Helpful Tips for Families, Professionals and Suffers

I. Families and caregivers need support and education.

1. Often families are the first to identify the warning signs. (http://www.eatright.org)
2. Parents should be utilized in treatment for meal support for adolescent and young adult patients. Parents require emotional support and assistance for this difficult task that can be wrought with emotion and resistance.
3. Skilled Registered Dietitians (RDs) can provide education on eating disorders, information on menu/meal planning, calorie dense ideas, snack/supplement choices and recipes. (www.adajournal.org for role of the RD)
4. RDs can educate parents on the symptoms to expect as they move through the treatment process.

II. Professionals- pediatricians, social workers, therapists, and RDs need to collaborate, work as a team, and communicate on a timely basis.

1. Denial of the illness is very common. This requires the team to collaborate to provide consensus, state the facts and provide a consistent message to the patient.
2. Treatment plans including weight gain goals, physical activity guidelines and reduction of ED symptoms should be communicated. Cognitive recovery normalized eating and body composition changes take time to happen.
3. Full weight and nutritional rehabilitation with a continuum of care are associated with the best outcomes.

III. Patients - Those with EDs deserve evidence based treatment and care. Although the definition of recovery is disputed, a hope for recovery needs to be offered.

1. Do not allow months and years to take place without progress in outpatient treatment. A higher level of care may be required for lasting results.
2. Aggressive nutrition restoration for those who are malnourished and normalized eating for those who are purging is a priority. Binge eaters need to have foods that satisfy and they plan to eat on a regular schedule.
3. Value at least one year of support, therapy and normalized eating to prevent relapse. The best therapy is done after the brain has been nourished and is processing properly.

IV. All need to know how to find experts, make referrals and utilize resources.

1. Become an educated consumer whether you are a family member, professional or patient. Utilize reliable resources.

NUTRITION THERAPY, LLC copyright 2014 Melanie Jacob, RD www.nutritional-therapy.com 248-244-2213