A survey of herbal and alternative medication use among participants with eating disorder symptoms
Article first published online: 29 AUG 2006
Copyright © 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
International Journal of Eating Disorders
Volume 39, Issue 8, pages 741–746, December 2006
How to Cite
Steffen, K. J., Roerig, J. L., Mitchell, J. E. and Crosby, R. D. (2006), A survey of herbal and alternative medication use among participants with eating disorder symptoms. Int. J. Eat. Disord., 39: 741–746. doi: 10.1002/eat.20233
- Issue published online: 24 OCT 2006
- Article first published online: 29 AUG 2006
- Manuscript Accepted: 26 JUL 2005
- herbal medication;
- alternative medication;
- eating disorder symptoms
The purpose of this survey was to collect data on herbal use in participants with eating disorder symptoms.
A survey was administered to 100 participants who had either sought treatment at the Eating Disorder Institute (EDI) or had been enrolled in previous research as the result of eating disorder symptoms.
Of the 100 participants, 64% used an herbal product for weight loss. The mean monthly expenditure on herbs over the past year was $33.88 ± $41.10, with a range of $2–$200. Dexatrim (Chattem, Chattanooga, TN; N = 27) and St. John's Wort (N = 19) had the highest reported use. Magazines were the most common source of product information (38.3%), with health care professionals being reported less frequently as the source of information. Knowledge of ephedra-related adverse effects was variable, and depended on a previous history of use. The majority (62.3%) of herb users reported an adverse effect.
Herbal use is frequent among those with eating disorder symptoms, often resulting in substantial financial cost. Health professionals are rarely the source of herbal information. Therefore, there is ample room for educational interventions, which may result in the safer use of herbal products. © 2006 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2006; 39:741–746