Friday, January 28, 2011

hell hath frozen over

I am going to see a dietitian to day.

Ok I am not anti-dietitian. Lots of people with ED's will benefit from seeing a dietitian at various points in their recovery. But as someone who had been in treatment like a bazillion times, I have kind of a "been there, done that" attitiude about the whole meal plan-serving size-food pyramid thing. I know that fat is a a vital nutrient and your liver can only store 2 hours worth of glycogen and your brain needs carbs to function. I know this stuff (geez I sound cocky).

But I am actually not going to see the D for my eating disorder (or non-eating disorder, since technically I dont even have one anymore! Yay!). I am going to see if she can help with my anxiety and depression. I have been reading ALOT lately about the relationship between mental health and nutrition. Like for instance, did you know that you need amino acids, especially tryptophan, in order for your body to make seratonin? So in theory, even if you were on an SSRI antidepressant, you might still not have enough seratonin if you are not getting all your amino acids. SSRI's dont make seratonin, they just keep more of it floating around in your noggin.
And I have been reading all about different fats, too. I already knew that omega 3's are good for you, but there are also long chain and medium chain and all sorts of fats that do different things for you that I dont quite understand. And I was also reading about how important the balance of magnesium and calcium is in controlling anxiety.

I guess I'm feeling like I am gathering all this information but I dont quite know how to make sense of it, or how to pull it all together. Like, what does all of this mean for Lisa? I don't want a meal plan per se, because I like having flexability, but maybe some sort of loosely structured guidelines would be helpful.

I am seeing a dietitian in my therapist's office. She works with the eating disorder patients, but also with parents of kids with adhd and other mental health problems to help them get the right nutrition to help manage their symptoms, and she knows alot about the relationship between nutrition and mental health. She is only part time in the office, her FT job is professor of nutrition or dietetics or something at Ia State.
Oh, and my insurance wont pay for me to see her so I have to pay out of pocket. Boo. BUt I am to the point where I feel ok about spending the money if I think she could help me. I have been very frustrated with my psych med situation. Pristiq has been a fail, and that is the newest one that I know of. I am SO over the atypical antipsychotics, cant take the benzos because I cant stick to proper doses, have tried every ssri and snri on the market (and even a few that have been pulled from the market), older antidepressants, lithium, shock treatment, ect.
Don't get me wrong, I am going to stay on my current meds, but I think that casting my net a bit wider in my search for symptom relief might be in order.

I'm trying not to get too hopeful. My plan is to go in with no expectations and an open mind.

But seriously, if she whips out the plastic food I am outta there.


Tia said...

lol - i kinda like the plastic food - it's like EXPOSURE THERAPY or something haha. Way to go for taking that step and seeing her even though you have to pay for it out of pocket. that is dedication girl! thanks for your support and encouragement as I prepare for my IP stay in a mere 4 days... eeeeekkk!!!

Angela E. Gambrel Lackey said...

I thank that's a great idea! There is a connection between food and moods (besides the obvious one of starving and feeling anxious and depressed.) Have you also thought about your Vitamin D intake and light therapy? I've read that people who don't get enough Vit. D can struggle with depression. Light therapy is for those of us who live in the North and don't see the sunshine for months (or at least it feels that way.) There are a lot of alternative therapies out there that might help. I also learned a lot about acupuncture and acupressure when I wrote an article about it. It is good to keep an open mind. :)

I have the same problems with meds as you - either they don't work or they don't work and they give me horrible side effects. For instance, I think I am the only one who has developed hypomania from Depakote! (And ask me sometime about lithium poisoning - I almost died of it because of the stupid doctor I had at the time.)

Good luck and let us know how it works! (And dieticians love their plastic foods, lol!)

I Hate to Weight said...

sounds like a smart plan. Eating well can certainly do nothing but good.

hope you find some relief!

Maeve said...

I'm going to a dietitian this week too! Like you I *swore* I would never do this voluntarily. I actually have no idea how I was persuaded that this is a good idea. I'm still not sure why I'll listen to her when I don't listen to my own knowledge about nutrition, but here's to nothing!

Wait this comment was supposed to be supportive to you not bitching about my own situation!

I think this is a good decision and I hope she's helpful. Keep us posted :-)

Keely said...

Ha ha ha! I've never had a dietician whip out plastic food but it would definitely make me laugh if they did...

Let me know what they say. Maybe I can use the info vicariously and not have to pay... he he. :)

Kara said...

Hey Lisa! I've missed reading your blog - sorry I've been MIA for so long (I've posted on my blog to explain). The premise of this dietitian appointment sounds REALLY interesting to me. In the back of my head I think I've known for a while that different foods can help with mood and anxiety, but I haven't really given it any serious thought. I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear about what you found out at your appt.

LonelyCroc said...

Well, plastic food is probably better than the plastic bladder/uterus/urethra/vagina/colon with cross-section that I've seen with the gynaecologist or physiotherapist. Although a dietician I saw had a glass display case with actual food packaging in it. I thought just recently about how diet can play a part in depression etc. and thought about mentioning it to you but didn't want to say too much because of your ED. I'm glad you are ok with this and doing it from your own initiative. Also, I think that if the dietician you are seeing works in mental health she should have some relevant info for you, and I hope you find it helpful.

belinda said...

Hi Lisa,
i love this idea, let us know how you go. i too am really interested in nutrition and management of mental illness. and like you, i think i have been on every anti-depressant (currently on week one of a brand new to market, yet another new catagory drug). i didn't know about the amino acids, i think i'm going to look it up ;)