I have a client who is on Adderall, when she takes her meds she loses her appettite due to the suppressive nature of the meds. As such she will go all day without eating then binge at night once the meds wear off. Has anyone had to deal with a similar situation? If so what did you do? Where you successful? Thanks
I am familiar with the effects of Adderall on appetite (although in my case it’s not with a client). She needs her medication, so I would simply stress the importance of getting nutrients and regulating blood sugar/energy throughout the day, and less focus on her hunger.
The first thing I would do is encourage a healthy breakfast before the medication starts to take affect. This will start her day off right.
In addition, you can also encourage healthy snacking throughout the day by stressing it as a matter of keeping her blood sugar and energy regulated–even though she may not be hungry. She could keep some healthy options on hand as a reminder, but I would not pressure her. As far as her dinner and evening snacking, again, encourage healthy options and nutrients over fast food options.
I know it can be frustrating, but she will have to take action for her own nutrition, and if she appears to have difficulty with some simple suggestions, you could always refer her to a Registered Dietitian.
It’s hard to get a person who isn’t hungry to do so, whether it’s a prescription med like Adderall, the effect of chemo, illness, etc. I’ve had experience with clients and family with each of these issues.
I have to time nutrient and caloric density with hunger, which usually means first thing in the morning before medicating and dinner-time, but not lunchtime.
There several strategies for eating while taking Adderall. While it may be too obvious to mention, has the client discussed this with their physician/clinician. They may be able to have the dose reduced and thus the effect on appetite reduced. They should not do this without approval from the attending doctor. And there are alternatives to Adderall. Again a discussion for their doctor.
Then there is forced eating. Scheduled meals eaten whether they feel like it or not. This is especially important for post workout regimen. Skipping eating after exercise is actually detrimental to muscle mass. They can use a protein supplement if it helps them, but try to get them to have a prepared meal of about 20 – 30 grams of high quality protein and 40 – 60 grams of quality carbs immediately after their workouts. Some people will suggest snacking which is pretty much small serving forced eating.
There are appetite stimulants. But I don’t like the idea of taking another drug to conteract the first drug. They are called orexigenics. I don’t recommend them. But that is my personal opinion to a point.
Lastly, be supportive. Try not to sound judgemental or authoritative when encouraging eating with this client.