Hospital-Based Medical Stabilization for Eating Disorders

ACUTE is different than other eating disorder treatment centers. It is a hospital-based, medical stabilization unit treating only patients who are experiencing severe, uncomfortable and life-threatening medical complications from an eating disorder or severe malnutrition. This important difference makes a difference when it comes to survival and recovery. 

Eating disorders are  regularly accompanied by severe, life-threatening medical complications. Depleted nutrition, starvation, purging and overexercising can wreak havoc on all the body’s organs and major systems. The result? Any or all of the following medical complications:  


Medical Complications of Severe Eating Disorders


Pseudo-Bartter’s edema

Liver function

Eye pain

Swallowing difficulties

Electrolyte abnormalities

Emergency room care


Constipation/laxative abuse

SMA syndrome

Cardiac dysfunction

Abdominal pain


Weight Restoration is Key to Recovery

Even though these complications can be deadly, there is good news: Nearly all these issues completely resolve with nutrition and weight restoration. ACUTE provides an expert balance of medical and behavioral health support for all patients, no matter how extreme their illness. Once medically stable, patients transition to appropriate care to continue recovery. Traditional behavioral eating disorder treatment programs help patients sustain the medical progress they achieved at ACUTE and deliver intensive psychotherapy, nutritional education and recovery skills training. Patients with severe malnutrition not related to an eating disorder may return to begin or continue treatment with their existing treatment teams. 

All care at ACUTE is overseen by Dr. Philip Mehler, the world’s leading expert in the medical treatment of eating disorders and severe malnutrition. Across nearly three decades, Dr. Mehler has published close to 500 scholarly articles on effective medical treatment of eating disorders and severe malnutrition. Expertise and experience matter when seeking medical care for an eating disorder. You deserve the unmatched medical understanding Dr. Mehler and the ACUTE team bring to each and every case 



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.

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