Feeding the soul gives new hope to anorexics29/06/2019 - Author: admin - Comments are closed
New research could help anorexics physically and psychologically.Weight can become the whole world in anorexia, with every gram lost and gained the subject of intense focus. But new research has found people with severe and treatment-resistant anorexia, which kills one in five sufferers, may fare better if their doctors stop trying to get them to gain weight.
The international study of people who had anorexia for an average of 16 years found giving them therapy to improve their physical and psychological quality of life and get them back into the community helped where all other past treatments had failed.
“It’s never been tried before, because in anorexia nervosa treatment getting back to a healthy weight is the main motivation for treatment,” said study leader Stephen Touyz.
“But it’s not something some patients feel able or capable or willing to do so they simply drop out.”
Not only did the patients show improvements in a range of tests of their social, physical and mental functioning, they also gained a small amount of weight.
“A year later they were still doing well, so it wasn’t a temporary thing,” said Professor Touyz, the executive chairman of the Centre for Eating and Dieting Disorders at the University of Sydney.
Globally people with long-term eating disorders are often refused insurance coverage and treatment because of the lack of treatments proven to have any effect, according to his paper, published in Psychological Medicine.
Professor Touyz said although one patient in his study had died, the majority had shown improvements and one had even gone on to have a baby.
The president of the Australia and New Zealand Academy of Eating Disorders, Anthea Fursland, said the research provided hope to clinicians and patients.
“When you have had an eating disorder for a long time your quality of life and your health is pretty compromised,” she said.
“It isn’t about being thin or attractive, it’s about staying in control and a fear of losing control, and a number of other things.”
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