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Alternative Treatment For Eating Disorders


Alternative medicine treatments have both negative and positive consequences when used in combination with treatment for eating disorders. It’s important to note that no alternative or complementary therapy has been found to work conclusively in treating eating disorders.

Positive Effects

Some research has suggested that alternative medicine, while not able to treat eating disorders entirely, can provide benefits to those recovering - most importantly, by reducing anxiety. Treatments considered beneficial include drinking chamomile tea, acupuncture, massage, yoga and biofeedback.

Negative Effects

Unfortunately, there are a number of dietary supplements and herbal products made to suppress appetite or help in weight loss. Many of these products are abused by those with eating disorders, though the products themselves are designed to promote a healthful life. These products have serious side effects of their own including irregular heartbeats, tremors, hallucinations, insomnia, nausea, dizziness and nervousness.

Used with laxatives or diuretics, these products can have other potentially harmful interactions.


Proper self-care can improve mood and generally contribute to a healthier recovery. It’s important to care for yourself properly during and after treatment.

Sticking to your treatment plan is one way to keep on track - make sure you don’t skip meals or stray from meal plans. Talking to a doctor and keeping in regular communication can also be helpful. Additionally, socializing or developing a support system can aid in reducing triggers. In fact, it’s important that triggers be acknowledged in order to resist them. Reading self-help books can also be helpful during this difficult time of recovery.

Source: Mayo Clinic