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Eating disorder or not?

(140 Posts)
sometimescharlotte Mon 17-Feb-20 00:35:45

Background: I went to the Urgent Treatment Centre on Friday because of severe stomach pain and vomiting. Had bloods and an ECG done. I am 30 (today!) and have one child (2) and have always been fairly slim.

The doctor who saw me was quite adamant that I must have an eating disorder (a lot of "you're not helping yourself and I think you know what I mean by that" comments to start with, but when pressed she was more specific). Apparently, in addition to my BMI being low, my bloods and ECG all showed things which would be consistent with an ED (low white cell count and "a little block" on the ECG). But I don't think I have one! I would admit that I don't particularly want to gain weight because I am now as I've always been, but I don't consciously restrict food or anything.

I've seen the discharge summary, which says "please follow up with this patient who seems to have an ED" and I'm now worried it is going to get messy... I'm also now questioning myself, like, do I have some kind of denial thing going on? I'm getting irrationally stressed about it, and perhaps that's because I suspect there subconsciously is something. Urgh...

puddingpudding Mon 17-Feb-20 00:52:42

I don't think anyone here could confirm or deny whether or not you have an eating disorder. However, I suspect that lots of people with eating disorders think that they are ok or that their behaviour is normal.

Whether it is an eating disorder, or something totally different, it sounds like you are unwell and it would be sensible to follow up with your GP as recommended. Best of luck.

sometimescharlotte Mon 17-Feb-20 00:55:09

I'm not really being clear, sorry! Of course nobody on here can tell me if I do/do not. It was more of an "Aibu to dismiss the suggestion?"

OneHanded Mon 17-Feb-20 00:56:57

Yes you are.

Double3xposure Mon 17-Feb-20 00:59:13

How low is your BMI?

Has a HCP ever mentioned this to you before ? What about when you were pg ?

sometimescharlotte Mon 17-Feb-20 00:59:26

It just freaked me out about the bloods and ECG stuff confused

user1473878824 Mon 17-Feb-20 01:01:27

Well, what is your eating like? Do you restrict your eating? Do you make yourself sick? Do you exercise excessively? Are you actually far thinner than you should be? He may be completely out of order or maybe he is exactly right and you can’t see it? It’s hard to tell without details.

Happy birthday OP, I hope either way this gets sorted.

sometimescharlotte Mon 17-Feb-20 01:02:30

Had to look this up! My BMI is 16.2.

Low BMI was mentioned a few times while I was pregnant but there were no issues, so it was never treated as a problem, so to speak.

user1473878824 Mon 17-Feb-20 01:04:25

Okay so could there actually be some issues, OP?

Topseyt Mon 17-Feb-20 01:05:04

Don't dismiss the suggestion. Follow it up with your GP.

My DD3 (who has mental health issues) has an eating disorder. Anorexia nervosa. She is in recovery now, but even when it was at it's worst she found it hard to believe that she was so ill.

You need to be referred for a proper assessment.

sometimescharlotte Mon 17-Feb-20 01:07:31

@user1473878824 Fair enough and sorry for lack of detail!

I'm vegetarian. Eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, but not much of a snacker. I tend to eat what I feel like and don't think much about whether it's healthy / unhealthy / enough / not enough.

Yesterday: breakfast was granola with milk and a pear; lunch was bagel with houmous and some salad; dinner was pasta with pesto and some side vegetables. Plus I had some chocolate at some point and some grapes. I may have forgotten something!

Don't think I over exercise (swimming a few times a week). I don't make myself sick.

StoppinBy Mon 17-Feb-20 01:10:35

I had a friend when I was growing up who was skin and bone but she was naturally thin. She ate more than me and was skinny enough that she was regularly picked on and called things like anorexic.

If you are naturally thin then I think this will reflect in your medical records as a long history of low BMI rather than a rapid weight loss so maybe you could pull your health records if you wanted.

Do you think you eat reasonably and are naturally thin or do you think you stay thin by eating very little compared to most other people of a healthy weight range?

StoppinBy Mon 17-Feb-20 01:12:42

Just saw your post. It looks pretty normal IMO. If your weight is causing health issues maybe you could look to add in calories with nuts, cheese, yoghurt etc?

Maybe the medical staff can refer you to a nutritionist if need be.

sometimescharlotte Mon 17-Feb-20 01:14:17

At school I used to get called Daddy Long Legs (and anorexic) because I was always skinny. Skinny and tall!
I eat... pretty much the same as I've always eaten. My OH and friends never comment on it being a small amount and pretty much, I eat what they eat, if we are eating together for instance. There are some things that I don't like and don't eat, some of these are unhealthy (cakes and donuts) and others are healthy (mushrooms).

sometimescharlotte Mon 17-Feb-20 01:16:58

@StoppinBy it's a good suggestion, thank you! When I was pregnant I went through this habit of adding cheese to literally everything when I actually felt like eating, because I'd lost weight due to morning sickness. Perhaps I should do this again!!

Topseyt Mon 17-Feb-20 01:17:13

That is a very low BMI. They will be concerned about whether or not you have sufficient body reserves.

BMI is a bit of a crude and blunt tool, and not usually the yardstick used anymore. I can't remember what it is that is used now, but it is given as a percentage of what your healty body weight should be, if I have understood it correctly. A 16 BMI would probably correspond to a fairly low percentage.

At a guess, my DD would have measured similar when the mental health team almost wanted her pulled from school and put on bed rest because her body was on the verge of not coping.

Topseyt Mon 17-Feb-20 01:21:57

If you are eating reasonably as you suggest then there are still things that could need checked out. Some conditions can make you burn off your food too fast - an overactive thyroid being one example. So further blood tests may be advised.

FreshFancyFrogglette Mon 17-Feb-20 01:28:54

The key thing for me would be how long have u had this bmi for? You mention that you've always been fairly slim, was there a time (your pregnancy for example?) where the weight suddenly came off quite quickly. That tends to be the nature of eating disorders... Ime anyway, and I did suffer from one, but it was tied into many different mental health issues.

user1473878824 Mon 17-Feb-20 01:31:37

Sorry OP I didn’t mean that to sound cold or like you owed us anything! Only you could have been saying this and your diet is an apple a day and if you eat any more than that you work out for two hours and that’s your normal. I think @Topseyt makes a very good point. Your BMI is very low.

Haworthia Mon 17-Feb-20 01:39:38

I think looking at the facts:

You don’t want to gain weight
Blood and heart issues indicative of ED

Suggests there might be something going on. I’m also wondering whether you’re exaggerating a typical day’s food, or your portion sizes. I think it would be quite difficult to maintain such a low BMI if that really is your typical daily diet and you aren’t eating toddler sized potions.

I would say “accept help” but equally if you don’t feel like there’s a problem it would be pointless.

What would your mum or partner say about your eating?

Josette77 Mon 17-Feb-20 01:55:40

Your BMI is very low. Your blood and EKG are concerning too. How many calories do you eat in a day? Why don't you want to gain weight? Why don't you eat donuts and cakes?
I am recovered from anorexia. I can't say if you have it, but from a medical standpoint it appears the doctor was onto something. Are you at all attached to always being the skinny person?

dellacucina Mon 17-Feb-20 02:03:36

Hi, OP.

I'm similar to you. Just checked and my BMI is a bit higher, but not by too much.

Realistically, I may be borderline eating disordered but I am always sort of teetering on the edge - I'm very controlled about what I eat but I don't make myself sick. I definitely had issues when I was younger but I thought everyone around me was crazy.

One thing I notice is that you don't seem to be getting much protein. Are you monitoring your intake of essential nutrients?

Personally, I think you should be open to the idea that your eating is problematic. However, if you're reasonably sensible, it may be ok. For example, ask yourself whether you'd be willing to eat what the doctors say to improve your stats. if not, perhaps you have a problem.

Wishing you well flowers

Bloodless Mon 17-Feb-20 02:58:08

This is my perspective if it’s any use to you... I used to have an ED, while I would have denied it until I was blue in the face if anyone asked me ....I knew I had one. It’s not like I had to force myself to see, in my own mind I knew really clearly that I had an ED.

Anyway hope u feel better soon OP xx

AgeOld Mon 17-Feb-20 03:38:38

That's a very low no and agree with others that your bloods and ecg results will be flagging ED on the system for follow up.
I'd be very concerned if you came to me with that and you'd be referred for further testing of thyroid etc and dietician as that needs to be higher.

People with eating disorders are often hugely in denial, about what they eat or their weight but that bmi alone is concerning. If you'd been 18 Or 19 bmi then perhaps I'd say you're maybe burning more than you think with a baby/toddler.

Have you always been a vegetarian?
I only ask because lots of people with weight issues stop eating meat and animal products to keep the weight off.

I'd get further tests and see a dietician, that way you can rule out any medical issue and safely increase healthy calories.

sometimescharlotte Mon 17-Feb-20 06:05:08

Thanks for the ideas... it is helpful.

I've been veggie since I was 10 - my best friend was hugely into animal rights and persuaded me! Nowadays I'm more of a habitual vegetarian - having been one for so long, I don't have a taste for meat.

Protein is always an issue! I try to eat nuts and tofu and high protein cereal bars and stuff... but sometimes I am lazy!!

I'm pretty sure that other than during pregnancy and immediately pre-pregnancy, my weight has been the same or very similar since I was 18/19.

The "not wanting to put on weight" - I dunno, maybe this is not normal. But I'm just used to being the way I am and I think I'd feel a bit odd if I suddenly put on 5-6 kilos. But maybe I wouldn't!

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