General Practitioners (GPs) play a vital role in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders.
The trusted role of a GP means that they are often in the best position to recognise the potential physical, psychological and behavioural signs of an eating disorder in their patients. However, many people who present to their GP may not be forthcoming with the symptoms, thoughts or behaviours that they are experiencing, or may present with other apparently unrelated complaints. This requires GPs to always be alert to the possibility of an eating disorder.
GPs have a range of tools at their disposal to help with the diagnosis and treatment of eating disorders. This includes screening questionnaires, physical assessment and laboratory investigations. A non-judgmental and weight-neutral approach with patients will also help facilitate accurate diagnosis and appropriate care.