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

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Hi everyone

 My daughter has restrictive annorexia. She was diagnosed about 13 months ago and refeeding began in hospital. She has been weight restored for the last 6 months. Eating the meals is still slow and she needs us there or she won't eat them except some snacks she can snapchat with us. She says that what makes it hard is that she often feels full even when shes only eaten a small amount. Sometimes this is a couple of bites. Is there anything we as parents can do to help. It is really holding her back from being more Independent with meals. 

I look forward to  hearing your thoughts on this 

With love 

It takes a long time for the bloating and fullness to get better. Feed through it as the gut muscles need to get back in shape. Hot water bottle may help or distraction. But the feeding and proper nutrition has to happen every day.
Remember it could be ED trying to eat
less. Some have used probiotics. 

Great job on WR!! 

Her weight should be going up as she gets older.

When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
If you use a hot water bottle then make sure you have a cloth over the abdomen . The skin can become discoloured so don’t use it too often or too long or on bare skin, 
When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
Dr Jennifer Gaudiani has written a book titled, Sick Enough. It discussed the medical complications of EDs. In there she discusses gastroparesis, a condition where the gut fullness is caused by too much gas (I think, I'm not a doctor). I can't recall exactly what she suggested but we tried over the counter anti-gas tablets and they did not work for us. I've also heard of people trying charcoal tablets to try and reduce bloating. In the end, for us, I decided it was the ED feeling uncomfortable, not my d. The most effective solution was a distraction at mealtimes. Card games, etc. Especially for a little while after eating so that she wasn't all of a sudden finished eating and could then focus on how she felt or remorse for having eaten.
D fell down the rabbit hole of AN at age 11 after difficulty swallowing followed by rapid weight loss. Progressing well through recovery, but still climbing our way out of the hole.
With AN, the intestine system shrinks and like any other muscle it must be trained again. So this feeling of fullness will only leave after some time and training and increasing portion sizes. It took about a year after WR until it slowly faded away here. We also used probiotics and balm meds and meds against the bloating for a long time. The intestine system of AN patients is dead like after antibiotics or chemotherapy.

You say your d is WR for about 6 months now but eating is still slow and she cannot eat alone. Is she truely WR? What about fear food - all worked down already?
Sounds like brain recovery did not start up to now.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
One other thought is that excessively slow eating can lead to a greater sensation of fullness. One technique well known amongst those with AN is to eat their food particularly slowly - it goes with the eating tiny bites and chewing pieces for prolonged periods of time. There is quite a lot of research supporting for those of us at higher weights that we should deliberately slow our rate of eating. The converse is true, where there is a larger amount of food, eating slowly just makes it all the harder. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19875483
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.
We struggle with that and we are WR plus 5. 
We even went to a GI study for this full feeling and the conclusion was that everything is working fine. We tried a couple meds also, no improvement.
My personal belief is the fullness is anxiety. The mind-gut connection is so strong. Whether the anxiety is related gaining weight, or in our case it was due to fear of throwing up, I think they have to fight through it.
We used peppermint oil on a napkin to sniff when feeling to full or feeling sick. We used heating pads for stomach discomfort after eating. We are still fighting through it.
I don't know if this is a universal symptom of RAN because my D said that no one else in her ED group struggled with this particular issue. 
My daughter has the same issue. She eats all foods now but amounts are a big problem l. I lessoned the amount of food she ate to make sure she eats the last bite but have trouble to get her to eat more. Nothing to do with bloating or gas. Just liked you said, she eats a few bites and than already feels full. 
I don't know your daughter's particulars but my D had to restore 20 and I added 5 on.top of that. Through refeeding she managed to eat, with fullness struggles, almost all.meals to completion and I served a lot of food during those few months. Now that we are WR I have dropped down significantly on calories and amount to help her and to build something sustainable as she is approaching 18. I was reluctant to pull back on the huge portions but to my surprise she has still gained 2 lbs in 3.5 weeks at the smaller amount. Sometimes you can play around to see what is both doable for her AND still gaining or maintaining as needed.