Hormone Therapy Might Treat Eating Disorder in Transgender People


Hormone Therapy Might Treat Eating Disorder: Eating disorder is one of the things that transgender people has to take care of. Now, the researchers have found something unusual to treat the disorder of eating in transgender using hormone therapy. Hormone therapy may help reduce feelings of body dissatisfaction associated with eating disorders including anorexia and bulimia in transgenders, a study has found.

Eating disorders such as anorexia, bingeing, self- induced vomiting and the misuse of diet pills and laxatives have been linked to people’s deep-seated unhappiness with their body, fuelled by Western society’s obsession with an idealised image of beauty. For some transgender people, striving to achieve a masculine or feminine body shape can influence their eating behaviours.

Transgenders, who often identify themselves with a different gender than the one assigned to them at birth, live with a crisis within themselves and this dissatisfaction related to the body shape and weight makes them vulnerable to developing eating disorders. Hormone or cross-sex hormone treatment can improve body dissatisfaction, tone down levels of perfectionism and anxiety, and boost self-esteem, and in turn alleviate eating disorder symptoms in transgenders, the researchers said.

For the study, published in the journal European Eating Disorders Review, the team surveyed more than 560 transgenders, over the age of 17 years, 139 of which began the hormone treatment. The results showed that those not taking the hormone treatment were significantly more likely to report their need to be thin and be dissatisfied with their physique which further affected personal relationships and depression and anxiety.

“Young transgender people may restrict their food as a way to control their puberty, stop their period or reduce the development of breasts. Hormone treatment might be able to improve eating disorder symptoms in this population,” said Jon Arcelus, Professor at the University of Nottingham in the UK.

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