Finding Purging Disorder Treatment

Purging disorders are serious eating disorders characterized by purging to control weight or body shape by self-inducing vomiting or using laxative, diuretics, or enemas in an obsessive manner. Unlike anorexia, people suffering from purging disorders are not underweight and they do not participate in binge eating activities like those suffering from bulimia nervosa. They typically have normal weight or near normal weight and eat normal amounts of food, but, purging becomes a coping mechanism for significant other underlying mental health issues such as extreme stress, anxiety, or depression.


Like purging disorder, there are many eating disorders that do not meet the criteria for anorexia or bulimia nervosa and they are classified as eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS). According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “EDNOS is the most common diagnosis among people who seek treatment.” and it is unknown how many people may be suffering from these serious eating disorders.


The most common purging disorders are found among females who become preoccupied with a concern about food and weight to shift their focus from emotional distress. There may also be a combination of environmental or biological factors that contribute to the development of a purging disorder. Once the pattern of purging becomes entrenched in the person’s mind, they become obsessed with the need to do so more often, risking their physical and mental health stability.

Health Complications

Electrolyte imbalance, lack of vitamins and minerals, and dehydration can cause organ damage and cardiac complications, including sudden death. The person may develop hormonal imbalances, low blood pressure, slow heart rate, immune problems, bone growth problems, and significant mental health or substance abuse problems.


eating disorder treatment

Counseling is a big help in overcoming purging disorder.

Unfortunately, there is no specific treatment for purging disorder. Treatments for EDNOS are adjusted according to the needs of the patient. Cognitive-behavioral therapies and counseling sessions primarily focuses on self-monitoring of purging behaviors and changing distorted thinking patterns associated with purging disorders.

Therapy is combined with nutritional education and counseling to maximize health benefits and medications may be involved to alleviate symptoms of mental health disturbances such as anxiety or depression. Support services for the patient’s family and social environments should also be included as an integral part of treatment.

Finding Purging Disorder Treatment


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