Bulimia Home > Treatment for Bulimia

When people are recovering from bulimia, treatment varies from person to person, and there is no single method that works in all cases. Common methods used include restoring the person to a healthy weight, ending the binge-purge cycle, psychotherapy, and, in some cases, medication. Early treatment is important in helping someone overcome the condition.

Treatment for Bulimia: An Overview

Presently, there is no universally accepted standard treatment for bulimia. Because of its complexity, bulimia requires a comprehensive treatment plan involving medical care and monitoring, psychosocial interventions, nutritional counseling, and, when appropriate, medication.
Ideally, this integrated approach to bulimia treatment will also include the skills of nutritionists, mental health professionals, endocrinologists, and other physicians.
Unless malnutrition is severe, any substance abuse problems that may be present at the time the bulimia is diagnosed are usually treated first.
People with bulimia often do not recognize or admit that they are ill. As a result, they may strongly resist getting and staying in treatment. Family members or other trusted individuals can be helpful in ensuring that the person with bulimia receives needed care and rehabilitation. For some people, treatment may be long-term.

Strategies for Bulimia Treatment

Treatment for bulimia is most successful when the disorder is first diagnosed. The longer abnormal eating behaviors persist, the more difficult it is to overcome the disorder and its effects on the body.
The primary goal of bulimia treatment is to reduce or eliminate binge eating and purging behavior. To this end, nutritional rehabilitation, psychosocial intervention, and medication management strategies are often employed.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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