Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a vastly complex mental illness marked by etiologic contributions of genetic, psychological, and metabolic origin. With a relapse rate upwards of 50% within the first year after treatment, as well as the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder, AN presents today’s clinicians with a significant and daunting challenge.
Scientific research is illuminating with increasing focus a stark reality – that being that the majority of current AN treatment models often fail to comprehensively address etiologic factors. Therapeutic paradigms that focus solely on psychological contributors do so to the exclusion of potentially significant biologic factors that studies have revealed to be robustly correlated with metabolism, satiety signaling, neurotransmission, and affective regulation, all of which can influence mood and behavior. Lacking etiologic considerations, many of today’s AN models are incomplete.
This 3-module course, presented by Dr. James Greenblatt, introduces a functional medicine model for AN treatment and recovery, in which the concept of AN as the result of a complex and biologically-mediated interplay between environmental, psychosocial, and metabolic factors is explored. Research supporting associations between metabolic abnormalities, dyslipidemia, micronutrient imbalances, and systemic inflammation will be objectively reviewed, illuminating critical treatment targets for today’s functional psychiatry practice and providing an empirically validated blueprint for personalized interventions. Upon completion, students will be able to substantiate the clinical utility of a functional medicine approach for AN, and safely incorporate evidence-based treatment strategies into existing therapeutic models to maximize patient outcomes.