A revolutionary approach to Eating Disorders using key nutrients and dietary interventions alongside mind-body therapies

Audio only version

May 5th, 2022
Dr. James Greenblatt

Show Description

Eating disorders are one of the most dangerous and difficult to treat mental health issues in young women and men, with the highest levels of mortality and relapse rates of all psychiatric illnesses. And their numbers are growing. In this urgent and eye-opening interview, leading child and adolescent integrative psychiatrist Dr. James Greenblatt, with over 40 years of clinical experience treating eating disorders (anorexia, binge eating, bulimia, etc.), tells us about the often overlooked biochemical factors influencing eating disorders, and shares how to successfully and sustainably treat (and prevent) eating disorders, in women and men, by addressing nutrition, vitamins and amino acids, as well as psychiatry, psychology and body-based therapies.

Dr. Greenblatt is a pioneer of integrative psychiatry and currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer at Walden Behavioral Care in Massachusetts and as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine and Dartmouth College Geisel School of Medicine. He is the author of 7 books, including Finally Focused: The Breakthrough Natural Treatment Plan for ADHD, Integrative Medicine for Alzheimer’s and Integrative Medicine for Depression. Having already featured in two fascinating interviews for the MindHealth360 Show (on ADHD and suicide prevention), the topic of this conversation turns to the pressing issue of eating disorders, and to his book Answers to Anorexia: A Breakthrough Nutritional Treatment That Is Saving Lives.

Learn about:

  • Why eating disorders are such a pressing issue in women and men, experiencing the highest mortality rate in psychiatric illness (with 5-10% of anorexic patient deaths within a decade of diagnosis, and 18-20% patient deaths within two decades)
  • Why mainstream treatments for eating disorders are often unsuccessful, and why they overlook the centrality of nutrition and biology in mental health
  • Why nutrition is a vital component in eating disorder recovery, and how malnutrition and starvation of minerals, micronutrients and fatty acids affect brain function and can cause relapse
  • The root causes of eating disorders, including genetics, low serotonin, malnutrition and nutritional deficiencies, infections (PANS and PANDAS) and celiac disease, as well as trauma and adverse childhood experiences 
  • Why puberty, vegetarianism, birth control pills, excessive exercise, and genetic metabolic disorders can lead to deficiencies in neurotransmitters (vital to feeling good), vitamins, minerals, digestive enzymes, omega 3s, and how these deficiencies underpin eating disorders
  • How supplementing zinc (to improve appetite and neurotransmitter production), probiotics (to help restore gut microbiome) and lithium (to support optimal brain function) can prevent eating disorders and associated suicidality
  • Why addressing nutrition in eating disorders first can then bolster other therapeutic treatments, including somatic experiencing, for relapse prevention 
  • Crucial advice on what to supplement, when and how, essential testing, and when medication can be helpful

About Dr. James Greenblatt

Podcast guest photo

A pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, James M. Greenblatt, MD, has treated patients since 1988. After receiving his medical degree and completing his psychiatry residency at George Washington University, Dr. Greenblatt completed a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Medical School. Dr. Greenblatt currently serves as the Chief Medical Officer at Walden Behavioral Care in Waltham, MA and serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine and Dartmouth College Geisel School of Medicine.

An acknowledged integrative medicine expert, educator, and author, Dr. Greenblatt has lectured internationally on the scientific evidence for nutritional interventions in psychiatry and mental illness. Through three decades of practice and research, Dr. Greenblatt is a leading contributor to helping physicians and patients understand the role of the personalized medicine for mental illness.

In April of 2017, Dr. Greenblatt was inducted into the Orthomolecular Medicine Hall of Fame by the International Society of Orthomolecular Medicine.

He is author of seven books, including Finally Focused, Nutritional Lithium: A Cinderella Story, Answers to Anorexia, Integrative Medicine for Alzheimer’s, Integrative Medicine for Binge Eating, and Integrative Medicine for Depression, and co-editor with Kelly Brogan, MD of the textbook Integrative Therapies for Depression.

Dr. Greenblatt is the founder of Psychiatry Redefined, an educational platform dedicated to the transformation of psychiatry. Psychiatry Redefined offers online CME-approved courses, webinars, and fellowships for professionals to learn about functional and integrative medicine for mental illness. Please visit www.PsychiatryRedefined.org or www.JamesGreenblattMD.com for more information.

Show Notes

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Dr. James Greenblatt