Anorexia Nervosa

Reframing anorexia nervosa as a metabo-psychiatric disorder

Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism
By Philip S. Mehler, MD, FACP, FAED, CEDS

Research Asset


Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a serious and often fatal illness. Despite decades of research, investigators have failed to adequately advance our understanding of the biological aspects of AN that could inform the development of effective interventions. Genome-wide association studies are revealing the important role of metabolic factors in AN, and studies of the gastrointestinal tract are shedding light on disruptions in enteric microbial communities and anomalies in gut morphology. In this opinion piece, we review the state of the science through the lens of the clinical presentation of illness. We project how the integration of rigorous science in genomics and microbiology, in collaboration with experienced clinicians, has the potential to markedly enhance treatment outcome via precision interventions.

Written by

Philip S. Mehler, MD, FACP, FAED, CEDS

Dr. Philip S. Mehler began his career at Denver Health more than 35 years ago and was formerly its Chief of Internal Medicine and then Denver Health’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO) until he was promoted…

ACUTE Earns Prestigious Center of Excellence Designation from Anthem
In 2018, the ACUTE Center for Eating Disorders & Severe Malnutrition at Denver Health was honored by Anthem Health as a Center of Excellence for Medical Treatment of Severe and Extreme Eating Disorders. ACUTE is the first medical unit ever to achieve this designation in the field of eating disorders. It comes after a rigorous review process.

Center of Excellence Logo