“I Believe You”: When Client Stories Outpace Current Research and Clinical Practice of Treating Lesser-Known Medical Conditions

Clinicians who work in the eating disorders field are likely to have observed instances where the physical impact of an eating disorder is minimized or downplayed due to weight stigma or in favor of alternative explanations. As such, many clinicians hold fast to the idea that reported fatigue, food intolerance, GI distress, and other vague symptoms will resolve under robust eating disorder treatment. This bias has the potential to interfere with the therapeutic relationship, undermine a client’s body attunement and discourage proper diagnosis, medical understanding and appropriate therapies. This session will highlight client stories involving the intersection of eating disorders and underappreciated comorbid conditions, such as dysautonomia/Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), and Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).