Seeing a dietitian..what to expect?

I have now Recieved an appointment too see a dietitian but I'm worried and unsure of what to expect and what happens on your first appointment? Admittantly my appointment isn't untill 4th march and it has been pushed through as urgent twice as I'm loosing weight each time my GP weighs me. I have anxiety really bad so the not knowing is really starting to get at me, so I'm just looking for a few answers and reassurance really.

HM:)

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  • Hello, hello!! Absolutely brilliant news, you are striving on regardless :) Ok, your question. Relax, deep breath, The dietician is only a person. You are meeting each other for one reason only - his or her knowledge on nutrition. Possibly your GP has already got you to keep a food diary of what you are eating and drinking and in her professional opinion decided you would benefit from a dietitians knowledge, thats all, ok?! The dietitian will give you their suggested meal plan, tailored for you - make sure you are very clear that you have an eating disorder (for your peace of mind) Horsemad1 please relax the future appointment is a great opportunity for you! Hey, you deserve this :) x

  • Great you've managed to get an appointment with a dietician. It took me year's of fighting to get that far! Also great you've the courage to admit your problem and seek help. I found the dietician really helpful. My first session just looked at my current diet and talked about likes/dislikes etc - I was asked to keep a food diary - and I was weighed. As I attended further appointments she guided me towards making changes to my current in-take - and slowly introduced things to help me towards a healthier diet - which increased my weight - but in amazingly small amounts - despite my feeling I was eating huge quantities of food. Anorexia can completely distort your view on portion sizes and what is healthy - having a dietician to guide helped as it took the responsibility of setting a diet away for a while to a professional - it was a medical "prescription" - which some how helped me cope. As I got used to it - and realised I wasn't a blimp over night - it became a "normal" way of eating and I gradually took the control back. So go for it - but you have to be honest for it to work.

  • My experience is slightly different. The dietician will want to weigh you and go through what you are eating and drinking day by day. He/she will talk about healthy eating and make suggestions as to other things you can try. I have never been given a meal plan, just adjustments and additions to my daily intake of food., The suggestions are tailored to your likes and dislikes. However it is likely that you will find the suggestions a challenge.

    It helps to go with an open mind. I have found the sessions I've had with a couple of deiticians I've seen were friendly and he/she is on your side - helping you to eat a healthy diet.

    You may be given nutrition information and ideas for adding in good quality food/drink into your daily routine.

    In the meantime, how about doing some research youself about good nutrition which leads to being healthy?

    Also you may need to work on those feelings which are driving you to lose weight. Anorexia Bulimia Care, B-eat, somethingfishy, Mind or a Christian organisation called Mind and Soul (they have excellent information which is useful for anyone not just those who go to church). It is worth looking up support for anxiety.

    I really hope this helps.

  • Hi Horsemad1,

    It is indeed good news about being referred to a dietitian. Anniephys has also described pretty much exactly what happens in dietetic sessions. The most important thing to know is that he/she will weigh you, as this is a fundamental part of the assessment and any on-going work you will do with them. It is really important that you give a realistic idea of your current food intake and other behaviours you may use (e.g. purging, activity level, and so on). A food diary kept for a few days prior to the appointment is a really useful tool for you and the dietitian to use together, seeing how your intake differs from healthy eating. Remember that, by the very nature of the illness, you will have a skewed view of what you eat, whereas the dietitian will not. Many people feel "I will be told to go away, as I obviously eat far too much", when the opposite is almost 100% likely to be true! And from what you say, I would say it is 110% true that they will feel you do not eat enough!

    One important thing to think about it whether the dietitian you will be seeing is a specialist in eating disorders. Most primary care dietitians only have limited knowledge of eating disorders, plus are only likely to be able to offer you a limited number of sessions. But, having said that, all dietitian will be able to help identify areas you are not meeting your nutritional requirements in, and offer practical tips to manage this.

    The other thing that is really important is to try and stop your weight loss before you see the dietitian in March. If you continue to lose weight you will probably end up so malnourished that it is extremely hard to turn that around with only nutritional advise. Whereas if you can stop the weight loss, even if you don't gain any, you will have a much better chance of the intervention being helpful.

    Good luck with it all!

  • Thanks everyone:), im so glad ive finally got an appointment but I'm worried that she won't help as I do eat 'normal' food and I am on my trying to increase how much I eat (calorie wise), although I panic and feel do guilty when I do eat more. Im not trying intentionally to loose weight now, as my family are getting angry and upset eat time I get weight.:(

    Seeing her doesn't sound so bad now, I don't know if she specialises in eating disorders, but I am hoping she has some knowledge in it.

    :) xx

  • Just a thought. The dietician will be pleased to hear that you are making some progress. She/he will be able to build on that starting step and be able to encourage you as you are on the recovery journey.

    The feelings you descibe are ones I could echo! I am hoping that you will be able to continue to conquer those feelings. There is nothing as important as getting to a healthy weight.

    all the best

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