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am i really anorexic or have i just lost my appetite?

By Anonymous July 1, 2010 - 5:02pm
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I am 23 years old and when i was a teenager i did have problems with bulimia but not anorexia. over the last 4 months my appetite has virtually disappeared, and even the sight of most food makes me sick to my stomach. My husband, who has dealt with anorexia most of his life, says he is positive that i have become anorexic. I am not so sure. I have been in the medical field since i was 16 and I know and have had patients with anorexia...but yet i am so confused. I am over-weight, sure, but i have not a had a big problem with that since i was a teen. I know i need to lose weight but i know how to do it healthy. Yet here i am, and i can't stand the sight of food and have lost 45 lbs in 4 months. I am concerned but..i am so scared to seek help for this. I do have problems with an ulcer in my stomach and gallbladder issues but they are not current as far as i know....i am trying to force myself to eat but it is becoming more and more difficult each day that passes...

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HERWriter Guide

Anon - I'm so glad to hear that you're going to get the help you need. And I think you will be a BETTER nurse for going through this. You have walked in the shoes of a patient afraid to seek the care they need, and felt the range of emotions that come with that experience. Now you're going to go forward and have yet another range of experiences that only those who have actually had them can know.

I'm a cancer patient, and I can tell those who understand serious illness from a clinical perspective from those who know both the clinical and personal side. Cary is absolutely right, being a patient leads to being a better caregiver.

I hope you will come back after your appointment and let us know how it goes. And take some time over the holiday to celebrate your "independence" from your eating disorder too! I wish you the best. Pat

July 3, 2010 - 2:05pm
HERWriter Guide

Anon - It sounds like you're very concerned about this, but also trying to find a way to not have your condition defined as anorexia.

Here is the definition of anorexia:

Anorexia is an eating disorder . It occurs when a person's obsession with diet and exercise leads to extreme weight loss. The disorder is considered if a person refuses to maintain a body weight at or above 85% of their ideal body weight. It can be fatal.

They key word is obsession. You can be anorexic and be overweight - until you lose so much weight you no longer are overweight.

Getting to the point where you aren't eating nutritious meals and are losing a large amount of weight in a short time isn't good for your health, no matter what the cause. Why are you scared to seek help? You need to have your ulcer and gall bladder issues monitored, and get help from a qualified medical professional to understand why you aren't eating properly. You need to get help to deal with this as soon as possible! If you need help to find a doctor let us know.

Your health is at risk if you do nothing, and it's really important that you take this seriously and attend to it right away. Will you do so?

July 1, 2010 - 6:17pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Pat Elliott)

yeah. i will get some help...i am afraid of what people are going to say about a prospective nurse with a problem like this...how can i be trying to help heal others when my own health is in such disorder? i feel so overwhelmed at all this. But i will make an appointment with my gyno as soon as the holidays are over. thank you for your input. I can not express how grateful i am to you.

July 2, 2010 - 10:55pm
(reply to Anonymous)

Anonymous, nurses have health problems just like everyone else. In fact, it can hard to be a compassionate nurse if you have never been ill, because you cannot relate to people who are.

Just get the care you need and tuck the experiences away in your mind. They will help you so much when you are working with patients. Good luck.

July 3, 2010 - 9:22am
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