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

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It has been a little while since I have posted. I feel like eating disorders are a never ending roller coaster of highs and lows. My daughter has been struggling with anorexia for 7 years. My husband and I struggled to find good treatment for her. The "experts" often made things worse. We kept to the meal plan and kept feeding. Recently, she has been saying she is now struggling with binge-eating disorder. She says she has gained 10-15 pounds in the last three months and meets all the criteria for binge-eating disorder. We do see her eating more, and she has gained weight. It appears to my husband and I that she is actually hungry and responding to hunger cues. She turned 18 recently, so she now wants to go to a doctor and get Vyvanse prescribed to help her with binge eating. My husband and I are concerned about this because it can suppress appetite. Has anyone experienced this with their child? I am so thankful for this forum. 
It is very common that AN patients tend to binge in the end of recovery. I do not remember, is she still living at home and are you still serving meals? Are you eating together?
It is also normal that they overshot the target weight a bit and that the body then needs time to settle.
And she still needs to gain when she is 18 now up to her mid 20s.
Compared to that many patients struggle to get hunger cues back I think it is a really positive sign that she feels hunger. Mine did not for years, it is now very slowly coming back.

I would not start to work with meds in that case but try to avoid that binging with regular meals and snacks and no unsupervised access to the food she binges with. Can she say what kind of food it is? In many cases it helps to avoid hyperpalative food for some time...
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
I can only imagine how distressed your daughter is after seven years feeling like her eating is out of control. I agree with you that trying to restrict her intake may not be the best way forward, and looking for a medicated solution sounds easy but as we all know is way more complicated. Is she still seeing someone to work with as regards her eating and meals?

Recovery binging is reported as very common, it generally settles down with time and is not a health problem. Tabitha Farrar has posted on this in the past https://tabithafarrar.com/2017/02/recovery-binges-not-end-world/

Ideally I would recommend physical assessment for your D with a sensible doctor (who won't tell her to lose weight if she is getting on the heavy side) to try to work out where she is health wise and also looking at mental health. Does she need to work with CBT which has also worked with Binge eating disorder?
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Initially weight restored 2012. Relapse and continuously edging towards recovery. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
@bobcat, this spring my daughter got vyvanse prescribed for her by a psychiatrist who knows little about eating disorders. I talked with the psychiatrist and she discontinued the vyvanse. My daughter complains that she wants to stop binge eating, but my daughter is underweight (won't accept that she's underweight) and is in a cycle of restrict, binge, purge, rest, repeat. The link to the tabitha farrar article that foodsupport supplied is a good one. It is normal for our children to overeat for awhile to compensate for the past restricting. Best of luck to you on your journey!


Thanks for the replies. It is always helpful to get other perspectives.
Hi @bobkat ,

I would keep her meals and snacks at 3 hourly intervals, as with refeeding.  That way the blood sugar will not drop and eating will remain more normal. 

Try to keep including variety in the meals, people who binge tend to reach for cereal and similar. I think @ValentinaGermania mentioned something similar. 
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
In my experience the binging is 100% related to the body fighting for survival.  It was explained to me that the body needs food and water and air to live.  Think about what your body does if you are pushed under water without air, the fight to get air is intense.  Same with water.  People would pay a million dollars for water if they were stranded in the desert.  Same with food.  Body has been starved for so long and the binges are the body fighting for nutrition.  We found that not letting her get hungry helped the binges a lot.  Keep feeding, making sure snacks and meals have fats, carbs and proteins every single meal and snack  This is critical to maintain a healthy blood sugar level and not have spikes and to feel sated which will eventually stop the binging trigger.  Eventually once the body realizes it is not starving the binging urges will go away.  Brain over Binge is a good book to read and I think a website as well.  The basic premise is that if you restrict you will binge.  There are people who emotionally binge however if your daughter has had an eating disorder, the binging is most likely the body trying to get nutrition.  
There is something that is called "Extreme Hunger" that is experienced by many people with eating disorders when they start refeeding.  It is totally normal.  This is a great link to some information about it written by Tabitha Farrar  https://tabithafarrar.com/2017/01/extreme-hunger-anorexia-recovery/  It is NOT binging but it can be scary for someone to be faced with.  One would hope a doctor knowing your daughter's background would NOT give her a prescription for Vyvanse as it is contraindicated in people with anorexia.