F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

Welcome to F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum. This is a free service provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.

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Hello all,
My d and I are 4 weeks into FBT and have been going well. I have been "closing the gaps" and feel confident I had stopped any/most purging. My d had gained 1kg into total and then within 1 week had lost 1.2kg. I was devastated.I totally can't explain it. I have been with her 24/7 almost. My d is adamant she has not been purging...
She has been very anxious for the last week as we had a family wedding to attend in Aust (we live in NZ). 
Can the anxiety cause weight loss in it's own right???
I know when I went thru divorce I lost 9kg purely due to stress and sleepless nights. 
Brides to be drop a dress size.
Has anyone seen this in their loved one?
From Flaxen,
13y.o d with ED 
My daughter is on the autistic spectrum, has an ED, and suffers with severe anxiety, including social phobia. Over the years there was a clear correlation between term time (weight loss as school caused her anxiety to worsen) and holiday periods (weight gain as feeling more comfortable).  When my daughter was unexpectedly hospitalised for her ED she actually lost 4lbs in a week despite being under 1:1 RMN observation - a situation that was very distressing and exacerbated her anxiety - but TBH it was more complicated than this because she ate and drank less in hospital to avoid being observed using the toilet. When she moved to an out of county SEDU she steadily gained weight as she was no longer under threat of MHA s5 holding powers and the level of observation was immediately reduced as she was in the SEDU hospital they wanted.

In 2016 she was independently diagnosed with ARFID - the clinical psychologist confirmed that a link exists between anxiety and weight loss. So yes, I certainly believe people who suffer from severe anxiety can lose weight without meaning to do so. Hope this helps.
There are a number of factors here that may be causing the weight loss. It is great that you have closed the gaps and stopped / markedly reduced any purging. Even under full supervision 24/7 some will lose weight, one factor can just be an increase in metabolism. Most kids become hypermetabolic with in 2 -4 weeks of starting re-feeding. The increase in food ups the metabolism so more is needed for gain. Early weight gain is often just retaining of fluid and rebuilding of glycogen stores. I would suggest the most likely thing is that you need to increase what you are feeding her by a substantial amount. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Mostly recovered 10 years later.  Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
Thank you for your replies - I have started pushing ahead with more food over the last 2 days - she is now having thoughts of "did I eat something that I don't remember" ...it is so strange this awful disorder. All these abnormal thoughts .... I am telling her not to come into the kitchen now at all to try and refute these ideas. The anxiety is definitely ramping up all around food and being around others at meal times. Christmas is certainly not an easy time for those with EDs..

It's normal for the weight gain  during re-feeding, to not be a straight line on a graph.   With the same intake and exercise, one week there may be a gain, the next week no gain.

At the start, part of the weight gain may be fluid due to osmotic effects and increased blood pressure, once that has normalised then after that the weight gain should be actual tissue i.e. muscles being repaired, and at some point fat being deposited.

How accurate are the scales being used to weigh your d?   Unless they're digital it's hard to see what's happening within that 0-1kg difference.  

Regarding the anxiety, something I learned too late was that actually it would have been good early on to try to relieve the anxiety or at least explore with my son what makes it worse/what helps.  Anxiety can ramp up other behaviours, whereas trying to reduce it (by understanding some of the triggers for example) can then have a flow on effect with the ED symptoms.   

best wishes
Mother of 20 y.o. male diagnosed at age 16 with RAN, exercise compulsion, anxiety, depression & SH, FBT 4-5 mths to WR, WR now 3 yrs; suicide attempt 4-6 wks after WR,  IP 4 weeks.  Steady progressive recovery over past 3 years including support from psychologist on general wellbeing. Slow steady steps to success!! 

When your last bow is broken and your last arrow spent, then shoot, shoot with your whole heart
 [Zen saying}