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Viewing blog posts categorized under "Anorexia Nervosa"

But For The Grace of God

posted by Julie O'Toole on March 12, 2014 at 11:32pm

When I was a girl, my brothers and sister and I had the usual kid-like responses to the world around us.  One of them was innocent astonishment at those less fortunate than we: the man at the bus stop without a leg, the “retarded” kid on the playground, homeless people.  If we were unwise enough to comment on them negatively in our father’s presence we felt the full force of his disapproval, the full weight of his teaching.  “When you see someone less fortunate than you, you are…

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What We Say Matters

posted by Julie O'Toole on March 6, 2014 at 1:18am

I just returned from Tampa, Florida and the 2014 IAEDP conference of professionals involved in the treatment of eating disorders.  I was there to talk about the very young child with anorexia nervosa, and I was slated to talk for three hours. And talk I did. For three hours! That’s an unusually long presentation time, but I was surprised that the audience and I found plenty to say on the subject.  

At the beginning of my presentation I asked everyone to briefly state who they were…

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Weight Restoration 2.0

posted by Julie O'Toole on February 20, 2014 at 2:59am

At Kartini Clinic we have been embarking on something we call “weight restoration 2.0”.  In other words we are trying to move beyond mere weight restoration (as critical as that is) towards a deeper assessment of each patient’s full physical recovery.  We have noticed, over the years of faithfully weight restoring each and every patient, that people respond differently to recovery from starvation, depending no doubt on their genetics and on the duration of their illness. Just one…

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Why the basic sciences may save us all

posted by Julie O'Toole on February 13, 2014 at 12:10am

In previous blogs I have spoken to the importance of bench science -- the kind done in the lab to decode the “basic” science that underlies human physiology -- to us as clinicians and to us as patients. And the branch of the sciences which explores the connection between bench science or lab science and clinical medicine, including mental health, is called translational medicine.

This last night I couldn’t sleep. This happens to me when I have any viral illness and I have learned to…

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How to diagnose the child who “won’t eat”

posted by Julie O'Toole on January 29, 2014 at 10:57pm

This blog will be short as I am preparing to attend and speak at the F.E.A.S.T. conference in Texas this week.  Very exciting!

Recently I was asked to consult on a child who “won’t eat” and who hasn’t eaten for several weeks. Her situation is complicated by English not being the family’s first language and by her entrance into the medical “system” being through the emergency room, but it did remind me how complicated making the correct diagnosis can be in a child who won’t eat. This…

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Vegetables and Kartini’s Meal Plan

posted by Julie O'Toole on January 22, 2014 at 11:33pm

Despite the fact that we occasionally receive criticism of our Meal Plan for its supposed “rigidity”, what has struck me after years of reading people’s food journals is the degree to which people self-limit their food choices.  This is especially true of vegetables.  I have also noticed that our families’ food journals fall roughly into two categories: those who seem to relish a more Mediterranean style of eating (the original intent of the Meal Plan, by the way) and those who eat a…

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Appeasing The Monster

posted by Julie O'Toole on December 18, 2013 at 11:55pm

Some blog topics draw in a continuous trickle of commentary long after they've been published.  One such blog is entitled “Determining Ideal Body Weight”. And little wonder.

The other day I answered a comment by a young reader named Charlotte. It started me thinking how urgent her question might be for others who may not have read the original blog (or at least not for some time).  Charlotte wrote:

"I am an 18 year old female with a history of initially EDNOS and then AN B/P…

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Anorexia and Siblings

posted by Julie O'Toole on December 12, 2013 at 5:58am

From one of our favorite international (Australian) treatment teams comes an article published online November 2013 in the journal Advances in Eating Disorders: Theory Research and Practice discussing “Anorexia nervosa in the family: a sibling’s perspective”. (Simon Clarke, Michael Kohn, Sloane Madden et al.).

Every team treating pediatric eating disorders struggles with the effects of the illness on unaffected siblings. Siblings suffer right along with everyone else in the family…

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Eating for Life

posted by Julie O'Toole on November 27, 2013 at 11:59pm

A recent book by UCSF professor and pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Robert Lustig -- horridly titled Fat Chance -- has turned my mind to past discussions of our program’s dietary recommendations, aka the Kartini Meal Plan.

In its primary and original form the Kartini Meal Plan was developed to refeed children with restrictive eating disorders and weight loss following principles I have spoken about before: real food, cooked at home, eaten together in a spirit of joy.  Kartini’s Meal…

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The Locked Psychiatric Unit

posted by Julie O'Toole on November 20, 2013 at 9:46pm

No doubt I will make myself unpopular (again) with some of our psychiatric colleagues by speaking out in this way about the use of locked psychiatric units in the treatment of children with eating disorders, but we have had several recent transfers to Kartini Clinic instigated by parents who disagreed with their treatment team’s insistence that their child be admitted to their regional locked psychiatric unit.  The parents visited the unit and were scared by what they saw.

There is…

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