Registered Dietitians play an integral component
of treatment for patients with anorexia nervosa, bulimia
nervosa, and other eating disorders (EDs) effecting
approximately 8 million Americans at any given time.
The crucial interjection of the dietitian during assessment
and treatment of the patient can identify issues early and used as a guideline during treatment.
What does the dietitian do for the patient with ED? Many areas of nutrition assessment can help the ED
patient working with a Registered Dietitian.
A food history can
be valuable to acknowledge deficiencies in a patient’s diet before the
lab work indicates dangerous inefficiencies.
emotions to food logs can allow the dietitian to individualize food plans to allow for normal eating to emerge.
The registered dietitian explores with the client the type and quantity
of food the client is eating and in turn educate the client on what foods are important based on supplyingan individual with the proper nutrients for a healthy body.
The Registered Dietitian educates the client
through discussion about the need of fat, protein and carbohydrate for the body and there effect on the clients health.
How effects of laxative and diuretic abuse can harm the body.
What is the client’s metabolic rate on restricting
food, bingeing, purging and dieting?
interviewing is used by the Dietitian to help work with the client to
enhance the possibility for behavioral change.
This helps to prevent the poor “readiness to change” aspect which has a direct correlation with body weight.
The dietitian works
with the client to establish what is real hunger and fullness signals, and
how to feel comfortable eating in social settings.
on lab reports the dietitian will suggest supplementrequirements if needed
during the normalization of eating patterns.
Working with the client
to clear up questions about food byteaching how
to read food labels to clear up thoughts
about“fear foods” and “binge foods”.
Integrating the client’s therapy
for discovery of individual issues that apply to the meal plans for recovery.
It has been shown that when a Dietitian is working with the interdisciplinary team of mental health specialists the weight of the ED patient increases and has a direct
effect on the outcomes.
“The dietitians role in the individual with an eating
disorder “is supported by the American Psychological Association, the Academy for Eating Disorders and American Academy of Pediatrics.
It is noted that an RD may be the first to recognize an individual’s ED symptoms
or be the first
health-care professional consulted by a patient for this condition.
Disorders and their treatment are a complex undertaking and it is important for clients as well
as the health care team for Eating Disorders to realize and utilize the invaluable contribution of the Registered Dietitian
in the treatment of this serious illness.