When it comes to eating disorders, there is an ever-widening gap between research and practice. Despite a fast-growing body of scientific evidence implicating specific biologic abnormalities as etiologic factors, mainstream treatments continue to adhere to psychodynamic models that prioritize the treatment of psychologic issues and rely heavily on pharmaceutical interventions. The inadequacy of these models, in tandem with epidemiologic data indicating that rates of eating disorders are on the rise, underscores a dire need for a field-wide paradigm shift.
Over the course of four modules, this course presents clinicians with an opportunity to immerse themselves in an integrative, empirically substantiated, functional medicine model for the treatment of anorexia nervosa, binge-eating disorder, and food addiction. An objective review of standard treatment methods will segue into an in-depth exploration of the neural, genetic, and metabolic correlates of disordered eating, and the biologic pathways through which intrinsic and environmental factors can precipitate appetite dysregulation. Research and experience-informed treatment recommendations will be presented, with an emphasis on objective testing and biochemical individuality. The implications of this integrative model, which does not discount psychodynamic factors but rather establishes the rectification of biologic imbalances as a top priority, are significant, and open the doors to the realization of effective, lasting solutions for eating disorders.