Helpline 0808 801 0677 Youthline 0808 801 0711

Treatment Guide

There is no one way to treat an eating disorder. The best treatment pathway for you will take into account lots of different factors, such as the type of eating disorder, the level of physical and psychological risk, the support network you already have in place, and any other mental or physical health conditions you may have.

On these pages, we’ll talk about the treatment for each type of eating disorder, and you can use our Helpfinder database to find out what’s available in your area. We have also included definitions of some of the terms you might come across as you’re going through treatment.

It is very important to access treatment as early as possible, as earlier treatment means a greater chance of fully recovering from your eating disorder. Your treatment is likely to begin with a visit to your GP, who’ll be responsible for your initial diagnosis and should help to coordinate your care, at least in the early stages of treatment. If they determine that you have an eating disorder, they should refer you to an eating disorders specialist.

Before you visit the GP, you might find it helpful to write down questions you want to ask, the symptoms you’ve experienced, or any behaviour that you’re worried about, so that you can remind yourself during the appointment. A family member or friend could also do this for you, or you may want to bring them along with you so that they can support you.

Remember that you can ask to see a second GP if you don’t get a good outcome from your appointment with your first one. If the GP is not the best route for you, there are other ways to access treatment. Our Helpfinder pages list private clinics as well as counsellors and therapists.

As part of the decision about what treatment is best for you, your needs and level of risk should be assessed. These should be monitored throughout your treatment so that your treatment plan can change if necessary. These may include some physical monitoring, such as blood tests.

Issue date: January 2017

Review date: January 2020

Version 1.0
Sources used to create this information are available by contacting Beat on 0300 123 3355 or emailing info@b-eat.co.uk. We welcome your feedback on our information resources and whether you found them helpful. Email info@b-eat.co.uk with your comments.