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Thread: symptoms?!

  1. #1

    symptoms?!

    quick set of questions:
    after years of eating disorders as in binging, purging, and starving mostly there are no "noticable" signs... but can dry skin result from the acid when purging? or due to a lack of a vitamin/mineral? I mean severely dry skin on the hands. and what about having a low immune system? as in getting sick a lot due to stress but also could it be due to the above once again and maybe low iron? I don't know. I'm asking b/c I don't really know who else to ask; it's kinda hard if people don't know. you know, not to be mean or anything, but doctors cannot tell a sore throat after purging b/c they always say it's b/c of a cold...take some advil etc. don't get me wrong I don't want people to know, but it is quite ironic how long you can live w/ this **** and noone ever has the slightests clue...
    I do know the physical consequences/side effects (teeth, potassium/sodium levels, heart etc.).
    I guess what I am asking is if anyone has experienced the above, knows any more info about them or has any other comments... sorry I haven't posted so long...

  2. #2

    symptoms?!

    Yes. All of those things could result from a chronic eating disorder.

    Chronic dehydration. Metabolic disturbances, imbalances, and deficiencies. Impaired immune system response.

  3. #3

    symptoms?!

    Hey Euonia! Does anyone know that you have an eating disorder? Even when I first decided that I needed to recover from anorexia, I went and saw a doctor. She had no clue that I had an eating disorder until I told her. A therapist had recomended me to her, but my mistake was that I thought she had already informed her about my problem. Often doctors really have no idea. In my opinion, there's nothing wrong with seeing a medical doctor, but often you have to point out to them exactly what's wrong. I realize that sounds kind of funny. Thay should know, right? I was never bulimic, and I don't know about dry skin, however I 've heard that self induced vomiting can dehydrate you. When I first started to lose a lot of weight, I would wake up with hives (I know it's not the same thing). I figure that of course it's going to mess around with your immune system. I've been lucky in that respect, however I was told once that my blood pressure was low. Also, I'm only 28 years old and I'm noticing white hairs popping up. Not enough yet to be noticeable to the public. However, this could be an effect of lack of nutrition, years of smoking (although now I've quit), added stress. Anyway, my point is that a doctor might not be able to detect that you have an eating disorder. I'm just wondering if you have looked for help from a therapist or phychologist.

  4. #4

    Re: symptoms?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eunoia
    I mean severely dry skin on the hands
    I don't know if there's a relation to eating disorders with this, but it's often a side effect of Keratosis. Do do you have any other skin problems? People with keratosis pilaris (myself included) often specifically have abnormally dry hands, to the point where the backs of the hands especially are very lined and scale-patterned, almost wrinkled-looking, and KP is a very common skin problem.
    http://www.drgreene.com/21_92.html
    Or do you have a habit that would cause it? Like washing your hands a lot?
    as in getting sick a lot due to stress but also could it be due to the above once again
    An eating disorder certainly doesn't help your immune system. Also you could be under a lot more stress than you realize - Keeping your illness a secret and pressuring yourself to stay thin are all extra stressors. (And do you stress a lot about school, parents, work, friends, etc?) Are you taking vitamins at least? I would imagine that if you're vomiting a lot and having a sore throat afterward, that would make you more likely to catch colds and flus. Those viruses often get into your body through breathing or swallowing, so the throat has these mucus layers to keep them from getting to the tissues underneath. I think if stomach acid can dissolve tooth enamel, then surely it can strip your throat of this defense.
    Purging is really stressful on the body generally, too. I think you would be more likely to get sick just because you're taxing your body in so many ways when you put it through this...

  5. #5

    symptoms?!

    no one knows about this, thus partly my reluctance to go to a doctor and ask about the dry skin, immune system etc... I do wash my hands a lot, but not more than needed, I have used lotion to help them heal which doesn't seem to help... I don't take vitamins and never have.
    I have always told myself that I would never get help from a psychologist/ therapist etc. b/c that would be admitting to a problem (which I still don't really believe there is besides from soem side effects), giving up my hopes/dreams for the future (complicated story), and b/c I don't look bad b/c of it and I am so afraid- deathly afraid- of gaining weight but I mean I'm still here, so it seems kind of pathetic for me to "burden" others if I don't have any real issues. In my mind people would laugh in my face b/c I am ok, I am living a successful life, and I look fine so noone could ever understand what this is like b/c there is no "evidence".

    sea swirl- I've never thought of Keratosis, I should check that out.
    I do stress a lot, but it seems unpreventable.... there's just A LOT going on all the time. I do take time out, I do drink lots of water etc but I can't eliminate the stress. I don't purge a lot, at least not nearly the amount I used to. I just don't eat right/enough but again there isn't much I can change about that at the moment.. I try to eat very healthy foods so it shouldn't be a lack of vitamins really...?

    thanks for all your responses

  6. #6

    symptoms?!

    Do you feel that not eating enough is a necessity? You're not burdening anybody. Issues are issues no matter how big or small. Don't count them as not being "real".

  7. #7

    symptoms?!

    Quote Originally Posted by Eunoia
    I have always told myself that I would never get help from a psychologist/ therapist etc. b/c that would be admitting to a problem (which I still don't really believe there is besides from soem side effects), giving up my hopes/dreams for the future (complicated story), and b/c I don't look bad b/c of it and I am so afraid- deathly afraid- of gaining weight but I mean I'm still here, so it seems kind of pathetic for me to "burden" others if I don't have any real issues. In my mind people would laugh in my face b/c I am ok, I am living a successful life, and I look fine so noone could ever understand what this is like b/c there is no "evidence".
    I don't mean to be rude or offensive, Eunoia, but frankly all that sounds to me exactly like rationalization -- someone who at some level realizes she needs help but is trying to create "good reasons" for avoiding the anxiety and effort associated with actually going out and seeking that help.

    Or somebody who fears having to change...

  8. #8

    symptoms?!

    Even if you look good and feel physically OK, you still have to deal with what's going on in your mind and with your emotions. Therapists aren't trained to laugh in your face if you come to them with a problem. Sometimes, others don't understand and pass off your seeking help as looking for attention. However, you know what's right for you and you can't worry about that. Also, I bet that many people won't do this. They might be surprised, and then praise you for seeking help.

  9. #9

    symptoms?!

    b/c that would be admitting to a problem (which I still don't really believe there is besides from soem side effects),
    I know what you mean. When you're in it, it can feel more like just a funky lifestyle or something than an actual disease. Sometimes people have to have very bad side effects/problems before they are willing to get help, or even see that they need help.
    It's always best to get help, but... I understand what you're saying. If it isn't causing distinct problems in your life at home, school, etc, it may not feel like a problem at all, and people on the outside may have no idea. (On the other hand, some people may be totally aware of what you're doing and just won't say anything.)
    However, this is one of those odd problems where YOU *personally* absorb all the bad effects.
    They may not seem that serious now, but over time it will affect your health a lot. You know about the risks and consequences already, as you said, and... well... those things supposed to bother you LOL. :oD
    If people really like themselves and care about their health, they don't think of maintaining their health as being a "burden" on others. They take care of these things because they feel they are worth the care and attention. And... yeah, dieting is one thing (a lot of women do that constantly), but if you're starving or purging, that isn't healthy or normal. It means you have an eating disorder. End o' story.
    my reluctance to go to a doctor and ask about the dry skin, immune system etc...I just don't eat right/enough but again there isn't much I can change about that at the moment.. I try to eat very healthy foods so it shouldn't be a lack of vitamins really...?
    Well, that's good that you eat nutritious things rather than junk, at least. :o) Your body might be starving for nutrients, though. Even people without eating disorders have a hard time getting their RDAs of everything, so if you're not eating much, and purging sometimes, you're probably not getting the vitamins you need.
    Also, think of how much energy your body and immune system have to put toward repairing the damage you're doing. Every time you purge, you put your body through violent stress, and the acid damages your esophagus and other tissues, and your body has to go fix that. Depending on how often you do it, it may not even have time to heal. So you may be keeping yourself in a constant state of injury, and your systems are spending extra calories and nutrients just to keep you functioning, and they have to keep up with wear and tear from all your normal activities, too. Your immune system probably has little left over to handle external threats like diseases that are constantly trying to get in.
    Even if you look good and feel physically OK, you still have to deal with what's going on in your mind
    Yeah, that is exactly it. For instance, people with OCD may look fine and feel physically ok, but that does not mean they are healthy. They are still locking the door 42 times a day and counting all their socks. Eating disorders are no different. They really shouldn't even be called Eating Disorders, because they are not about food at all. The eating problems are just the *visible* symptom of the actual disease.
    So it's almost irrelevant to say there isn't really a problem because you still look ok and can function. The actual disease happens in your head, in your thoughts and emotions about yourself. As soon as you start starving or purging, that's just a symptom that the illness is already there (and probably has been for a while.)

  10. #10

    symptoms?!

    When I became anorexic it did become noticeable to people and they approached me about it. I "still" was convinced that everything would be OK. I told them not to worry. I didn't believe that I would let it get so bad. I could pull myself out of it if need be. I'm serious. I mean a whole group of my friends confronting me - one of them crying. But, I was getting good grades in school, etc. So, I can understand how hard it is for someone with no physical symptoms that are noticeable to the public. Just a "funky lifestyle". But, I think you know that you should get help. It can get out of your control and do some real damage. I hope for you that it doesn't, but it still can't hurt to deal with the feelings that have made you begin ed behaviour in the first place.

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