Annika Kahm, MS, Clinical Nutritionist, has been treating disordered eating and eating disorders for over 30 years. She is also one of the pioneers of using Metabolic Testing (MT) and Body Composition Analysis (BCA) to treat disordered eating and eating disorders. She has co-authored four books, lectures regularly at professional conferences and is a member of the Academy of Eating Disorders, the National Eating Disorder Association, and The International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals.
Annika successfully practiced medical nutrition therapy for years at the Wilkins Center for Eating Disorders in Greenwich, CT. However, inspired by Carolyn Chafee, MS, RDN, CEDRD to learn and use MT and BCA, she struck out on her own. Since adding this technology to her nutritional counseling, Annika has seen a tremendous improvement in the quality of care she is able to offer, simply because she could actually see what was happening in her patients’ bodies - it simply eliminated much of the guesswork enabling her to offer more precise and therefore effective help. Noticing, however, that these incredibly useful tools are virtually unknown among the general public, doctors, nutritionists, and other specialists, she and Carolyn wrote a book, Measuring Health From The Inside, not only for patients and their families, but also to inspire the next generation of nutritionists to help advance treatment of eating disorders. And now that she has family in the area, she is bringing this treatment to Burlington at The Kahm Clinic.
Annika’s interest in eating disorders stems from personal experience. She struggled with eating disorders in her teens: controlling weight was her way of coping with and surviving in a dysfunctional family in Sweden. Baffled by her weight loss and emaciated look, doctors merely put her on birth-control pills to restart her stalled cycle.
But she failed at being a “good anorexic:” food was too appealing – she couldn’t resist the temptation. Caving to her starved body’s increased hunger, she couldn’t stop eating. Feeling guilty about over-eating, she over exercised. But breaking her leg in a ski accident forced her to stop exercising; she turned to purging (vomiting) to keep the weight off.
She was confused, knew something was wrong, felt trapped and scared. She knew she was harming her body, but didn’t know how to get out of it.
Years later she made peace with food, but her long and hard struggle could have been shortened considerably had she had access to Metabolic Testing and Body Composition Analysis. Those tests would have shown the damage starvation and purging had caused her body - how malnourished, hypo-metabolic and catabolic she had become. It would have shown her what her starved body needed and what it would take to get her back to being healthy again. She could have trusted how much she needed to eat early in the day to prevent binging and purging, and she would have learned how much exercise was too much for her body. It could have saved her years of fighting her eating disorder, and turned hard years into happy ones.
Having seen how incredibly helpful these tests are for recovery, she wants to pass this treatment modality on to the next generation. Her son, his wife, and three grandchildren have moved to VT, where she is delighted just to spend more time. She loves Vermont because it reminds her of home, Sweden, but having family here makes her love it more. She feels blessed to be able to start this family business with her son and daughter-in-law to help more people live a healthy and happy life filled with purpose, as she has been able to.