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Treatment of Bulimia Nervosa

Nutritional Treatment for Bulimia

Nutritional intervention, education and support are critical in bulimia treatment. By the time treatment has been sought, the person is often malnourished with deficiencies in vitamin C and D and imbalances in calcium and electrolytes. Therefore, a nutritionally balanced diet should be undertaken immediately. This may happen at an inpatient eating disorders facility or, more often, as an outpatient with the oversight of a nutritionist and family or friends of the bulimic.

Because a person may be bulimic for a long time before seeking bulimia treatment, they often lose the ability to gage what a healthy meal or a healthy diet is. Nutritional education can help with this problem. It focuses on reestablishing healthy eating patterns and choices as well as introducing food, in healthy amounts, on which the bulimic had previous binged.

Bulimia support of family and friends is also key in bulimia treatment. Those around the bulimic can encourage healthy choices and discourage the reemergence of old, bulimic behaviors. Family and friends of the bulimic may also need nutritional counseling in order to properly support their loved one.

Last Updated: 14 May 2016
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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