Hi all! This week’s interview is with Dr. Alexandra Myers, D.O., who works with athletes with eating disorders in San Diego. I think there is a misconception that in order for athletes to recover from eating disorders, they have to give up their sport completely. That is simply not the case. Dr. Myers is THE medical professional in San Diego who can help people heal their disordered eating and return to the sport they love. She is especially gifted in treating high-level athletes. Dr. Myers specializes in sports medicine, and she is the Director of Women’s Athletic Medicine at San Diego State University (SDSU). She also works with US Olympic athletes, other college and high school athletes, people who are active only on the weekends, and even non-athletes! She is incredibly supportive, compassionate, and non-judgmental. Plus, she’s an all-around nice person to know!!!
Why did you choose to become a sports medicine specialist and family practitioner in San Diego?
I came to San Diego to complete my Sports Medicine Fellowship at San Diego Sports Medicine and Family Health Center. I enjoyed working with a dynamic group of people and I stayed. I was particularly interested in taking care of athletes of all levels, of which there are many in San Diego.
What kind of treatment do you provide?
I provide full spectrum family medicine care - everything from a general physical, shoulder pain, colds, etc. I specialize in Sports Medicine, which encompasses the overall care of the athlete, including nutrition and wellness. I also perform Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment to help relieve pain in my patients.
How long have you been treating SDSU athletes?
I have been working with SDSU athletes since 2013. As the Director of Women's Athletic Medicine, I focus on taking care of the wellness and psychological aspects of the athletes at SDSU.
In what capacity do you work with SDSU athletes?
I am the Team Physician for the Women's Basketball, Crew, Swim/Dive, and Water Polo teams. I have clinic there once a week, and I oversee the athletic trainers that work with each of those teams.
Do you work with athletes who aren’t SDSU students?
I work with many athletes outside of SDSU: US Olympic athletes—especially USA Rugby Men's and Women's Sevens, Major League Rugby, San Diego Christian College, San Diego City College, Cuyamaca College, Santa Fe Christian High School, and many people who are weekend warriors.
What kind of eating disorder symptoms can appear in athletes?
Most athletes who I see for suspected eating disorders have noticeable, rapid weight loss and fatigue. It is often initially referred to as "female athlete triad," which is usually a misdiagnosis. Sometimes they come to me for decreased performance or mood changes, which can be an early sign of poor nutrition.
Do you treat people in San Diego who aren’t athletes who have eating disorder symptoms?
Yes, I do have patients who have eating disorders who are not technically athletes. A lot of them have backgrounds in athletic pursuits such as dance and gymnastics, and most of them are active.
Who are your favorite types of patients to work with?
I love working with people who are motivated to be healthy—no matter where they are starting from. I take care of babies up to 90 year olds, and they come in all shapes and sizes.
What happens during a first appointment with you?
I try to get to know my patients - their personal history, their family history, their current lifestyle and goals. I try to gain a perspective on where they are and where they want to go.
What do you wish both athletes and non-athletes knew about getting treatment for eating disorders?
I would love for athletes and non-athletes to know that treatment for eating disorders is aimed at helping them be healthy and that it is non-threatening. Everyone involved in their care is there to help them, and no one is judgmental.
How can people learn more and contact you?
They can come see me as a patient and check out my website here.
Share one fun fact about you.
I played college soccer and softball at Cornell College, and grew up ski racing, playing tennis, BMX racing, and running track. I like to surf, SUP (Stand Up Paddle), and cycle all around San Diego.
Thanks so much for reading my blog! Have a wonderful day! :)
If you are struggling to find eating disorder treatment in San Diego give me a call for your free 15-minute phone consultation at (858) 699-3754, and I will help you get where you need to be!