Novel Treatment Reduces Anxiety in Teen Girls

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People who have anorexia tend to be young girls. Those in their early teens to mid-twenties are the most vulnerable to developing anorexia. Pre-teens may also feel pressured by society’s expectations into being thin.

One of the things that makes anorexia nervosa (a disorder in which people extremely limit their intake of food and refuse to eat enough to sustain themselves) so difficult to treat is the high amount of anxiety.

People with anorexia often feel panicked at the thought of becoming overweight. They have a distorted view of themselves, imagining they are “fat” even if they are average-sized or very thin (as most of them tend to be).

Madhusmita Misra, a highly qualified doctor who practices in Massachusetts, recently led a study on treating anorexia in young women. She found that estrogen replacement therapy, which changes hormone levels, can be used to reduce feelings of anxiety in girls who are being treated for anorexia nervosa.

According to Dr. Misra, girls who are undergoing treatment for anorexia may feel panic when they notice their weight gain (although the weight gain is good, because it helps them to get back to a healthy weight). This makes them more likely to regress, falling back into bad habits such as refusing food.

Estrogen replacement therapy was shown to help the girls being treated feel less anxious. It was also shown to make the girls see their own bodies and food in general in a less negative light.

If you want to know more about the study and how estrogen replacement therapy works, visit the link here:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130617110947.htm

Photo Credit: Alain Bachellier via Compfight cc

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