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Eating Disorders If you or someone close to you is struggling with an eating disorder, reach out here to ask questions or to receive support for recovery.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Ikigai Offline
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I don't feel like eating - June 2nd 2017, 01:41 PM

Hello everybody,
my problem isn't technically an eating disorder, but it's connected to eating so I decided to post it here.

As a child I used to eat A LOT, but I was always rather slender. My weight was never below average, though.
I gradually ate less and less when I was growing, but I never starved myself or anything. I've been having some problems with constant feeling of nausea since I went to junior high at 13, but it wasn't directly connected to food.
Then around a year ago I started having some periods of eating nothing. I ate normally in general, but for example I would eat a slice of bread and a tomato for breakfast and not eat anything till afternoon one day. And then get back to normal eating. I guess I might've been more affected by stress during these days or something.
What worries me is that it gets worse. For instance, today I've had two slices of bread and a sausage for breakfast and I haven't eaten anything since (it's 3.30 pm here) - and the thing is I don't feel hungry. Well, maybe I feel hungry a bit, but I don't feel the urge to eat anything, I hope you get what I mean. So I probably won't eat anything till 6 pm or later.
I don't mean to starve myself, it's just that I don't wanna eat because I don't feel like doing so.
Personally I don't see any changes but people keep telling me I'm getting thinner and thinner, and they've been telling me that for a long time. I don't want this to get any worse and affect my health. What should I do?
Thanks in advance & take care,
Sue


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del677 Offline
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Re: I don't feel like eating - June 4th 2017, 07:42 AM

Thank you for writing. You've definitely pinpointed the main issue in the mind/body/weight game.

It's supposed to be an unconsciously self-regulated feedback control system where the body & mind work together to maintain a proper weight without you doing anything. When the body determines it needs more food, it sends a "I'm hungry" signal to the brain, and you go eat. When it gets enough food, it sends a "stop eating" signal, and a "thank you" signal, and you stop eating, and you feel content.

The brain maintains the body's weight.

This is why most diets fail. People try to lose weight by eating less — and fail, because the brain compensates, working against the person's eating less. (Or the brain compels the person to eat more than they planned. I'm not sure. I've just read that most diets fail because the brain ruins them.)

Then there's medications which often have a side effect of causing one to gain weight. The medication alters the brain slightly, throwing off the feedback control system for regulating body weight, and the person gains weight. I started one of those meds a couple years ago, and I started gaining weight. Didn't matter what I did to try losing weight, my weight just kept creeping upwards.

Then there are medications which happen to have the opposite side effect of causing one to lose weight. My doctor started me on one of those meds a couple months ago. I started losing weight. I wasn't even trying! I just started losing weight! The medicine tweaked my brain a little, fiddled with that weight control feedback control system, and tipped it the other way, and now I'm slowly losing weight, heading back towards my optimal weight, without even trying.

(Stupid brain. So easy to trick.)

The other good thing about the brain is it has numerous different parts, so the part that does the weight regulating, is separate from the part that does rational thinking, so you can rationally think and realize, "Hey, something is wrong here. I'm not eating as much as I should, and people are telling me I'm getting thinner. I should do something about this."

So you recognize there is a problem, and want to rectify it.

What probably won't work is just trying a diet of "eating more", as that's just the same thing as what most everyone else is trying to do when they try a diet of "eating less". These types of diets fail because the brain compensates. The brain's feedback control system tends to compensate for whatever type of disturbance you try to throw at it.

So what does seem to work is targeting the brain's feedback control system itself, and tricking it into making you more hungry (or less hungry, whichever way you want to tip it).

So if you can see your doctor, and tell him/her your situation, you can ask him/her for a medication that will increase your appetite. At this point I'm out of my league and can not recommend a medication. I'm not a doctor! Even as a patient, I can only say there are quite a lot of medications which have the (usually unwanted) side effect of increasing one's appetite leading to weight gain, so you probably have a lot to chose from.

However, there is a condition known as anorexia, where people simply do not eat as much as they ought, and they tend to get so underweight that they become dangerously underweight to the point that they could die. (I think their body becomes so weak, their muscles become so weak, and eventually their heart muscle becomes so weak it just can't pump blood anymore and they suddenly die of a heart attack.)

This condition has always baffled me, as I have never experienced it myself (I have my own mental problems), and apparently it also baffles doctors and scientists.

One thing I read is people with Anorexia tend to have the NF Idealist personality type, though I have no idea why this should be. (See overview of Idealist at http://www.keirsey.com/4temps/idealist_overview.asp).

The other idea is people with anorexia tend to see themselves as fat, even though they are actually dangerously underweight. I'm guessing the map of their body in their brain is somehow "fat", not matching up with their real physical body which is "thin". Beyond that I don't know how this discrepancy could happen, or how it could be fixed. Possibly Yoga, Tai-Chi, Qi-Gong, Meditation scanning one's body, or some kind of mind focusing / mind training exercise. Maybe physical exercise (though if they are dangerously thin and weak, physical exercise might not be a good idea for them.)

Anyway, hopefully it doesn't go that far, and all you need is a simple "make me slightly more hungry" pill from your doctor and you'll be fine.

(I suppose this whole post would have been a lot shorter if I had just said, "Go see your doctor." But then, you know, you'd miss out on all the fun emoji's I get to use at the end!)

Best Wishes!

   
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Re: I don't feel like eating - June 5th 2017, 09:32 AM

Hey Sue
I kind of feel where your coming from. When I'm stressed I often don't feel hungry anymore. I know I should eat but I simply don't feel like it anymore. Luckily for me it passes once the stress is over and I can't imagine how worrying and scary it must for that feeling not to pass.
What i usually do is force myself to eat. When I know I shoudl eat something it might take some time but eventually I force myself to do it, even if it doesn't feel right.
So maybe you could set three times a day where you will eat? Even if you don't feel like it and don't feel hungry at all. Simply because you know it would be better for you.

Also I agree with del, that maybe you could go and ask a doctor about it. I don't know much about medicin but usually there is a reason why our body does things. So if you don't feel hungry anymore, maybe there is an underlying issue that's causing it?
So maybe you could go and tell your doctor about your problem. Maybe they could run some tests or something or at least be able to give you further advice on what to do about this.

Take care


It's ok to give in to an urge or make a mistake. You are only human and we all have our flaws. We all have our weak moments and we all make mistakes. Thats what makes us human.
Thats what makes us unique and beautiful

Courage isn't always a loud roar. Sometimes it is a quiet whisper at the end of a day saying: Tomorrow I will try it again!

   
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