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Can I refeed on my own?

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1 Can I refeed on my own? on Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:46 am

I've been eating less than 300 calories per day for the past 8 weeks, and more like 150 or so recently. I'm quite underweight but not toooo extremely so. I feel tired all the time and I look pale and a bit yellow (especially late at night), but my pulse seems quite normal. My stomach/digestive capacity seems to have diminished. Would it be dangerous to increase on my own without first seeing a doctor? Would it be okay if I just did it slowly and cautiously? Medical services here aren't that great and availability is very limited. Thanks for any input. xx

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2 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Thu Nov 13, 2014 11:58 am

Hello,
As a matter of fact, i have seen so much doctors, psychiatrist
probably something like 10 différents psychiatrist...but never continued as it led no where : never had any answers to my questions, issues...and never had any bonding or suffisence confidence with them...In fact I think I hate them as once when i was hospitalised i had arguments with my psy and left his office angry by slaming the door...I woke up 2 days later ...never knew what happened...i have been drugged, nobody wanted to say what happened....I still do not know...ever since I just hate all the medical professionals !

And there is no way I am goint to see one any more...i do not trust them anymore so I have to manage to get me out of anorexia by my own.

i can say that i really struggke with myself ( but the good thing is that the only one i can blame is me!)

i just woke up one day (now 1 week) and started with 1 000 cal, i have been hell sick ( and trew up several time as i could not handle all this food) but i still push, push and push.

i have been suffering for 20 years and it is time to stop this bullshit cos i do not even now now why i an anorectic.

i you do not wish or can't to see a doctor it would be Wise to start slowly but it is not be a pretext to dragg your feets.

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3 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Thu Nov 13, 2014 10:33 pm

Thanks, I'm pretty sure mentally I can recover on my own, with support from family and other non-professionals. Therapy never really worked for me. I only see a psychiatrist once every few months and am on medication.

My question is more about the physical aspect. How dangerous is it to start refeeding on my own? I don't see any possibility of IP admission at the moment (quite apart from the fact that I wouldn't want it, I'm in a country where I'm not a citizen and medical costs would be ridiculous even if there was actually a hospital bed available for me). I have, however, made an appointment with the Student Health Service at my university and asked to have blood work done. The appointment is the coming Wednesday. Shall I carry on eating 150 calories till then? It's not like the nurse (yes it's just a nurse, not a doctor specialised in EDs) is going to monitor my physical condition 24/7 or even on a daily basis.

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4 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:13 am

It's possible, but the ideal case is to have someone monitoring you (especially electrolytes). Refeeding syndrome is quite rare, but lethal if it happens. If your feel sick, nauseous or have extreme edema on hands or feet, contact a doctor immediately as there's a risk your heart may stop. This link explains more:
http://www.youreatopia.com/blog/2012/5/22/edema-the-bane-and-blessing-of-the-recovery-process.html

This being said, it's possible to get well without help from medical staff. But you do need someone to turn to when things get hard, so tell friends and family what you are about to do and be clear that their help is important to you. Read on this site for more information on how to start and what to be aware of:
http://letsrecover.tumblr.com/faq

I would say you could start increasing VERY slowly this weekend since you're seeing the health service soon. But as I said, contact a doctor if you feel any symptoms of refeeding syndrome.

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5 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:54 am

Yes, indeed, you shall start very slowly your calories increase.
200/250 cal each 2 days might be too much
maybe by increasing by 50 cal everyday could be a good compromise
also if you increase in order not to "disturb" electrolytes balance avoid to increase with fruits/vegetables or things rich in minerals for the beginning and to avoid oedemas no soups (cos of the salt)
increase instead with something more neutral such as bread or pasta...white rice is the ideal as there is not too much minerals it is neutral and gluten less...not irritating for your stomach (and with carrots it is usually what it is given to recover from illness, chestnuts are also great)

All I can say is good luck sure you will succeed !!

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6 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Fri Nov 14, 2014 11:23 pm

ultreia wrote:Yes, indeed, you shall start very slowly your calories increase.
200/250 cal each 2 days might be too much
maybe by increasing by 50 cal everyday could be a good compromise
also if you increase in order not to "disturb" electrolytes balance avoid to increase with fruits/vegetables or things rich in minerals for the beginning and to avoid oedemas no soups (cos of the salt)
increase instead with something more neutral such as bread or pasta...white rice is the ideal as there is not too much minerals it is neutral and gluten less...not irritating for your stomach (and with carrots it is usually what it is given to recover from illness, chestnuts are also great)

All I can say is good luck sure you will succeed !!  

Thank you for your good wishes. I'll start tomorrow, I think! However I think the biggest danger is mineral deficiencies, especially low phosphorous, potassium, or magnesium. It seems the best strategy is to start low and include more (non-skimmed) dairy products, legumes, and certain vegetables. It's carbohydrates that need to be limited at first and carefully introduced, because my body is not accustomed to responding to glucose and too much of it in my blood could cause electrolyte imbalances. Bran may be the exception as it's very high in both phosphorous and potassium. I'm just putting this out there in case anyone else in a similar situation needs some information!

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7 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:40 pm

I have been trying to reefed by myself for 10 days now and I just keep on throwing up, involuntarily, generally after my last meal. I am at 1100-1200 calories / day.
I haven't yet increased my intake as I can hardly bear what I am eating now.
Morning and lunch are more or less Ok...it depends days....
I have given up eating soups or anything liquid in order to avoid any regurgitation...but even if I eat bread or rusks I can't keep in in my stomach...everything just goes up.

I really do not know what to do.....as it jeopardize my weight...instead of gaining or not loosing weight...well I have lost 2 pounds

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8 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Mon Nov 17, 2014 4:56 pm

Vomiting can be a sign of refeeding syndrome, but it may also just be because your stomach is having a hard time digesting the larger amount of food. From youreatopia: 


"Re-feeding syndrome is not subtle and you will feel very, very ill. You will want to stay in bed. You will be feverish, clammy and nauseous. You may likely vomit and you will experience severe swelling of the hands and feet. If you have these symptoms, call for immediate emergency help. As I mentioned, it is quickly rectified but you need immediate intervention. "

If this applies to you, go see a doctor immediately. If not, try eating foods with a high amount of calories per volume. Examples could be peanut butter, nuts, chocolate and avocado. These foods will not fill you up as much, making it easier to not throw up. Calorific drinks may be helpful, but not if they are very salty or acidic (as may be the problem with soups). Try making a dairy based smoothie with banana as it may feel better than the liquids you have tried earlier (milk is a buffer - it stabilizes the pH so the drink doesn't get too acidic).

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9 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:04 pm

I do not think I have to see a doctor Yet...doesn't look like a re-feeding syndrome.
I do not want to stay in bed
Do not feel feverish and have no fever, not clammy but a little bit nauseous after meals
Have no swelling of the hands and feet

Have tried drinks...but as soon as I have anything liquid I vomit.
I try to drink the less I can and have no water during the meal but 1 hour after I have a coffee

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10 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:15 pm

Maybe eating many small meals would help?

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11 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:25 am

I dont get monitored, no professionals helped me, I found them rude and they were frightened of food "eat healthy, exercise, don't be lazy" etf which I found triggering and ignored. Everything that MM says would happen, has happened to Me so I just used this and some other MM sites. I also couldn't help but increase quickly as I got extreme hunger straight after I started recovery but it's probably safer, although I don't think it's absolutely necessary xz

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12 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:28 am

susannsk89 wrote:Maybe eating many small meals would help?

I try to have several mini-meals during the day.
I have
* breakfast then when I arrive
* at the office: bread or brioche + dry and fresh fruits
* lunch
* snack: bread/ brioche/cookies + dry and fresh fruits
* diner
* snack: bread/brioche + dry fruits and fresh fruits sometimes: rice or pasta or potatoes with olive oil

Yesterday, all went Ok. No meal reflux before going to bed, just a little bit painful.

This morning I managed to eat even though I was not super hungry
Had a butter (point of the knife...but there was still this bit of this scary butter...and after all it was not such a big deal and terrifying) with my jam and honey spread on nut bread.

Day has just started and I feel anxious for the rest of the day. Have to eat 1200 cal today, what ever happens and what ever my feelings are or my stomach feels.


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13 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:56 am

You are doing great! Try to cut back on the fruit a little bit, as they maybe very acidic and hard to digest. Maybe eat more of those cookies?

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14 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:12 am

Also I am at the sometime managing not to be vegan. But It makes me feel so miserable.


I have been vegan (not for ethical reasons but only cos I have very hard time digesting dairy and soy products and I since baby never been fed animal flesh) way before being anorectic and there is no implication vegan/anorexia.
I had several recovery period (lets say better days) remaining vegan, but this time my weight when to low (I have today a BMI of 12 and I have to go to the office)

I have tested yesterday a piece of goat cheese and a bit of butter this morning. As it was a tiny bit I was more or less ok. I will push a little bit more with a bigger piece or several times in the day to test my limits.
Tested fish .... but stomach has been extremely upset, I did not digest it at all and have been dead sick the whole day and night, so I really fear sickness if I eat meat.

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15 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:49 am

BMI of 12?!? That's extremely low! It's very understandable that your body is not digesting anything because it just doesn't have the energy. You need to keep trying, even though it may hurt.

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16 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:01 pm

how long can it take for digesting process sets out again ?
I experience "constipation" sometimes up to 15 days and my stomach becomes very hard and painful, no more able to eat and vomit (have no choice and have to use laxatives)

eating or dinking dried prunes doesn't make any difference even adding a bit of oil in the food
probably cos a eat too little

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17 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:03 pm

More oil will help. And if you just continue eating, your digestion will be fixed Smile

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18 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:09 pm

the most difficult is to overcome the "not hungry/can't eat/sick" feeling

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19 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:35 pm

You just have to keep forcing yourself right now. It will get better Smile

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20 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:38 pm

how was it for you?

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21 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:51 pm

I (luckily) got extreme hunger at the beginning so increasing was not an issue. But now, after almost two months, but hunger has decreased making me feel like I don't want to eat. But I know I gave to, because be ill is not an option. You can do it too, and I promise that everything will not be as hard as you fear it will be Smile

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22 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Tue Nov 18, 2014 12:53 pm

Sorry about the misspellings.. My phone is not the best gadget for writing Smile

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23 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:13 pm

do not worry....I am French ...so my English is quite poor and with lots of mistakes ! Very Happy

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24 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:14 pm

No problem Smile

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25 Re: Can I refeed on my own? on Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:18 pm

Have just been reading Amalie last post
"they might find almost immediate relief from their health condition(s) if they were to go pig out on 2-3 double Cheeseburgers, an apple pie or two, and an ice cold Coke from none other than the infamous Mickey D’s. Why? Because the calorie-density, digestibility, and salt and sugar-heavy load of a McDonald’s meal is unparalleled."

It is hard for me to just imagine that it is possible for me to eat, even just, one bite of hamburger (MacD or home made) !
would be over my dead body !!!

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