorder treatment for yourself or a loved one:

1. Eating disorder treatment focuses on healing the mind as well as the body.

Eating disorder treatment focuses on physical and mental wellness. Many patients who enter treatment are severely malnourished, which can strain the heart and other internal organs. Medical intervention may be necessary to restore a patient to good physical health. However, mental wellness cannot be ignored. Patients will receive intensive counseling at an eating disorder treatment center. Many people with anorexia suffer from body dysmorphia, which means they may feel like they are overweight even when they aren't. Psychological counseling can help patients heal from anorexia.

2. Patients are given strict diet plans.

Eating disorder patients are given strict diet plans to aid their recovery. Anorexic patients often must regain the weight they've lost, which can be psychologically difficult. A diet plan will ensure patients receive adequate calories and macronutrients. Initially, patients may need to continue eating fewer calories than normal so as not to shock their systems. Eventually, patients will eat an adequate number of calories according to their size and dietary needs.

3. Inpatient treatment can be immensely helpful.

Many patients with severe anorexia will benefit from inpatient treatment. Inpatient treatment allows medical staff to monitor patients for signs of anorexic behavior. For instance, some people with anorexia will exercise or purge after meals in an effort to avoid consuming calories. Supervision will allow patients to recover from their illness, even when it's difficult. Inpatient treatment can save a patient's life if they're suffering from severe anorexia that poses a medical risk.

4. Ongoing therapy can prevent patients from relapsing.

After patients leave inpatient treatment, they will be responsible for their own meals. However, it's wise to continue eating disorder treatment, even once you have returned home. Anorexia is a notoriously resistant disease, and it's easy for patients to backslide. Ongoing eating disorder therapy can prevent patients from relapsing into disordered eating behaviors. You can meet with a therapist weekly to discuss your progress, as well as any difficulties you've been having.