Treatment for an eating disorder is best accomplished with a team approach, where the patient sees several doctors and specialists who are each focused on a different aspect of care. Those providers may include:
Psychologist: Provides therapy for individuals through counseling and teaching the patient techniques for controlling stress or mood problems. Also, eating disorders are often accompanied by feelings of anxiety, guilt and frustration, which must be addressed along with a skewed perception of body image.
Psychiatrist: A medical doctor who focuses on disorders of the mind and mood. This doctor may prescribe medications in addition to psychotherapy if eating problems are found to accompany obsessive-compulsive disorders or other associated mental conditions.
Nurse practitioner:A nurse who focuses on prevention, wellness and education of patients about health conditions and treatment choices.
Nutritionist: A professional who formulates diet plans for both healthy and compromised individuals. He or she also offers advice on vitamins and supplements to promote good health. Since those with eating disorders often have accompanying vitamin or protein deficiencies, diet plans are crucial.
Endocrinologist: A physician who deals with hormonal system disorders such as thyroid imbalances, diabetes and pituitary problems. A hormonal imbalance can cause dramatic weight loss or fluctuations and abnormal eating patterns.
Internist: A physician who focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of adult illness.
General practitioner: A doctor who specializes in the diagnosis, treatment and prevent of illness in all age categories.