Nutrition intervention, including 1:1 nutritional sessions with our registered dietician/nutritionist, is an essential component of treatment for clients that come to Strong Hope with primary or secondary eating disorders. The complexities of eating disorders, such as epidemiologic factors, require a collaborative approach by an interdisciplinary team of psychotherapists, psychologists, nutritionists, chefs, fitness instructors and medical specialists. Strong Hopes nutritionist is an integral member of treatment team and is uniquely qualified to provide medical nutrition interventions and meal plans for the normalisation of eating patterns and nutritional status.
While eating disorder symptoms and behaviours can vary from client to client and between different eating disorders, an unhealthy focus on food and/or nutrition is often present. Individuals with eating disorders often have extensive and detailed knowledge about nutrition, but as a result of their eating disorder they may be applying it in ways that inhibit rather than promote their health. In other cases, we have seen clients rigidly adhering to nutritional information that is inaccurate, misleading and sometimes dangerous.
Clients who suffer with an eating disorder or demonstrate disordered eating often lose touch with their body’s natural cues and signals regarding hunger and fullness. Often their metabolism, ability to process and regulate food, and enjoyment of food is also compromised. As part of the nutritionist’s involvement, meal plans are used to help provide support and structure as clients work towards repairing their relationship with food and their bodies.
Addiction and mood disorder issues can also impact on a client’s health and nutrition. Substances vary in their effects, but many of them disrupt physiological functioning and impair the body’s ability to receive proper nourishment. Clients with substance misuse addictions often have depleted levels of vitamins, minerals, and essential amino acids and fats, which can lead to a number of mental and physical problems.
Many clients with substance misuse addictions have suppressed appetite or forget to eat while under the influence and often prioritise their substance use over eating properly. As a result, their diets can be poor and lack sustenance and can lead to malnourishment. Abusing drugs and alcohol can also damage the liver, stomach lining, pancreas and intestines as well as gastrointestinal issues, irritable bowel syndrome and acid reflux.
Nutrition can play a key role in the onset as well as severity and duration of depression. Many of the easily noticeable food patterns that precede depression are the same as those that occur during depression. These may include poor appetite, skipping meals and a dominant desire for sweet foods.
As a consequence of this Strong Hopes nutritionist is involved in all of our clients’ treatment to varying degrees as a healthy diet is a key component in cognitive function and can help lay the groundwork for making the most of the psychotherapy and long-term recovery.
For those clients undertaking our genetic/DNA profiling they will get a bespoke neutrogenetic meal plan overseen by our nutritionist who will see clients on a 1:1 basis. Genetic variations affect how our body responds to certain nutrients and food ingredients, and which substances can be converted and used correctly. The neutrogenetic programme analyses an individual’s genes for prevention of metabolic problems and to promote healthy eating and nutrition. By analysing more than 50 genetic variations, we obtain valuable information about our clients’ innate food strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, another part of the analysis gives insight into 11 metabolic problems considered by the nutritionist to support clients in taking responsibility for preventing and improving their health and wellbeing.
The nutritionist will then work in tandem with our chef and GP to ensure that there is a coordinated approach to providing meals that are both nutritious and appealing.
We treat all enquiries with the utmost confidentiality. If you would like to speak in strictest confidence to a member of our team, please call or e-mail us at the contact details below.