Anorexia nervosa

Sometimes our relationship with food can be damaging due to it feeling like the only part of life we can control.

Food begins to represent everything negative so eating habits develop into extreme patterns such as excessive lowering of food intake, missing meals and altering what you eat. The loosing of weight makes you feel safe and is your response to low self-worth, extreme fear of rejection and distorted self-image. This is known as anorexia nervosa.

Usually in the teenage years and affects around:

  • 1 fifteen-year-old girl in every 150
  • 1 fifteen-year-old boy in every 1000
  •  It can also start in childhood or in later life

To arrange a free telephone consultation or to ask us questions about how rTMS therapy can help you, call us today on 01925 661721 or email us at

Biological symptoms

  • Poor sleep
  • Difficult to concentrate
  • Constant Rumination about food or calories
  • Feel depressed
  • Lack of interest
  • Become obsessive about food and eating

Physical symptoms

  • Restricted bowel movements
  • Feel tired, weak and cold as your body’s metabolism slows down
  • Reduction in growth/ height
  • Poor calcium leading to brittle bones
  • Irregular menstrual cycle
  • High rates of morbidity associated with  Anorexia Nervosa

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    rTMS treatment works by directly stimulating the brain using special magnetic equipment. The treatment has been approved for treating depression, but there are a number of further potential applications for rTMS treatment, including anorexia, where the habits are very ingrained. rTMS brain stimulation intervenes at a neural level, targeting specific areas of the brain to re-establish normal thought pathways. It’s interesting to note that when an area usually tied to mood was targeted with rTMS, the most prominent changes were seen in mood. This may not be surprising, and it is certainly something that can be seen with other treatments for AN, but the changes associated with rTMS exceeded those associated with the sham condition in many studies .

    Research Evidence


    2) A study that included 17 people who received active TMS and 17 people who were given sham or placebo-like TMS stimulation (a procedure not expected to provide any benefit). Measurements included changes in body mass index (BMI; kg/m2) over time, as well as measures of mood, eating disorder symptoms, and quality of life. Standard-of-care ED treatment was also provided.  A total of 20 treatment sessions were administered over a month, and the treatment target was the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. Importantly, this is the brain region typically targeted in the treatment of major depression.The results shows small effects for BMI and global Eating Disorder Examination scores, with slightly better improvement in the active than in the sham condition. Larger changes were seen in quality of life, and particularly in mood, with both favoring active treatment (Dalton and colleagues (BMJ Open. 2018; 8:E021531)

    To arrange a free telephone consultation or to ask us questions about how rTMS therapy can help you, call us today on 01925 661721 or email us at

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