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Medical Stabilization for Eating Disorders

Recurrent Hospital Admissions & Complex Discharges

Patients suffering from severe anorexia or bulimia nervosa often end up in a vicious cycle of recurrent emergency room visits, hospital admissions and ICU transfers for dehydration, severe electrolyte imbalance, critically low heart rate, multi-organ failure and the complications of severe malnutrition. Unfortunately, these patients often receive sub-optimal medical care in the best hospitals becuase physicians are not trained in refeeding medicine and severely underweight patients are at risk for a litany of life-threatening medical complications.Often times they are discharged home once basic medical stability is met, only to return to the emergency room with the same complications again and again. 

ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders is the only specialized medical stabilization center of it's kind, stopping the cycle of recurrent admissions and providing expert care to the most cricitally ill patients with eating disorders, offering:  

  • Expert medical care, covered under the medical insurance benefit
  • 24/7 hospital-to-hospital transfers and air ambulance as needed
  • A compassionate and highly-experienced multidisciplinary team led by Philip S. Mehler, MD, FACP, FAED, CEDS, world renowned expert in the medical treatment of eating disorders
  • Daily dietary, therapeutic and psychiatric support as needed
  • One-to-one CNA bedside to monitor eating disorder behaviors and provide patient support
  • Comprehensive discharge planning to an intpatient or residential treatment program for long-term recovery 

Typically, ACUTE patients meet the following criteria:

  • Male or female, ages 17 years and older
  • Weigh less than 70% of their Ideal Body Weight (IBW) OR have Body Mass Index (BMI) less than 15
  • Suffer from serious medical complications as a result of their eating disorder, such as an electrolyte imbalance, fluid problems, organ failure, cardiac irregularities or gastrointestinal complications
  • Need to detox from purging mechanism, such as vomiting, laxative or diuretic abuse, while avoiding the common complications frequently associated with the cessation, including excessive edema or severe gastrointestinal complications
  • Have previously experienced bouts of refeeding syndrome or excessive edema (swelling)
  • With private medical insurance

Medical Complications of Anorexia Nervosa:

  • Severe malnutrition and severe low weight
  • Low heart rate, low body temperature, low blood pressure,  irregular heartbeat
  • Slowed digestion causing pain, early fullness, nausea, bloating and constipation
  • Hepatitis of starvation, liver failure
  • Loss of period in females, low testosterone in males, infertility
  • Bone marrow suppression, anemia
  • Bone loss and osteoporosis
  • Thyroid abnormalities, low blood sugar
  • Brain atrophy, cognitive difficulty
  • Dry skin, hair loss, lanugo hair growth
  • Aspiration pneumonia, respiratory failure
  • High risk for refeeding syndrome, a potentially deadly complication of injudicious refeeding

Medical Complications of Bulimia Nervosa:

  • Dental erosion and infections, parotid gland swelling
  • Esophageal rupture
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), constipation
  • Low potassium, low sodium
  • Severe edema or fluid overload
  • Dehydration, fainting
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Seizures

Learn more about ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders

Dr. Philip S. Mehler with ACUTE Patient