F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

Welcome to F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum. This is a free service provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.

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Hello, my DS 18 admitted to having an ED. He is very under weight and has had fainting spells. We have known for a few years but have been unsuccessful in getting him help. His doctor referred us to a nutritionist and he went once - not very helpful. We are trying to find therapists esp clinics that take boys. Walden is the only one I can find but I don’t know how reputable it is. Thank you! 
Hello, and welcome.  Is your son living with you?  If so, there is a lot you can do to increase the caloric density of his meals.  Fats are especially important is the brain is made up largely of fats and physically shrinks during times of restriction.

I was surprised to learn that you can add canola oil (rapeseed in UK) to many foods and beverages, and that it disappears without changing flavor or texture if you stir it in briskly and don't go too overboard (but it is amazing how much you can add).  You can add it to all kinds of soups, yogurt, rice, smoothies, etc.

Please feel free to ask all the questions you like. xx

"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
Welcome to the forum 
I am sorry you needed to find us though.
Have you been referred to an ED specialist? And has he been medically assessed properly? I am quite concerned about the fainting/ Has he had any labs done? 
He will need his blood pressure and heart rate checked both lying than standing.
What is he eating now? We can help with suggestions as Torie mentioned about to increase the calories. The faster he can get more nutrition in the better for him overall.
I will be hard for you and him. 
Please ask all the questions you have. We all do wish to help.
When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
Thank you for your suggestions. B/c he is 18, technically an adult, he actually needs to make his own referrals through the doctor. I contacted an ED therapist today. Waiting to hear back. He does it, it’s just vey inconsistent and he will faint if his blood sugar is too low. He had a big episode at college that I just found out about this week which is why I am seeking help. Thanks again
Welcome to the forum. Your son does sound very unwell. If he is fainting it could be very serious, most people with ED don't get low blood sugar as the body regulates this very carefully .If he does then he is critically unwell and needs hospitalisation. The commonest reason for fainting in eating disorders is poor heart function due to an inability to compensate for certain activities. Has he been assessed by anyone for medical instability? If not then urgent assessment is required. A therapist is not the first line of treatment. This link is to the AED guidelines for medical assessment : https://higherlogicdownload.s3.amazonaws.com/AEDWEB/27a3b69a-8aae-45b2-a04c-2a078d02145d/UploadedImages/AED_Medical_Care_Guidelines_English_04_03_18_a.pdf
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Initially weight restored 2012. Relapse and continuously edging towards recovery. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.

So sorry that you are finding yourself in this situation.
Not sure how far you are from Boston but there are several excellent hospitals there which might be able to recommend how you can proceed and what might be best for your son. Children's Hospital in Boston and Mass General both have well respected eating disorder departments. Children's will work with patients up to 22 years old and will support FBT at home. They also have an ED inpatient unit for anyone who is medically compromised. Perhaps you could contact them and try to figure out how best to proceed. These are trying times but it would be best for your son to see/or consult with an MD who is knowledgable about eating disorders. If your son is fainting it would be best for him to be evaluated soon. The medical part needs to be addressed, and information about how your family can start refeeding. I have no personal experience with McLean Hospital but have heard anecdotally that they can be helpful, as well as the Monte Nido program near Boston. I have heard some negative things about the Cambridge eating disorders program. I've heard mixed reviews about Walden and had a negative personal experience with the Renfrew IOP in Boston.

I could recommend Dr. Rebecca O'Brien, an MD trained in Eating Disorders, at Children's, from personal experience. Children's can do an evaluation and then recommend a course of treatment.


Another great resource up in Massachusets is MEDA, the Multi Service Eating Disorders Association in Newton. If you call and speak with them they also can help direct you to providers in Mass. and might have some ideas for you about how to proceed and information you might find helpful.


In the meantime while you are getting ready to tackle this illness, here are a few books I could recommend:
When your Teen has an eating disorder by Dr. Lauren Mulheim

Eva Musbys website, videos and excellent book with strategies for refeeding: 

The FEAST family guides and the FEAST website:


Also since your son is 18 you will need to have him sign the HIPPA paperwork so that you can communicate with his providers. 


McLean is for girls only. Boston is a little far as we are in central mass but it’s not out of the question. He ate great today. I am researching umass and other hospitals.