What Are The Treatments for Anorexia Athletica?

Anorexia athletica is a condition characterized by a compulsion for exercise – which may or may not be accompanied by under-eating or an obsession with food and dieting.

Unlike anorexia, anorexia athletica tends to revolve around the idea of performance – not necessarily body image – which is why many athletes are prone to the condition.

A person with the disorder feels the need to exercise frequently and intensely. This is usually done in order to maintain a caloric deficit, or in some cases, to counteract food binges or eating in general.

The treatments for anorexia athletica are similar to those that address other eating disorders, which tend to include therapies for both the body and mind.

Behavioral therapy or counseling

Anorexia athletica is considered a mental health disorder, which means that its patterns and manifestations are rooted in thought and behavior. Treating the condition, therefore, will usually involve some type of counseling, like psychotherapy, behavioral therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

What’s important for recovery is getting at the root emotional issues or thought patterns that are causing the unhealthy behaviors, which may be accomplished in a one-on-one setting or in a support group with other people who have the condition.

Diet, nutrition and fitness

Since anorexia athletica can cause extreme damage to the body – muscle wasting, malnutrition and even cardiovascular problems – treatment will also tend to include dietary therapies. Certain supplements or vitamins may also be required to restore a person to good health.

Meal planning, calorie consumption and the balance of energy expenditure (calories in versus calories out) will all be important things to master.

The person may also need to work with a personal trainer or fitness specialist to come up with a plan for exercising in a healthy way – without overdoing it.

Stress management

Since anorexia athletica may be somewhat rooted in stress – which a person then relieves with excessive exercise – learning how to manage stress might also be a part of the treatment plan.

Finding other healthy ways to deal with stress that don’t tax the body can be important for long-term recovery.

If a person with anorexia athletica is also dealing with behaviors related to binge eating or bulimia, these issues may also need separate interventions or can become part of the overall treatment process.

To learn more about anorexia athletica, consult this symptoms list.

Source: Kid’s Health, Montecatini

Image courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Eating Disorder Self Test. Take the EAT-26 self test to see if you might have eating disorder symptoms that might require professional evaluation. All answers are confidential.

Find a Treatment Facility Near You

Click on a state below to find eating disorder treatment options that could be right for you.

The information provided on EatingDisorders.com is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her health professional. This information is solely for informational and educational purposes and we encourage all visitors to see a licensed physician if they believe that they have an eating disorder. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of EatingDisorders.com nor the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading this site. Always speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Please see our Legal Statement for further information.

Copyright © 2008-2019 EatingDisorders.com.
Company Information

© 2019 EatingDisorders.com. All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of EatingDisorders.com's terms of service and privacy policy. The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.