Why should you see a Dietitian in eating disorder recovery?
Eating disorders are complex mental health conditions that often require comprehensive and individualized treatment plans to achieve lasting recovery. An invaluable addition to your treatment is working with an Accredited Practising Dietitian that is eating disorder informed. Here are some reasons why you should see a dietitian as part of your eating disorder recovery journey:
Expertise in nutrition
Dietitians are nutrition experts, with extensive training and education in the science of food and its impact on the body. They can provide psychoeducation on the impact of starvation, risks of compensatory behaviours, body image, and all things in between to dispel myths and misconceptions about food, weight, body, diets, and health.
Support with meal planning
A dietitian can help you navigate the often-overwhelming task of food shopping, cooking, serving food, and social eating. They can work with you to develop personalised staged meal plans for renourishment and in Family Based Therapy (FBT), empowering caregivers to refeed and restore physical health with confidence.
Addressing disordered eating patterns and behaviours
Eating disorders often involve disordered eating patterns and distorted thoughts about food, weight, and body. A dietitian can help you challenge these intrusive thoughts and explore strategies for managing difficult situations and triggers related to food, eating and body.
In-session meal support
Eating with your Dietitian in session is a great way to help rebuild and model healthy eating behaviours in a safe and controlled way. It can help reduce distress around food and challenge fear foods, food rules, food rituals and other disordered behaviours.
Treatment plans for eating disorders are not a one-size-fits-all approach, and recovery is a highly individualized journey. A dietitian can work with you to create a meal plan that is matched to your stage of recovery and considering any other co-occurring challenges, commonly complex trauma, ASD or ADHD. They can also adapt the meal plan as needed as you progress through your recovery journey.
Addressing physical health concerns
Eating disorders can cause a wide range of physical health problems, including malnutrition, electrolyte imbalances, and digestive problems. A dietitian can help you achieve or maintain medical stability, reverse malnutrition, prevent refeeding syndrome, restore menstruation (if relevant) and resume growth and normal development if a child or adolescent.
Collaboration with other healthcare professionals
A dietitian can work closely with other members of your multidisciplinary healthcare team, including your GP, Psychiatrist, Paediatrician, Psychologist, Physiotherapist, Recovery Coach and other specialists, to ensure a comprehensive and coordinated approach to your treatment. They can also provide valuable insights and information that can inform and enhance your overall treatment plan.
Empowerment and autonomy
A dietitian can help you gain a deeper understanding of the role that nutrition plays in your physical and mental well-being. They can also help advocate for the care you deserve regardless of your diagnosis, body weight, shape, size, gender, age or the common perception of ‘not being sick or thin enough’
In conclusion, working with an Accredited Practising Dietitian is a crucial component of eating disorder recovery. A dietitian can provide the expertise, support, and individualized care that you need to restore your physical health, challenge disordered thoughts and behaviours, and develop a healthy relationship with food and your body. If you are struggling with an eating disorder, consider seeking the help of an experienced eating disorder-informed dietitian as part of your treatment team.
At Dietwise, we specialize in eating disorders and have a team of 4 skilled and highly experienced Dietitians that have been awarded the status of Credentialed Eating Disorder Clinicians by the Australian and New Zealand Association of Eating Disorders (ANZAED). We are ready to support you on your recovery journey no matter what diagnosis, age, gender or stage of recovery you are in.
You can even contact us through our website here.
Accredited Practising Dietitian & Accredited Nutritionist