Eating disorders are serious psychological problems with an estimated suicide mortality rate for anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa that is 23 times greater than that of the general population. Eating disorders affect people from all walks of life, all ages, all genders, and all backgrounds. They are complex bio-psycho-social problems that severely impact health and wellbeing; more so when the brain and body are deprived of adequate and consistent amounts of quality nutrition. The psychological consequences of eating disorders include depression, anxiety, insomnia, irritability, and impaired executive reasoning. Increased thoughts about food, exercise, and body shape may be a result of the eating disorder, or a sign of an emerging problem. Medical complications may arise including missed menstrual periods for females, decreased testosterone and other hormones, low bone mineral density, nutrient deficiencies, impaired physical performance, and heart problems. For both medical and psychological recovery, normalizing eating patterns and restoring or stabilizing body weight is essential to treatment. Weight restoration alone is a key indicator of long term recovery in Anorexia Nervosa.
How a Dietitian Can Help
Dietitians with training and experience in this specialty will understand the complexities, medical complications, and psychological needs associated with eating disorders. They are also skilled in working alongside therapists and clinicians as vital team members in patient care. In the beginning, your dietitian may support you with structure and meal planning if that is needed, and will help you work towards nourishing yourself in a way that helps you live the life you want. This is accomplished by helping individuals re-build their belief systems based on factual information and what they discover in therapy. For more information, please visit the Academy of Eating Disorders.
I have been privileged to work side by side with clients from many different backgrounds, cultures, faith traditions, and genders recovering from eating disorders and body image issues of every type. In addition to the full spectrum of eating disorders and exercise balance, I also work with clients considering bariatric surgery, those in addiction recovery or seeking care for mental health, young people and families transitioning from Family Based Therapy to autonomous eating, clients who have experienced lapses in their eating disorder, and anyone in need of early intervention for themselves or a loved one. I routinely collaborate with psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and psychologists using an evidenced based approach to nutritional psychiatry.
Plant Based Diets, GI problems, other special diets
A hallmark of recovery is someone's ability to include all foods and food groups into their diet within the context of overall balance and variety. This includes treats, desserts, meals out, foods served during religious and cultural events, and convenience items. If your level of worry about the US food system, food safety or the environment is contributing to your eating disorder or making it difficult for you to heal, I will discuss these issues with you and help you develop the skills necessary to separate eating disorder thoughts and behaviors from those centered on self-care and recovery. Similarly, if you suffer from any functional gut disorder (IBS, fructose malabsorption, etc.) that makes eating and digestion uncomfortable or painful, I will guide you through the therapeutic process of identifying likely sources of discomfort (using the FODMAPS protocol) while supporting your recovery simultaneously. If you follow any other prescriptive or special diet, please feel free to inquire about how I may be able to help.
"Victoria taught me so much. She helped me change the way I think about food and my body completely." "Working with Victoria made staying in my sport possible." "I think way less about food and have greater self-acceptance and appreciation for what my body is capable of." "I'm running again and I feel so much better!"