Anorexia/Eating Disorders/Uncontrollable Weight Gain

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Question
Hi! I'm a high school senior who was diagnosed with anorexia last spring. Before I started losing weight, I weighed 128 pounds, which is what I had weighed for a couple of years (I haven't grown in quite a while). I lost about 30 pounds, but I got back up to 122 by August, which was enough to put me in a normal BMI range, and gave me permission to do sports (I'm a runner). I still had a ton of ED tendencies, and my mom made my meals for me, but I was getting better fast (not to mention running really well). However, at the start of November, I started putting on weight without upping my calorie intake or decreasing my exercise. I started feeling really, really tired on runs, and I was always constipated. I kept hoping it was going to go away, but four months later I've but on more than 15 pounds, and I seem to be moving backwards fast. I am obsessed with exercise and I only eat about 5 different foods, which I know is bad, but it's hard to convince myself not to when I'm gaining weight so fast. I feel absolutely terrible, the same I-hate-myself-I-want-to-die feeling as I had during recovery, only I'm putting on weight. I'm eating about 1500 calories a day (which both my mom and I have counted, and I've written down in a journal, just because it was so hard to believe) and running for about an hour, while in the fall, I was eating about 3500 calories a day and exercising about the same. What's going on? What can I do to stop it? Is it possible for me to get back to 122, or is that completely unhealthy? Thank you so much!!

Answer
Hi Sara,

You poor thing. This sounds just awful. Did it just start all of a sudden last Fall with no triggering event? This almost sounds like a thyroid problem. Have you ever had your levels checked? That is the first thing I would do. A simple blood test should rule out or rule in thyroid issues. I would have them do a complete thyroid panel and not just TSH. Anorexia can really mess your levels up, so that is my first suspect.

Please see your physician or gynecologist ASAP to get the blood work done. Then we can go from there.

Keep me posted.

Anorexia/Eating Disorders

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Mary Pritchard

Expertise

I can answer questions about the psychology of eating, disordered eating attitudes and behaviors such as drive for thinness, drive for muscularity, binge eating, body dysmorphia, dieting, excessive/obsessive exercise, and body dissatisfaction. I can also answer questions about anorexia and bulimia.

Experience

I have a PhD in Psychology and teach courses in the Psychology of Health and the Psychology of Eating. I have been conducting research on disordered eating and exercise behaviors for 15 years.

Organizations
Midwestern psychological association, rocky mountain psychological association

Publications
Over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles in journals such as Eating Behaviors, Eating Disorders, and Eating and Weight Disorders

Education/Credentials
PhD in Psychology from the University of Denver

Awards and Honors
30 teaching awards, have received funding to conduct my research from academic institutions and state and local government

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