Episode 73: Diabetes and Eating Disorders with Dr. Jaime Taylor and Nayiri Khatchadourian

Dr. Jaime Taylor and Nayiri Khatchadourian

Episode description:

In this episode of Peace Meal, Dr. Jaime Taylor and Nayiri Khatchadourian discuss their study on physicians’ knowledge about disordered eating in patients with diabetes. Through their study, they found that many physicians feel that they do not have the resources to help patients who show signs of disordered eating. They also describe warning signs of disordered eating to look for in patients with diabetes, as well as some serious health complications that may occur in patients with an eating disorder and diabetes. They end the conversation by emphasizing the importance of spreading awareness about the elevated eating disorder risk for those with diabetes, as well as highlighting the fact that weight does not determine health.

Dr. Jaime Taylor is the Director of Adolescent Medicine at Beaumont Children’s and is the Medical Director of the Hough Center for Adolescent Health. She is dedicated to the health and wellbeing of adolescents and is passionate about teaching on that subject as an Assistant Professor at Oakland University – William Beaumont School of Medicine. Nayiri Khatchadourian is currently a third-year medical student at Oakland University – William Beaumont School of Medicine. Her passion for advocating for mental health along with nutrition and wellness stemmed from her personal journey and struggles throughout her adolescent years. 

We cover:

  • The importance of assessing physicians’ knowledge of disordered eating in patients with diabetes 
  • Why having type 1 diabetes is a risk factor for developing an eating disorder and why having both conditions can be an extremely dangerous combination 
  • How doctors are more likely to ask their patients questions about disordered eating if they feel they have the resources to help
  • Warning signs of eating disorders to look out for when treating patients with diabetes, as well as the potential health complications when these co-occurring illnesses are not managed properly
  • The importance of spreading awareness, not only to physicians but to everyone, that weight does not determine the health of an individual

In their words:

  • Nayiri on the results of their survey: “Of the people who responded, 97% of the physicians were endocrinologists…58.8% of them reported not having received any education about identifying and assessing for disordered eating among patients diagnosed with diabetes during or after their professional training. 68% identify that they didn’t believe they had the tools or resources available to assist a patient with disordered eating behavior.”
  • Dr. Taylor on discussing body image with patients with diabetes: “It’s okay to talk about body image, it’s okay to talk about discomfort in body or changes in body. If we talk about it, then there’s a way for us to understand it better. And sometimes it’s just the fear of not knowing, ‘Why is my body changing?’ or ‘Why is it changing in this way?’”
  • Dr. Taylor on what health means to her and her team: “It’s about balance and variety and feeding your mind and your body and your soul in whatever way that is and really embracing that everything fits. It doesn’t matter if you have diabetes, it doesn’t matter if you have disordered eating, you can find a way to make all of these things fit and work for you.”

Learn more about The Emily Program online or by calling 1-888-364-5977. 

About the podcast:

Peace Meal is a podcast hosted by The Emily Program and Veritas Collaborative that covers topics related to eating disorders, body image, and how society may influence our thinking.

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