How much do you know about anorexia? in this post, you will learn more about anorexia treatment options and why it’s more than a mental problem.
Anorexia nervosa is one of the eating disorders that doesn’t hold back. Both the short- and long-term effects of it can be devastating, and it can also be life-threatening. But the struggle that comes with seeking help and getting treated may stem from the limited ideas people have about it. Two of these include kinds of treatments available and genetics.
1. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Is the Only Treatment Available
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychosocial intervention that helps patients in two significant ways. First, they learn to identify their beliefs, habits, or processes that may be causing the problem. Second, they discover ways to change these negative cognitive processes to regulate their emotions and behavior.
When it comes to anorexia treatment options, CBT is the gold standard. In fact, it’s so effective that it is often the first line of treatment in many facilities. But standard CBT isn’t all there is. For one, enhanced CBT can also work. It may be even more helpful for patients who may have more than one eating disorder as the symptoms for these conditions can also overlap.
Yoga can also be a supplemental therapy for those with anorexia. In a 2018 study, a team of researchers recruited adult females with various eating disorders. Some of them participated in an 11-week yoga intervention program. The researchers also conducted a follow-up after six months.
Based on the results, the intervention group reported reduced eating concerns and better restraint than the control. The difference in outcomes between these two also significantly increased after half a year.
In a much earlier study, yoga showed to be just as helpful for adolescents with anorexia. In the experiment, more than 50 participants between 11 and 21 years old received either standard care only or yoga plus conventional treatment in eight weeks.
Upon analysis, both groups experienced a reduction of symptoms, but those who also practiced yoga reported more significant decreases. Their food preoccupation also declined after every session.
2. Anorexia Is All in the Mind
Many people consider anorexia nervosa and other eating disorders to be a psychiatric problem only. More studies showed that it might be more complicated than previously thought. It may also explain why some people are prone to it, why there are no single anorexia treatment options, and why many can still relapse.
One of the landmark studies included that of the University of Vienna. In 2017, the researchers revealed an association between chromosome 12 genetic anomaly and anorexia. This locus also has a link to autoimmune diseases, as well as insulin regulation and type I diabetes.
In 2019, the King’s College London seemed to corroborate the 2017 Austrian research. The paper published inNature Geneticsclaimed that it might be partly a metabolic disorder. The genetic basis of the disease overlaps with metabolic traits. These include insulin, body measurements, and lipids or fats.
Despite more types of research showing the disorder’s genetic connection, people with anorexia and their families can cling on to some hope. First, predisposition doesn’t always dictate outcomes. Second, these studies may lead to more targeted treatment options in the future.
As the saying goes, knowledge is power. For people with anorexia, it offers more doors to healing and that therapies can be as individualized as possible. Most of all, they understand that while they cannot control everything, they can still manage many areas of their health.