Best practices to address disordered eating and eating disorders? Build yourself A TEAM.
A treatment team generally includes a therapist, dietitian, psychiatrist, and primary care physician. Some individuals with eating disorders may be reluctant to see a dietitian 😃. You may ask, “I’m seeing a therapist. Why do I need a dietitian?”
I have (at least) 4 reasons seeing a dietitian is essential to your eating disorder recovery.
It is VITAL to have a team on your journey. No one professional is equipped to handle all aspects of an eating disorder. We need to address malnutrition, medical complications, mental health, and day-to-day struggles. A dietitian’s main role is to address malnutrition and encourage proper nutrition.
A dietitian provides education and knowledge regarding the physical issues of your eating disorder—specifically malnutrition. Many patients get used to their symptoms, which makes them harder to detect. Thanks to dietetic training and education, we use lab results, intake, and patient records to detect symptoms of malnutrition. Your dietitian works with your physician to address medical complications or concerns.
Unlike other professionals on your recovery team, a dietitian provides nutrition education by simplifying changes to your intake and how to make them. We set realistic goals that are challenging while supporting you. Although many mental health professionals are knowledgeable when it comes to nutrition, they need to use their time addressing mental health concerns, not dietary concerns. Likewise, dietitians spend their time addressing nutrition concerns, not mental health concerns.
A dietitian’s job is to communicate frequently with you. This lets you and your dietitian work through barriers to changing your intake. Open communication helps relieve anxiety that stems from making changes to your intake. Your dietitian understands these challenges and will be there to support you.
Support, accountability, confidence, and compassion are VITAL parts to recovery. It’s important your recovery team provides you with these key components.
Recovery is a choice. It’s important to choose a recovery team that best fits your needs. Cover all of your bases with recovery with the proper team of professionals.