New studies show that while we may not know how to treat people suffering from body dysmorphic disorder, we do know how to make them thin.
While researchers have found that both medication and psychotherapy can help patients suffering from BDD, they are still uncertain about which one is the most effective treatment for BDD — or whether patients could be best served by a combination of the two. Jonathan Ipser, the lead researcher on the study of BDD treatments, says that "Both approaches seem to be acceptable to patients with this condition, as shown by low drop-out rates in trials. There was also some suggestion that psychotherapy could reduce the risk of future relapse, although we need more data on long term treatment effects to confirm this." Alone, drugs are enough to help patients, but when combined with therapy, they could be even more effective. Unfortunately, Ipser says research on effective treatment is still lacking, and until further research is conducted, it is impossible to say what works the best for most patients.
A separate study found that reducing stress levels can lead to weight loss, and that dieting may not be the best way to lose weight. Researchers found that a health plan involving diet and exercise is not as effective as one that utilizes yoga and meditation. They speculate that reducing stress stops cravings for fatty foods and sweets, leading people to chose healthier options. The study examined the overall health of three groups of women, one that took part in yoga, meditation, and positive visualization, one that focused on exercise and nutrition, and a third that received nutrition information in the mail. They found that the women in the first group were the only ones who maintained the psychological and medical symptom improvements.
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