7 Eating Disorders: Anorexia & Bulimia Nervosa Nursing Care Plans


Anorexia nervosa is an illness of starvation, brought on by severe disturbance of body image and a morbid fear of obesity.  People with anorexia nervosa attempt to maintain a weight that’s far below normal for their age and height. To prevent weight gain or to continue losing weight, people with anorexia nervosa may starve themselves or exercise excessively.

Bulimia nervosa is an eating disorder (binge-purge syndrome) characterized by extreme overeating followed by self-induced vomiting, trying to get rid of the extra calories in an unhealthy way. It may include abuse of laxatives and diuretics.

Although these disorders primarily affect women, approximately 5%–10% of those afflicted are men, and both disorders can be present in the same individual.

Nursing Care Plans

Nursing care planning for patients with eating disorders: anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa includes establishing adequate nutritional intake, correcting fluid and electrolyte imbalance, assist patient to develop a realistic body image and improving self-esteem. Other than the mentioned above, it is also an important nursing priority to provide support in the treatment program and coordinate program with order disciplines.


Included in this post are seven (7) nursing care plans and nursing diagnosis for patients with eating disorders: anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa:

  1. Imbalanced Nutrition: Less Than Body Requirements
  2. Risk for Deficient Fluid Volume
  3. Disturbed Thought Process
  4. Disturbed Body Image, Chronic Low Self-Esteem
  5. Impaired Parenting
  6. Risk for Impaired Skin Integrity
  7. Deficient Knowledge
  8. Other Possible Nursing Diagnoses

Disturbed Thought Process

Nursing Diagnosis

May be related to

  • Severe malnutrition/electrolyte imbalance
  • Psychological conflicts, e.g., sense of low self-worth, perceived lack of control

Possibly evidenced by

  • Impaired ability to make decisions, problem-solve
  • Non–reality-based verbalizations
  • Ideas of reference
  • Altered sleep patterns, e.g., may go to bed late (stay up to binge/purge) and get up early
  • Altered attention span/distractibility
  • Perceptual disturbances with failure to recognize hunger; fatigue, anxiety, and depression

Desired Outcomes

  • Client will verbalize understanding of causative factors and awareness of impairment.
  • Client will demonstrate behaviors to change/prevent malnutrition.
  • Client will display improved ability to make decisions, problem-solve.
Nursing InterventionsRationale
Be mindful of the patient’s distorted thinking ability.Allows caregiver to have more realistic expectations of the patient and provide appropriate information and support.
Listen to or avoid challenging irrational, illogical thinking. Present reality concisely and briefly.It is difficult to respond logically when thinking ability is physiologically impaired. The patient needs to hear reality, but challenging patient leads to distrust and frustration. Even though the patient may gain weight, she or he may continue to struggle with attitudes or behaviors typical of eating disorders, major depression, or alcohol dependence for a number of years.
Adhere strictly to the nutritional regimen.Improved nutrition is essential for improved brain functioning.
Review electrolyte and renal function tests.Imbalances negatively affect cerebral functioning and may require correction before therapeutic interventions can begin.

Recommended Resources

Recommended nursing diagnosis and nursing care plan books and resources.

Disclosure: Included below are affiliate links from Amazon at no additional cost from you. We may earn a small commission from your purchase. For more information, check out our privacy policy.


See also

Other recommended site resources for this nursing care plan:

Other nursing care plans related to endocrine system and metabolism disorders:

Matt Vera is a registered nurse with a bachelor of science in nursing since 2009 and is currently working as a full-time writer and editor for Nurseslabs. During his time as a student, he knows how frustrating it is to cram on difficult nursing topics. Finding help online is nearly impossible. His situation drove his passion for helping student nurses by creating content and lectures that are easy to digest. Knowing how valuable nurses are in delivering quality healthcare but limited in number, he wants to educate and inspire nursing students. As a nurse educator since 2010, his goal in Nurseslabs is to simplify the learning process, break down complicated topics, help motivate learners, and look for unique ways of assisting students in mastering core nursing concepts effectively.
  • I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in writing this website. I am hoping to view the same high-grade blog posts by you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my very own blog now ;)

  • >