Treatment of an eating disorder generally includes a team approach comprised of medical providers, mental health providers and dietitians, all with experience in eating disorders.
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointments, and what you might expect from your doctor and other health providers.
What you can do
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking.
- Ask a family member or friend to come with you, if possible. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all of the information provided to you during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot. A family member may also be able to give your doctor a fuller picture of your home life.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor so that you'll remember to cover everything you wanted to.
Some potential questions you might want to ask your doctor or other health care provider include:
- What kinds of tests do I need? Do these tests require any special preparation?
- Is this condition temporary or long lasting?
- What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
- Do I need to gain weight as part of my treatment?
- Will my periods begin again?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting, if any?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask, don't hesitate to ask additional questions that may occur to you during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor or other health care provider is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
Feb. 08, 2012
- How long have you been worried about your weight?
- Do you exercise? How often do you exercise and for how long?
- Have you found any other ways to lose weight?
- Are you having any physical symptoms?
- Have you ever vomited because you were uncomfortably full?
- Have others expressed concern that you're too thin?
- Do you think about food often?
- Do you ever eat in secret?
- Have any of your family members ever had symptoms of an eating disorder or have any been diagnosed with an eating disorder?
- Forman SF. Eating disorders: Epidemiology, pathogenesis and clinical features. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 22, 2011.
- Eating disorders. National Mental Health Information Center. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/eating-disorders/complete-index.shtml. Accessed Nov. 22, 2011.
- Eating disorders. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM IV-TR. 4th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2000. http://psychiatryonline.com. Accessed Nov. 22, 2011.
- Ranzenhofer LM, et al. Eating disorders. In: South-Paul JE, et al., eds. Current Diagnosis & Treatment in Family Medicine. 3rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=8150394. Accessed Oct. 20, 2011.
- Grave RD. Eating disorders: Progress and challenges. European Journal of Internal Medicine. 2011;22:153.
- Steffen KJ, et al. A prevalence study and description of Alli use by patients with eating disorders. International Journal of Eating Disorders. 2010; 43:472.
- Steffen KJ, et al. A survey of herbal and alternative medication use among participants with eating disorder symptoms. International Journal of Eating Disorders. 2006:39;741.
- Breuner CC. Complementary, holistic, and integrative medicine: Eating disorders. Pediatrics in Review. 2010;31:e75.