Michelle lost 175 pounds in just two years – but she was hiding the painful secret behind the success. When Michelle first appeared on The Doctors, she admitted to her family that she had been binging and purging. Has she recovered from her eating disorder?
After her The Doctors appearance, Michelle spent 90 days as an in-patient at Remuda Ranch in Arizona. “She has seen great success, I’m happy to report,” announces ER Physician Dr. Travis Stork. “I’m so proud of you,” he tells Michelle.
“I would like to think you, Dr. Stork, and everyone here at the show,” responds Michelle. “It truly saved my life. As of today, I can truly report that I am no longer depressed, sad.” She’s home spending time with her son and looking forward to returning to work. “What I’m most proud of is that I haven’t had any urges since October 20th to binge or purge.”
Michelle’s mother, Bette, says her daughter’s whole personality has changed, and Michelle’s much closer to her little boy now.
“Michelle’s potassium was so low, it was in the low threes. And normal is around four and a half,” explains Internist Dr. Jorge Rodriguez. “If you have too low of potassium, your heart can stop like that.” Dr. Rodriguez has recently seen Michelle in his office, and all of her medical stats are now normal – her potassium level, liver, kidneys, and blood sugar all look healthy!
Remuda Ranch Clinical Director Mike Gurr explains that when Michelle first came to Remuda Ranch, she was placed in the critical care unit because she was so ill and malnourished. Once she was medically stable, “We really started focusing on the DBT skills, the grounding skills. She was learning nutrition information. We really started to challenge the eating disorder at that level of care.”
“The important takeaway for anyone watching is that when you hide when you live in secret with an eating disorder, you lose your relationships. You can lose your life,” Dr. Stork concludes.
Michelle is back home, but she’ll still have help maintaining her new life. The Doctors have arranged for her to see Nutritionist Laura Lee Davis for six weeks of free sessions, plus Premier Physical Therapy will work with her to put together a 12-week wellness and exercise program. And since she loves cooking now, Food Lion is providing a $1,000 gift card so she can buy healthy ingredients!
“If you’re struggling with an eating disorder, you’re not alone,” Michelle tells the audience. “There’s someone out there – friends, family – you just need to take the first step. It’s going to be hard, I will not lie. But once you do talk to them, you will get the help you need.”
If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, contact the National Eating Disorders Association.