What Happens During Eating Disorder Medical Treatment?

Eating disorders are insidious. They often affect young women, but people of any age and sex can succumb to an eating disorder. Over time, eating disorders can cause a person to suffer heart damage and tooth decay. This serious condition often requires medical intervention in the form of eating disorder medical treatment. Here are four parts of successful eating disorder treatment:

1. Medication

Depending on the severity of your eating disorder, you may need emergency intervention. If you're especially dehydrated or malnourished, you may be given fluids and vitamins through an IV line. Once your health has been adequately stabilized, your doctor may offer you medication to treat health problems you've developed as a result of your anorexia. People whose eating disorders are comorbid with other mental health issues may benefit from the use of SSRIs.

2. Medically Monitored Weight Gain

Many people with eating disorders reach dangerously low body weights. At low body weights, people can experience arrhythmia, hair loss, and difficulty staying warm. Women may stop menstruating, which is a sign that their bodies are under severe stress. During eating disorder treatment, you will be encouraged to gain weight. You will be given calorie-dense meals, which you will be expected to finish. People with anorexia sometimes develop a phobia of eating, but caring staff members can help you through the emotional difficulty of finishing your meals.

3. Meal Planning

People with eating disorders typically spend a lot of time thinking about food. Unfortunately, these thoughts can be unhealthy, often tending toward a hyperfixation with avoiding calories. Relearning to eat healthy meals can be difficult, but a registered dietician can help. During your eating disorder treatment, you will have the opportunity to speak with a nutritionist. They will teach you how to choose foods that will nourish your body. You may be given a few sample meal plans to help you through the initial stages of recovery.

4. Ongoing Counseling

After a person is released from acute eating disorder treatment, their immediate physical danger has passed. However, people with eating disorders are likely to relapse, especially if they don't receive the proper care. Unfortunately, there are no quick solutions to anorexia and other eating disorders. Ongoing counseling can help a person maintain their commitment to recovery. By meeting with a counselor weekly, a recovering eating disorder patient can manage their fears as they continue eating a healthy diet that allows them to gain weight.