How Do Doctors Treat Bulimia Nervosa (BN)?

Treatment for BN focuses on medical monitoring and psychological therapy. The care team will talk with you to create a treatment plan for your child's medical and mental health needs.

Common treatments supported by research for BN can include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to help manage your child's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors around the eating disorder and body image
  • Interpersonal therapy (IPT) to help your child identify and express emotions and understand how they affect their eating disorder
  • For children and adolescents, family-based therapy (FBT) to learn ways on how your family can support your child during BN treatment
  • Medical treatment for health issues caused by BN
  • Prescription medications for underlying mental health problems
  • Therapy to address underlying mental health concerns and learn healthy eating behaviors and coping skills
  • For some people, a higher level of care such as residential treatment or hospitalization for individuals at serious medical risk or those with very frequent binge eating and purging

BN can be challenging to treat. The care team can help you and your child create a plan that raises the chances of recovery.

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