Viewing blog posts categorized under "Recovery"

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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Quiet hero, mother, activist dear Charlotte

posted by Julie O'Toole on January 16, 2014 at 2:22am

This is the second time I have blogged about a mother named Charlotte and her brave, sassy and in-your-face crusade to find great care and justice for children with eating disorders.

Only this time it is not only to sing her praise but to mourn her death.

On the website she founded to promote Charlotte’s helix. her bio reads: “Charlotte Bevan is the youngest of three, the mother of two and the wife of a farmer, but definitely not a farmer's wife.  She left school with barely 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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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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Selective Eating revisited

posted by Julie O'Toole on November 7, 2013 at 1:30am

I recently blogged on one of the childhood eating disorders (incidentally not yet recognized as such in the DSM system) called selective eating.  I got a deluge of parental comment and interest, which I would like to try and address here.

What exactly is selective eating?

Selective eating (SE) is a condition present since earliest childhood where a child eats only a very narrow range of foods and refuses all others and yet where his or her linear growth is normal. Such children are…

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The Very Young Child With Anorexia

posted by Julie O'Toole on October 31, 2013 at 12:18am

Many people are shocked when they learn that we have patients with anorexia nervosa as young as six or seven, and, although it is rare, it certainly does occur.

Why are they shocked?  Because most of these folks, despite hearing me (and Dr. Tom Insel, among others) say “it’s a brain disorder”, still deeply believe that “the media” and our obsession with thinness causes anorexia.  They are horrified that someone so young could be “ruined by society”.  And blaming the parents for this…

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The Kartini Meal Plan De-Mystified

posted by Julie O'Toole on October 17, 2013 at 12:17am

There is a common misconception out there that Kartini patients are fed on a strict meal plan for the rest of their lives.  But what exactly is our meal plan? And while we talking about it, what's our approach to meals and food in general?

Well…

  1. there’s the “parents in charge” (of all meals) thing

  2. there’s the recording on the food journal thing

  3. there’s the family dinners thing/ home cooking thing

  4. there’s the whole-milk-no-low-fat thing

  5. there’s the…

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The importance of cooking at home

posted by Julie O'Toole on September 4, 2013 at 8:23pm

For those of you who remain unconvinced that the value of home cooking goes beyond the cost savings, please be aware of the effects that processed food packaging can have on all of us, especially on infants and children.

An increasing body of research has suggested that obesity may be associated with (triggered by? exacerbated by? caused by?) so-called “obesogens” in our environment, such as known endocrine disruptor Bisphenol-A (aka BPA).

Take the example of green beans.  Say you…

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Health Is A State, Not A Weight

posted by Julie O'Toole on August 7, 2013 at 11:40pm

This week’s blog covers a topic - menstruation in female patients - which I have written about before, but, given its critical importance to our female patients and their parents, I’d like to bring it up again.

First let me distinguish between menarche (first period) and the resumption of menses (monthly periods). Menses is an important marker of recovery in girls who menstruated prior to the onset of their eating disorder, and something I’ve written about before.  Today I would like…

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