Dietitian Nutritionist Services

It is important to see a registered dietitian nutritionist who is experienced in treating eating disorders, because treating eating disorders is a unique specialty. Not only are eating disorders complex conditions that require good collaboration with other treatment providers such as a therapist, psychiatrist, and/or medical doctor, there are also many nutritional and medical complications associated with eating disorders.

Below you can read more about our nutrition services.

Why See a Dietitian Nutritionist – What Can They Help Me With?

Will I Get Put on a Diet or Be Told to Lose Weight?

Eating Disorder Treatment with a Dietitian

The Nutritional & Medical Complications of Eating Disorders

Why See a Dietitian Nutritionist – What Can They Help Me With?

Dietitians can help with a number of things, including:

  • Eating disorders like anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) and disordered eating along the spectrum
  • Sports nutrition
  • Diabetes Type 1 and 2
  • High cholesterol, high blood pressure, and heart disease
  • Autoimmune disorders like celiac disease, Hashimoto’s, Grave’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and more
  • Gastrointestinal issues, including IBS, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis
  • Cancer
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Food allergies and sensitives
  • Other hormone and thyroid issues
  • Other acute or chronic illnesses

Will I Get Put on a Diet or Be Told to Lose Weight?

We believe in an approach to health called Health at Every Size (HAES, pronounced “hays”) that focuses on promoting health in weight-neutral ways. In other words, we don’t focus on losing weight and we never recommend diets for clients.

We know that can sound strange or even wrong to people who believe they need to lose weight to improve their health because our culture is so focused on weight in regards to health.

However, we’ve adopted HAES as our philosophy because research has shown that weight loss is not necessary for improving health and that for most people, weight loss is not sustainable long-term anyway. Research suggests that 80 – 95% of people will gain the weight back, plus some. It also shows that weight cycling (i.e., repeated cycles of losing and gaining weight) is linked to adverse health outcomes. Additionally, dieting often leads to disordered eating and even clinical eating disorders.

Instead of dieting or trying to lose weight, we focus on helping you learn to eat in a way that honors your unique food preferences and nutritional needs so you can actually ENJOY eating while feeling adequately nourished. This is based on an eating philosophy called intuitive eating that is based in recognizing and honoring your body’s cues related to food and movement. Intuitive eating rejects the idea that there are “good” and “bad” foods and suggests that all foods (except ones you’re allergic to of course!) can fit into your life.

Health is about more than just weight or what you eat. Some of our health isn’t even even in our control. But by focusing on health-promoting behaviors (like eating a variety of foods, getting enough sleep, managing stress, etc.) instead of focusing on weight loss, you can maximize your physical health without dieting.

Eating Disorder Treatment with a Dietitian

The goal of working with a dietitian for eating disorder treatment is to:

  • Asses for malnutrition
  • Help prevent or treat complicated medical conditions that accompany eating disorders
  • Establish healthier and normal eating behaviors
  • Help people develop more peaceful relationship with food.

Dietitians do this by providing important nutrition education to dispel myths and misunderstandings about nutrition that many eating disorder clients have (in large part, thanks to diet and wellness culture!). They can also implement structured meal plans when needed to make sure clients are getting enough calories as well as necessary vitamins and minerals.

As clients learn and move toward a more intuitive approach to meals and snacks, our dietitians teach them intuitive eating methods and help clients practice them.

The Nutritional and Medical Complications of Eating Disorders

Below are some issues common for people with eating disorders that a dietitian can help with through medical nutrition therapy:

  • Studies show that more than half of patients with anorexia nervosa fail to meet the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin D, calcium, folate, vitamin B12, zinc, magnesium, and copper
  • Deficiencies are also commonly found for several vitamins, including thiamine, niacin B2, B6, and vitamins C, E and K
  • Reduced bone mineral density put eating disorder patients at very high risk for osteoporosis
  • Gastroparesis (slowed digestion), which leads to: stomach pain and bloating; nausea and vomiting; blocked intestines from solid masses of undigested food; bacterial infections; feeling full after eating only small amounts of food
  • Digestive issues and constipation
  • Both malnutrition and purging can cause pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas (symptoms include pain, nausea, and vomiting)
  • Issues with insulin and blood sugar, including Type 2 diabetes
  • High cholesterol and high blood pressure
  • Heart problems

Dietitians on staff who offer nutritionist services:

Tess Patterson, MS, RD, LD
Daniel Schultz, MCN, RDN, LD

Contact us today about scheduling with one of our dietitian nutritionists.