by Preda A

Eating disorders can be treated with:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT can help a person think in new ways about their weight and self-image. CBT has been very helpful for those who have bulimia. It is often used with medicines. CBT can help a person to regulate eating patterns. It can also help them stop bingeing and purging.

CBT is used to boost self-esteem in those with binge eating disorder (BED). It can help a person stop binge eating. It can also help treat depression. Depression is common among binge eaters.

CBT can also be done in a group.

Interpersonal Therapy

Interpersonal therapy can help someone cope with problems with other people. It may help treat anxiety and depression. These are common with eating disorders. A person will learn how social issues play a role in their eating habits.

Interpersonal therapy helps others express feelings. This helps with building a better sense of self and coping with change. It can also help someone understand the causes of their eating problems.

Group Support

There are many types of support groups for people with eating disorders. A therapist, recovered person, or other person may lead the support groups. Topics may deal with:

  • Coping skills
  • Changing body image
  • Eating habits
  • Spirituality
  • Family issues

Family Therapy

A person's family often plays a major role in eating disorders. With this therapy, family members learn how to give support.

Nutritional Therapy

Severe anorexia may need to be treated in a hospital. The goals are to safely gain weight and change eating patterns. This can be done by:

  • Slowly bringing food intake levels up.
  • Working with a dietitian to plan healthful meals.
  • Taking vitamins and minerals as needed.

Sometimes, a feeding tube is used to give nutrition. It may be as a nasogastric tube. In extreme cases, a jejunostomy (J-tube) or gastrostomy tube (G-tube) are used.

After these problems have been fixed, counseling can start.


Anorexia nervosa. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed April 5, 2022.

Binge eating disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed April 5, 2022.

Bulimia nervosa. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed April 5, 2022.

Eating disorders: About more than food. National Institute of Mental Health website. Available at: Accessed April 5, 2022.

4/5/2022 DynaMed Systematic Literature Surveillance. Feltner C, Peat C, et al. Screening for eating disorders in adolescents and adults: evidence report and systematic review for the US Preventive Services Task Force. JAMA. 2022;327(11):1068-1082.

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