Understanding eating disorders in adolescence
Criteria and diagnosis
Patients can be medically stable and have normal lab tests, but they may still have a serious eating disorder. Taking a complete clinical history is the most powerful tool for diagnosing eating disorders.
Pritts, S. D., & Susman, J. (2003). Diagnosis of eating disorders in primary care. American Family Physician, 67(2), 297-304.
Blood pressure and heart rate should be measured at every appointment*:
*Measure orthostatic vitals (compare lying down AND standing)
When to Refer
Raise concern if:
- Orthostatic changes in pulse are >30 BPM
- Orthostatic change in systolic blood pressure are >20 mmHg
- HR ≤ 50bpm daytime
- HR ≤ 45bpm overnight
Weight should be measured in a consistent way:
- Best to weigh in a gown with no undergarments with patient’s back to the scale.
- Remind patients that weight is just one piece of data used to monitor health and progress towards recovery.
Determining a Treatment Goal Weight (TGW):
- Attempt to establish the patient’s previous baseline trajectory using data from their growth chart
- Consider other relevant information including current and history of menstrual status, degree of eating disorder symptoms, and physical activity
Diagnostic and Laboratory Considerations: What to look for
Download PDF (According to the AED Report 2016)