August 30, 2016
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Anorexia Nervosa (cont.)

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How can anorexia nervosa be prevented?

While educating the public about the important health benefits of appropriate nutrition is generally beneficial, it has been found to be less specifically helpful in the prevention of eating disorders and other body image problems. More effective approaches are thought to be the addition of education about the bias of media images toward excessive thinness as desirable. Helping people internalize a self-image and health behaviors that are inconsistent with those of eating disordered individuals have also found to be effective prevention methods for anorexia.

The future of anorexia nervosa

Given the complexity of anorexia and how many people with this illness continue to suffer from it despite receiving treatment, researchers are seeking to better understand how this illness develops and how it is most effectively treated. For example, as individuals with anorexia tend to have low levels of cortisol in their blood, and behaviors like dieting and exercise tend to increase cortisol levels, giving anorexia sufferers cortisol supplements is being explored with some success. The best approaches for psychotherapy in adults with anorexia, the possible benefit of 12-step programs in treatment, the role of genetics in the development of this disorder, and the effectiveness of various medications in treating anorexia are other areas of continued need for research.

Where can a person get help for anorexia nervosa?

Academy for Eating Disorders

American Psychiatric Association
1000 Wilson Blvd, Suite 1825
Arlington, VA 22209

American Psychological Association
750 First Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002

National Eating Disorders Association
603 Stewart Street, Suite 803
Seattle, WA 98101

National Institute of Mental Health, NIH, HHS

National Institute of Health
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20892

National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders

Renfrew Center

T.H.E. (Treatment, Healing, Education) Center for Disordered Eating
297 Haywood Street
Asheville, NC 28801

Medically reviewed by Marina Katz, MD; American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology


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Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/8/2016


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