Sööma offers virtual nutrition counseling to adults and adolescents throughout the United States, with a majority of our clientele residing in Washington DC and Virginia. Our dietitians are trained in Family Based Treatment (FBT) and have assisted a number of families in helping their child recover from an eating disorder. Today, we’d like to present you with a case study about a 14 year old female who was diagnosed with Anorexia and who sought out nutrition services at Sööma.
Ingrid began exhibiting anorexia symptoms in 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic when all sports classes stopped, and she stopped doing physical activity. She started eating more “junk food“ and saw that she had gained a lot of weight, so she started restricting and having issues with her body image. Her restriction led her to lose all the weight she gained and more and kept restricting herself to be able to maintain her weight, which also caused her to lose her period. The restrictions led to binging behaviors, occurring a minimum of once per week. When she started physical activity again, she realized that her eating disorder affected her physical performance and always made her feel low in energy.
Jamie Lee, a dietitian at Sööma saw Ingrid for an initial assessment, suggesting that mom be present for the second half of the appointment. She recommended Family Based Treatment, a treatment occurring in three phases. Ingrid and her family were seen once a week for 1 hour sessions and all of the appointments were virtual.
Phase 1 consisted of the RD facilitating a discussion to empower the parents to refeed Ingrid. The sessions were extremely difficult, with Ingrid reporting that her eating disorder was extremely loud and leading to extreme distress. Jamie facilitated a discussion where the parents were encouraged to offer empathy and set firm boundaries with the Anorexia. Ingrid was able to weight restore within 2 months of beginning Family Based Treatment. The family then transitioned to Phase 2 of FBT where Ingrid began taking back control over her eating behaviors. The sessions were spaced out every two weeks and became more and more distanced as Ingrid appeared to be maintaining her natural body weight, engaging in her life and reporting less and less fusion with her anorexia.
Soon enough, Ingrid got past her anxiety around food with exposure therapy, going from not being able to be around food without binging, to being able to choose what she wanted to eat when her mom gave her choices, to finally being able to fully choose what she wanted to eat and make breakfast and lunch for herself without being afraid of binging. One benefit of Family Based Treatment is that the parents provide all foods that the child previously ate, allowing the eating disorder to be exposed to forbidden foods very early on and normalizing all foods within the child’s diet.
Ingrid resumed her menses 1 month after being weight restored and has had a normal menstrual cycle since then. To learn more about the impacts of amenorrhea, please read our blog post:
To conclude, Family Based Treatment is an extremely effective approach to help adolescents and young adults who have been diagnosed with eating disorders. This service and approach can be offered in person or virtually. To learn more about Family Based Treatment, please see our blog post:
It is very important to catch eating disorders early on and work with a specialized team because treatment works best when it is delivered early and prevents any psychological or health consequences. Eating disorders can be easily treated by seeking help from a trusted professional since the beginning. If you are suffering from an eating disorder, contact Sööma and seek help from therapists and dietitians who specialize in eating disorders. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call by contacting 202-738-4726. If you’d like to know if we can serve you depending on the state that you’re located in, please visit our page States we Serve.
Sööma offers virtual nutrition counselling to adults and adolescents throughout the United States, with a majority of our clientele residing in Washington DC and Virginia. Our dietitians are trained in Family Based Treatment (FBT) and have assisted a number of families in helping their child recover from an eating disorder.