CAN A DIETITIAN HELP WITH EATING DISORDER TREATMENT?
Working with a registered dietitian can serve as an integral part of therapy for individuals suffering from disordered eating. Eating disorder treatment can involve many layers, and may mandate varying levels of care depending on severity the eating disorder. Individuals seeking eating disorder treatment should ALWAYS work concurrently with a mental health professional and physician to create an effective treatment planning addition to a nutrition professional. In treating an eating disorder, we are concurrently examining a complex mental illness.
Eating disorders should not be confused with fad diets. A dietitian can be a key player in eating disorder treatment by working with individuals to assess the biological value of food, develop strategies for behavior change surrounding meal time, and examine environmental stimuli’s influence on food. At J.Nutrition we will focus on eating disorder treatment in an outpatient setting. All nutrition consultations are available in person or online.
Eating Disorder Treatment Areas
an RD can work with you to normalize eating behaviors and identify triggers and social cues. As part of eating disorder treatment, Peace & Nutrition will assess nutritional status through physical assessment and lab values where available. Recovering from an eating disorder can take time and involve many ups and downs. A registered dietitian can assist with medical monitoring through continued nutritional counseling in treatment for eating disorders.
Examining holistic living variables as part of eating disorder treatment will help you and/or your loved one on the path to recovery.We will utilize awareness building, cognitive strategies, and adaptive strategies for behavior change.
DO I HAVE AN EATING DISORDER? QUESTIONS OFTEN ASKED BY PATIENTS AND LOVED ONES-
Following are some eating disorder facts. Keep in mind, these are only some of the more common eating disorders, and there are many forms of disordered eating that are not listed below. If you do not meet these criteria but still feel a strained relationship with food, you may still benefit from working with a dietitian.
It is important to note that eating disorders tend to exist on a continuum. All signs and symptoms need not be present for individuals to benefit from working with an eating disorders treatment team which includes a dietitian.
ANOREXIA NERVOSA- SIGNS IT MAY BE TIME TO CONSIDER EATING DISORDER TREATMENT.
Anorexia is a medical and mental health condition. Common symptoms may include:
Extreme weight loss
weight at or below 85% of BMI
Denial of hunger/weight loss
Withdraw from social activities or friends
Intense fear of gaining weight
Bradycardia (rapid heartbeat)
Amenorrhea (loss of mensus)
Fatigue, cold intolerance, dizziness, thinning hair
lanugo hair (soft, downy, white hair)
DIABULIMIA-SIGNS IT MAY BE TIME TO CONSIDER EATING DISORDER TREATMENT
Individuals with type I diabetes characterized as having disordered eating often fall into this category. Signs/symptoms may include:
decreasing or eliminating use of insulin
delaying insulin doses
Individuals suffering from diabulimia my exhibit otherwise normal eating behavior. Very serious complications coincide with hyperglycemia(high blood sugars) associated with diabulimia.
A dietitian can play a critical role in creating an eating disorder treatment plan for individuals with diabulimia. Nutrition education can create awareness for some of the psychological implications of both medical management and dietary intake. A dietitian can work with individuals to normalize behaviors surrounding food.
BINGE EATING DISORDER-SIGNS IT MAY BE TIME TO CONSIDER EATING DISORDER TREATMENT
Binge eating disorder often involves consumption of large quantities of foods at one time, and feelings of lack of control surrounding behavior. Following a binge, guilt/sadness may accompany.
Binge eating disorder is multi-factorial, involving complex psychological, social and physiological components. People who experience a “binge” often exhibit these signs:
eating large quantities of food at once
eating when you are not hungry
Eating in response to strong emotions such as stress or anger
hiding food when others are present
eating alone related to embarrassment
feeling disgusted with yourself after experiencing a binge
Feeling out of control with food. For example “I can’t stop,” or “I have to finish this plate.”
Binging 2x or more per week
BULIMIA-SIGNS IT MAY BE TIME TO CONSIDER EATING EATING DISORDER TREATMENT.
Characterized by binging (intake of excessive amounts of food in one sitting) and Purging (vomiting, laxative use or diuretics to get rid of calories consumed). Symptoms commonly include:
frequent binges (more than 1x week)
Lack of control over eating
discoloration of teeth
calluses on the back of hands
Fear of gaining weight or being fat
bradycardia (rapid heartbeat)
Individuals with bulimia can benefit from an eating disorder treatment plan involving education surrounding metabolism, normal nutritional intake, and maintenance of body weight. A registered dietitian can help individuals examine the biological value of food and social constructs surrounding food to foster healthy eating behaviors.
OTHER SPECIFIED FEEDING AND EATING DISORDERS
The above classifications are only a few of the categories that are associate with individuals attempting to maintain a positive relationship with food and body image. If you experience distorted body image, intense anxiety related to food, restrictive eating or any other symptoms that hinder your relationship with food you may benefit from speaking with a dietitian along with other eating disorder treatment measures.
Hudson JI, Hiripi E, Pope HG Jr, Kessler RC. The prevalence and correlates of eating disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Biol Psychiatry. 2007 Feb 1;61(3):348-58. Epub 2006 Jul 3.
Position of the American Dietetic Association: Nutrition Intervention in the Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, and Other Eating Disorders. (2006). Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 106(12), 2073–2082. https://doi-org.ezp.lib.cwu.edu/10.1016/j.jada.2006.09.007