Some people suffer from eating disorders; they focus on food and their weight. Eating disorders are serious problems of behavior and psyche, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. In fact, women are more likely than men to have eating disorders. As a rule, they appear in adolescence and often coincide with depression and anxiety disorders.
Eating disorders are very dangerous, because they can lead to heart and kidney disease and even death. Timely treatment is very important. Treatment of eating disorders includes monitoring, psychotherapy, nutrition counseling, and sometimes medication. As for medicines, everything is very difficult here. People with eating disorders have not been found as responsive to medicine. In most cases, psychiatric medication can make therapy more successful.
#1. Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia nervosa – you lose weight, but do not eat enough, because you think that you are overweight. Medication is not the initial and primary treatment for anorexia nervosa. Many doctors believe that nutritional rehabilitation and psychotherapy have a more effective effect for the treatment of anorexia nervosa.
Why is medication not effective in this case? First of all, patients with anorexia tend to be reluctant to take medication for fear of weight gain. Some medication (antipsychotics) can really help with anorexia by a small increase in weight, but patients with anorexia often have significantly distorted views of food and their body (psychotic delusions), and these symptoms do not seem to respond to antipsychotics.
For example, antidepressant medication can help resolve symptoms like anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, they cannot help with weight gain. The thing is, most medications do not seem to work well in patients with anorexia nervosa. This may be due to the fact – starvation affects the function of neurotransmitters in the brain. The best way to improve the condition of patients is to restore the body's weight naturally.
#2. Bulimia Nervosa
In contrast to anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa is treatable with medication. Some studies have shown that psychiatric medications are helpful for the treatment of bulimia nervosa and are most often used in addition to nutritional rehabilitation and psychotherapy. However, there is one small "but", if the patient does not have access to psychotherapy and nutrition therapy, it is not recommended to take medication.
The most effective medication for the treatment of bulimia nervosa are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI antidepressants). This class of antidepressant has been shown to reduce binge eating, purging, and psychological symptoms such as the drive for thinness. What’s more, this class of medications has demonstrated helpfulness with improving co-occurring symptoms of anxiety and depression.
The effect of SSRI doubles when they are combined with psychotherapy. Medication may make psychotherapy more effective for some patients. Medication may also be effective when combined with self-help and guided self-help approaches.
#3. Binge Eating Disorder
Some medications are effective for treating BED; they help stop binge eating but do not generally produce the weight loss. For Binge Eating Disorder, three main classes of drugs were studied: antidepressants (primarily the SSRIs, including Prozac); antiseizure medications, especially Topirimate; and Vyvanse (an ADHD medication).
Antidepressants can help reduce the frequency of binge eating in patients with BED. They can also help to reduce obsessive thoughts and symptoms of depression. Topiramate performs these two functions.
Stimulant medications can help in the treatment of BED. Recently, Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine), an ADHD medication, became the first medication approved by the FDA for treating BED. Vyvanse helps to reduce binge episodes, decrease eating-related obsessions and compulsions, and also produce small weight losses.
As you can see, medication is not the primary treatment for an eating disorder. Medications can be useful when added to psychotherapy or when psychotherapy is not available. What’s more, medication helps to fight with symptoms of anxiety and depression. The best way to treat eating disorders is food and normal eating. In addition, there are various treatments for eating disorders that are very effective.
Take just a few minutes out of each day to bring yourself to a state of calm and wellness and balance your life using a combination of guided meditations and mindfulness techniques. The techniques are a simple, practical relaxation method for anyone.
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