Chronic Illnesses Dietitians and Nutritionists

Chronic Illness Support
Dietitians for Chronic Illness Support

Chronic illnesses are enduring diseases that come in all shapes and sizes. Chronic illnesses affect individuals of a wide variety of backgrounds. There is a lot the medical community knows about chronic illnesses and there is a lot that we still do not know.

When you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic illness, it is important to have team members that are on your side. There are several Courage to Nourish dietitians who support individuals with chronic illnesses navigate nutrition. Many of our clients have eating disorders as well, so this makes navigating nutrition within a chronic illness all the more confusing and overwhelming.

What are chronic illnesses?

A chronic illness is broadly defined as any disease that lasts for more than a year and requires ongoing medical support. The illness might also limit daily or weekly activity levels. If you have been diagnosed with a chronic illness, please note it is not your fault. The individual is far too often blamed for getting sick, but there are so many factors that are out of our control. Genetics, access to food, and access to health care just to name a few.

Some examples of chronic illnesses that the Courage to Nourish dietitians have worked with are diabetes, dysautonomia, MCAST, IBS, POTS and epilepsy. These illnesses complicate eating disorder recovery by adding another layer of health management to work through. At Courage to Nourish, you’ll be met with kindness, patience, and a clinician to advocate for you.

How We Help Treat Chronic Illnesses

At Courage to Nourish, our dietitians work one on one with our clients and their treatment team to improve food thoughts, urges and behaviors. We value trusting and compassionate relationships between our dietitians and clients and have the expertise to navigate the nutritional complexities of chronic illnesses. We value safety and a non-judgmental space so our clients are able to process concerns in a way that is met with understanding and empathy. Not only do we work with you or your loved one in individual sessions, but we also collaborate with various members of the treatment team. We also provide text and email support and keep our caseloads small. This can assure you are getting the highest quality of care.

One of our roles in helping manage chronic illnesses is advocating to other healthcare team members on your behalf. We can support you in interpreting nutrition recommendations through a recovery focused, weight inclusive approach. Additionally, we can help you navigate which nutrition recommendations come from diet culture and shaky research versus which recommendations are legitimate. If you’re recovering from an eating disorder, we can support you to adapt medical recommendations to align with ED recovery goals Most importantly, we will hold space for processing the reality of living with a health-altering condition.

Typical Clients We Work With

Families

Families

FAMILIES

Courage to Nourish specializes in working with families and chronic illnesses. If your family life has been disrupted by a chronic illness, contact us to learn more about how our highly trained dietitians can support your family in healing. We work closely with parents and children to create a supportive home food environment.

College Aged and Young Adults

College Aged and Young Adult

COLLEGE AGED AND YOUNG ADULT

Courage to Nourish specializes in working with college students who struggle with chronic illnesses. Learn more about our services and how our dietitians can work to support you and your relationship with food. Contact us for more information about how we work with college students who have chronic illnesses.

Teens and Adolescents

Teens & Adolescents

TEENS & ADOLESCENTS

Courage to Nourish specializes in working with teens who struggle with chronic illnesses. Learn more about our services and how our dietitians can work to support your teen and their relationship with food. Contact us for more information about how we work with teens who have chronic illnesses.

Pregnant Individuals

Pregnant Individuals

PREGNANT INDIVIDUALS

Courage to Nourish specializes in supporting pregnant and postpartum individuals who struggle with chronic illnesses. Learn more about our services and how our dietitians can work to support you and your relationship with food. Contact us for more information about how we work with pregnancy and chronic illnesses.

Athletes

Athletes

ATHLETES

Courage to Nourish specializes in working with athletes who struggle with chronic illnesses to assure adequate fueling and completing food exposures as desired. Learn more about our services and how our dietitians can work to support you and your relationship with food. Contact us for more information about how we work with athletes who have chronic illnesses.

Adults

Adults

ADULTS

Courage to Nourish specializes in working with individuals who struggle with chronic illnesses of all ages. We work with kids with chronic illnesses, adolescents with chronic illnesses, young adults with chronic illnesses, and adults with chronic illnesses. Our dietitians are highly specialized in eating disorder treatment – learn more about our services and how we can work to support you and your relationship with food.

FAQs About Chronic Illnesses

How do I know if need your support?

If you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic illness and you struggle with your relationship with food, body or exercise in ANY capacity, please note that you absolutely deserve space and time to heal, regardless of the symptoms you’re experiencing.

How long does it take to navigate an eating disorder with a chronic illness diagnosis?

Treating an eating disorder takes time! Most of the clients we see are “long term” clients who we work with on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. It is difficult to set a time frame, but it’s not uncommon for clients to meet with us on a weekly basis for at least 6 months. If you feel like your healing journey is taking “too long,” just remember that recovery is not linear. It’s normal to have ups and downs. Additionally, we will work with your doctors to support managing chronic illness symptoms.

Will I need to follow a meal plan?

That is up to you! While we can support you in creating a meal plan that meets your needs, we also recognize that meal plans aren’t helpful tools for everyone. We would never want you to feel like you are on a diet or enabling your eating disorder.

How can I find support for chronic illnesses and eating disorder recovery?

Courage to Nourish is happy to help. Contact us for more information about working with us. We provide both virtual and in person services. If for some reason we are unable to support you, we would be glad to refer you to other resources. You can also read our blog and resources page for more ideas and support on eating disorder recovery.

Have more questions?

About Courage to Nourish

Courage to Nourish is a group of eating disorder specialized dietitians. We have in person locations in Alexandria, Virginia, Columbia, Maryland, and College Park, Maryland. We offer virtual services across the state of Maryland. Virginia, Washington DC, Pennsylvania, and Colorado. We offer individual nutrition therapy. As well as support groups. We would love to guide you in building a better relationship with food.

Courage to Nourish team

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