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Anorexia nervosa in adults and adolescents: Nutritional rehabilitation (nutritional support)

Joanna Steinglass, MD
Section Editor
Joel Yager, MD
Deputy Editor
David Solomon, MD


Anorexia nervosa is characterized by dietary restriction that causes an abnormally low body weight, and can be life threatening and require hospitalization [1,2]. An essential first step in acute treatment is nutritional rehabilitation (refeeding malnourished patients) and restoring a healthy body weight. Normalization of weight can reverse nearly all of the general medical sequelae of the underweight state, with the exception of bone health [3-5]. In addition, nutritional rehabilitation can improve psychological sequelae of the underweight state, including depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairment.

This topic reviews nutritional rehabilitation for anorexia nervosa. An overview of treatment for anorexia nervosa, the refeeding syndrome, and the medical complications of anorexia nervosa are discussed separately:

(See "Eating disorders: Overview of prevention and treatment", section on 'Anorexia nervosa'.)

(See "Anorexia nervosa in adults and adolescents: The refeeding syndrome".)

(See "Anorexia nervosa in adults and adolescents: Medical complications and their management".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Sep 28, 2016.
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