Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Academy for Eating Disorders Introduces Guidelines for General Practitioners

Released: 5/17/2011 11:00 AM EDT
Source: Academy for Eating Disorders (AED)
Newswise — The majority of individuals with an eating disorder present for care in primary care or clinical specialty settings (e.g., in family practice, pediatrics, or gynecology clinics) in which health professionals may have received only limited or no formal training in assessment and management of these potentially lethal disorders.

The Academy for Eating Disorders—a global professional association committed to leadership in eating disorders research, education, treatment and prevention—is pleased to announce a new informational resource, “Eating Disorders: Critical Points for Early Recognition and Medical Risk Management in the Care of Individuals with Eating Disorders,” which is now freely accessible on their website ( This document--the first of its kind intended to provide guidance specific to managing eating disorders in primary-care practice--offers key guidelines, a list of signs and symptoms and strategies to help general practitioners make an early diagnosis, medically stabilize patients and support evidence-based care for patients with eating disorders.

The earlier an eating disorder is diagnosed and treated, the better a patient’s chance of recovery. The AED’s new resource aims to help health professionals in primary care and clinical specialty settings get a handle on eating disorders quickly. “Too many patients with eating disorders don’t get expert care until after a long period of illness,” explains Mark Warren, M.D., medical director of the Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders. “Better information in the hands of primary care physicians will be of huge value to those who suffer from eating disorders.”

Good information can potentially make the difference between getting well and becoming chronically ill. “Our hope is that professionals, patients, and families will access this material to ensure that care is prompt, safe and supported by evidence, and that each person with an eating disorder has the opportunity for a full recovery and a productive life,” says Ovidio Bermudez, M.D., medical director of adolescent services at Eating Recovery Center in Denver, Colorado.

Drs. Bermudez and Warren co-chair the Task Force on Medical Care Standards that wrote the new guidelines, which have been vetted by experts in the field of eating disorders from around the world. Download them at:

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