Ideally, all members of the treatment should specialize in treating eating disorders
PRIMARY CARE PHYSICAN: A doctor that is knowledgeable about eating disorders should be your first step in the process of treatment and is a MUST for everyone with an eating disorder. The physician will assess the individual's physical condition. The physician will continue to be part of the treatment team and will monitor the person to make sure they remain medically stable. He/she will work in concert with the therapeutic team must decide if you are able to receive treatment on an outpatient basis or whether you must receive a higher level of care.
THERAPIST: The therapist focuses on eating disorder symptoms, as well as the underlying issues that contribute to and help to maintain the eating disorder. The therapist will also assist you in learning steps toward recovery including healthier coping skills and stress management techniques; so the individual will no longer need to rely on the eating disorder. Types of therapy include Individual, Group, Family, Art, Movement, etc.
NUTRITIONIST/DIETITIAN: At the beginning, the role of the nutritionist is to stabilize nutritional status and correct any deficits. The nutritionist will help develop a nutrition plan that meets the individual's needs, stabilizes body chemistry, and establishes healthier eating patterns. Their goal is not to change eating habits overnight, but to build a healthier relationship with food for their client.
PSYCHIATRIST: Psychopharmacological intervention is a very important part of treatment for a large portion of those battling eating disorders. The psychiatrist can prescribe medicine to help improve mood disturbances (i.e. depression and anxiety). Medications may also help curb obsessive and compulsive thoughts and rituals.
DENTIST: Physical changes in one's mouth is one of the first signs that an eating disorder is present. Studies show that up to 89% of individuals with bulimia show signs of tooth erosion, and 28% are first diagnosed by dental professionals. It is imperative to see a dentist to check for any erosion, bone loss, and/or damage done.