How to Diagnose and Treat Anorexia?

Q:
How to diagnose and treat anorexia?

A:
If your doctor suspects that you have anorexia, he or she will typically do several tests and exams include:

  • Physical exam. This may include checking your height and weight, your vital signs, your skin and nails for problems, your heart and lungs and your abdomen.
  • Lab tests. These may include a complete blood count (CBC) and more-specialized blood tests.
  • Psychological evaluation. A doctor or mental health professional will likely ask about your thoughts, feelings and eating habits.
  • Other studies like X-rays and electrocardiograms.

Treatments for anorexia address both psychological and physical problems.

  • Successful physical treatment usually includes continuous medical care, regular therapy, nutritional counseling, and sometimes medication. Although certain antidepressants are sometimes used to treat anorexia, they are not always effective, and no medication is FDA approved to treat it.
  • Psychologists and other types of mental health professionals can help a person let go of self-destructive thoughts and behaviors and adopt a more positive outlook.

People with anorexia can recover. However, they’re at increased risk of relapse during periods of high stress or during triggering situations. Long-term psychological and medical attention usually is needed.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.