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

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I haven't been on this forum in a while, we've had many ups and downs but are finally at a point where D is relatively healthy at a bmi just under 20 and eating around 2500-2800. (edit: D is now 17) We had the first light period last month and D is coping with it all quite well. Something she's worried about and that concerns me however is her lack of physical development in many areas. D's anorexia started when she was 12 and before she'd had started puberty, had her period or had any growth spurts. D was always rather tall for her age, and while I'm rather short (5'4) her father is 6'3. While D has started developing breast, alsbeit hardly noticable, her stature is still very much that of a child. Since she was 12 she's had multiple periods of starvation and between those was never properly weight restored. D is worried that restricting from such an early age and for so long might mean that she will always remain short and never develop a more female stature with wider hips etc.
My question would be, is it possible that D still has catch up growth ahead of her if she stays properly weight restored and we continue to feed her proper nutrition? Or will she be growth stunted, both in terms of height and in terms of body stature?

Much love,
Hi and congrats on getting this far in recovery.  I am not sure of your D's current age, but I can tell you that for my daughter, yes, she grew an inch and developed breasts and her body now looks like a 19 year old.   When she got ill at 16 she had the body of little girl (she looked maybe 12 or 13 years old).  She even jokes now, "mom, where did I get these boobs?" and it is something I love to hear!   Truth be told she probably stunted her height somewhat.   The best advice for you is to just keep feeding her, especially fats and healthy oils.  If she does have a growth spurt, you will need to stay ahead of it with calories to prevent weight lose.   Keep going!  You are doing great!
Good Question. I'm not a doctor so I don't know what they might say but I can share our story. I wasn't sure how old your D is by your post so this may or may not be helpful.

My D was 12 when diagnosed with anorexia and had been malnourished for at least 6 years. She had always been tall for her age until around 10 when she stopped growing. I assumed that the other kids were just finally catching up with her. Little did I know, right? Once we started refeeding her, she started growing again (drastically). It took about a year before she got her period. She is now 15 and has grown over 8" and gained almost 70 pounds! The doctor always told us she was hopeful that she could regain her height but that may've been because of her age. 

From what I read, girls normally stop growing 1-2 years after menstruation starts and reach full height by 15. However, if they're struggling with ED I'm not sure how those factors are affected. The body may play catch up differently while it's healing.

Sorry, I don't have a better answer but maybe this might give you some hope. 
Daughter diagnosed with anorexia at 12 in 2013 without having any image issues/concerns about calories or exercise. Hospitalized - 3 days. FBT at home along with outpatient therapy - 16 weeks. Recovered/weight restored - 4 years. Still gaining and growing but has no hunger signs yet.  
Someone here (Colleen?) has a d that grew at least an inch after wr at about age i8 ... OK here are some of her posts about that


Hope that helps. xx

"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
Thank you so much for your answers, coming to this forum always feels like a safe haven. Is there anything that I should keep in mind in terms of what kind of food to give D? She feeds herself for the most part and while she eats enough it's not very high in fats. We never did strict magic plate considering her father and I were vegan for a long time and only recently stopped. Are there any specific food groups or nutrients that are important?
My D is 19 and recently grew 1/2 inch!
Mum of 17 year old daughter with AN seeking guidance
My D also grew almost 2 inches at almost 19 despite having started her period at 13. The key was getting back to or above HER historical weight range AND lots of fats. I think we pushed for 40% of her diet from good fats for a long time. Do you know if your D is at or above her historic weight range? I realize that will be hard to figure out if she has been sick since 12. My d tracked at 75th percentile since birth until before she got sick at 15/16. We pushed to get her back to and above 75th percentile and that was much higher than a BMI of 20. We had to go that high before we saw real brain healing and growth. In other words she had to gain out before she grew up those 2 inches.

I hope that helps.
Enjoying my 23 year-old daughter's achievement of active recovery that was made possible by the resources and education I found on this forum.

Don't give up hope!
A visit with an Endocrinologist might be helpful. They are growth disorder, thyroid, hormone and bone density specialists. There is a pediatric protocol published that outlines what to do if a 15-year-old has not yet had a period - along the lines of thyroid and Turner syndrome (X0) testing. Our pediatric endocrinologist did bone density and blood for estradiol and LH (leutinizing hormone). An MD who specializes in Adolescent Medicine might also be able to help with that.

Edit: Food groups that are important...ALL of them. I believe the Center for Balanced Living is 'right on' with emphasis on ensuring adequate macronutrients - protein, carbs, and fats. Seems like most of the nutrition hype is about the micronutrients - vitamins and minerals. Those are easy, in my opinion, with the pop of some vitamin pills. I've wondered about the concept of encouraging our ED kids to strive UP to a certain level, instead of restricting calories. For example, protein, they should get 1 gram of protein per day per kg of weight. I've wondered too if our kids really are special with dietary needs; maybe they need 2 grams of protein per day per kg of body weight to keep their brains from switching on the famine mode.
d=18, R-AN, Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Refed at home with information gathered from this forum and lots of books. Relapsed. Refed. Relapsed. Refed. 17 sessions with an excellent individual therapist. 19 sessions with unhelpful dietician. 3 sessions of DBT (didn't like it). Psychiatrist available if needed. Prozac - fail. Lexapro - fail. 5HTP - fail. Clorazepam/Klonopin = major improvement, only used when necessary. Genomind SLC6A4 short/short - not able to process SSRI's.
d=15, lost 14 lbs in 8 months, Ped [nono]diagnosed as a crystal on a hair in the ear canal

Canola (rapeseed) oil, heavy whipping cream (double cream). Full fat milk and yoghurt, premium brands of ice cream.

They need lots of fats for brain healing as the brain is made up largely of fats.  I spent hours in the grocery store reading labels, looking for the opposite of "lean." xx

"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP