Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are the deadliest, most under-insured, and under-diagnosed of any mental health disorder. There are various types of eating disorders including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorder. Eating disorders can lead to obesity, being underweight, and those with eating disorders can oftentimes be a “normal” healthy weight. Call 480-448-2916 to schedule a detailed evaluation.

Anorexia and Bulimia

Anorexia is more commonly diagnosed in women than men, with an estimated lifetime prevalence being three times greater in females than males. However, men are also even more under-diagnosed than women in regards to anorexia.

Bulimia is also more often diagnosed in women than men. In fact, women are diagnosed at a rate three times higher than their male counterparts.

Binge-eating disorder (BED), like all eating disorders, also disproportionately affects more women as men continue to be more under-diagnosed. This disorder is commonly associated with specific phobia (37% of individuals), social phobia (32% of individuals), Major Depressive Disorder (32% of individuals), PTSD (26% of individuals), and alcohol abuse or dependence (21% of individuals). Existing treatment options specifically for BED include nutritional rehabilitation, psychotherapy, and medications.

Eating disorders have a myriad of comorbidities, as do being obese or underweight. Traditionally, treatment for eating disorders include cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and residential treatment services. TMS offers an alternative or complement to these other forms of therapy.

Learn more about DSM-5 Anorexia Diagnostic Criteria (download), and DSM-5 Bulimia Diagnostic Criteria (download).

How TMS for Eating Disorders Works

Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge-eating disorders have been shown to improve with high frequency stimulation. The protocol will vary based on the type of eating disorder being addressed.

For example, clinical studies have shown that after 20 sessions of TMS Therapy for binge eating disorder, around half of patients saw a 50% reduction in the behaviors of the disorder. One-third of the patients saw an 80% reduction in the behavior. In some cases, the eating disorder behavior disappeared entirely.

Off-Label Considerations

TMS may be helpful as an off-label treatment. Many clinical studies have been performed that support such treatments, but TMS is not yet approved by the FDA to treat disorders beyond depression and OCD. For off-label treatments, the machines are set differently in order to trigger appropriate and beneficial responses in the brain. It is a safe and effective alternative to medications that does not use anesthesia or have long-term side effects. To learn if you’re a candidate for TMS treatment, call the TMS Institute to schedule a detailed evaluation.