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

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Torie
Hi Friends,
I haven't been around lately because I traveled halfway across the country to be with my 103-year-old mom, who died shortly after I arrived.  As you know, it is always sad to lose a parent, but I take much consolation in knowing she lived such a long and healthy life, with a sharp mind until the end.  She was able to stay in the family home the whole time with the loving care of us six sisters.

Anyway, one of these sisters has been losing weight, which is probably okay.  She is not underweight (which of course doesn't tell anything by itself), and I'm sure she isn't anorexic.  But still, she may be losing weight fast enough to be a problem. 

In addition to losing her mom this past month, she lost her husband almost two years ago.  She is trapped here across the ocean from her own two kids, one of whom will shortly have a second child of his own.  So it is no wonder she is depressed.

That is my long-winded way of asking where the line is between healthy weight loss and too-fast weight loss.  I'm sure some of you wise souls knows that.
 
Sorry I haven't been around lately.  I have been putting in long, difficult days trying to get enough done to drive back home to my own family.  The end is not really in sight here - it will soon be a month I have been here.

I hope everyone is doing as well as possible.  I looked at some of the new topics and was sorry to see so much difficulty for so many old friends.  And now I have a popup screen I can't get rid of and can't see what I am typing so I will stop now.  Take care.
xx -Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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LaraB
Sorry about your Mum Torie. May she rest in peace. I am glad you are consoled that she lived such a long and healthy life.
I hear your worry about your poor sister. There are so many causes of weight loss. If it wasn't intentional, maybe she should go to the doctor to get a check-up. 
Take care of yourself and sending a hug.
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Enn

My sincere condolences about your mom. I am glad you were able to be there. I am sure that must have been a comfort to her as well as the rest of the family, to be together and support one another.

Weight loss when associated with other symptoms like fevers, nausea vomiting , diarrhea or changes in bowel habits, or other constitutional issues. ( night sweats, cough, new rashes, and so many other things) can be a big concern. And yes depression is well associated with weight loss. 

Generally speaking 10% weight loss over 6 months really would sound the alarm. There is no harm in getting a good physical exam and some labs with her doctor, I think would be imperative. 




 

 

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)
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Foodsupport_AUS
So sorry t hear about your Mom. As others have said good that you got to be with her and share that time with her. It is never easy no matter how old. 

As for rapid weight loss the 10% is sometimes use. We also here tend to use a loss of 5-6kg which is unintentional as a marker of concern. When it comes to medical instability it can happen at any weight with loss of 1kg per week or so. I agree with getting some form of check up unless this is intentional loss in which case of course you need to decide when it is a problem. 
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.
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PurpleRain
Sorry about the loss of your mom Torie, I have missed you. My aunt loss a lot of weight last year, unintentional and no apparent cause. She had some check ups, apparently is anxiety/depression related, she is still very thin, not fragile or compromised, but not really able to put on much weight although she eats well enough. She cares for her elderly husband and still works so has a lot of stress. I can see your sister has reason to feel both depressed about heraher losses and anxious about been trapped away from her children and soon to be born grand child. Check up is in order I think. I hope things resolve soon for both of you so you can both go back to your families. Big hug!
13 yo d started to eat "healthy" September 2018, she had a growth spurt a bit later, followed by tummy bug. She started restricting breakfast and school lunch in January 2019 (that we know). We succesfully refed at home.
I have found inner strenght, patience and compassion that I did not know I had.
Never retreat, never surrender
keep feeding
 
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atdt31_US
Hi Torie,

Sorry for the loss of your mom.  As you say, a long life with a sharp mind, surrounded by loving kids are all blessings, but hard to confront her loss nonetheless.  

I have no expertise on what constitutes rapid weight loss but, anecdotally, I can share a few things:  I had an undiagnosed illness for about four years that came and went and should not have been so hard to diagnose, but ended up being quite a lengthy process.  One of the things that kept me in the game to get it figured out was a female dermatologist, maybe 15 years my senior, who had little bedside manner and who I was seeing for something totally unrelated to the symptoms of the undiagnosed illness .. but in her broad history she asked about weight gain or loss and I said I had lost a pattern of losing 10-12 pounds without trying and then it would slowly go back on and then it would happen again ... her response was so matter of fact that it empowered me to keep searching for the root cause of the symptoms I felt likely associated with the weight loss episodes ...  She simply said "ten pounds is too much to lose without trying."  So I don't know if that is magical across the board, but I know that I could have lost ten more pounds and still not have been "underweight" so it was not like I was emaciated ... she just thought that amount of unintentional loss was significant (and she was right ... it was totally symptomatic of the underlying problem that was eventually diagnosed).

The other thing I will share is that during those times I was losing weight, it got to a point where I was actually dizzy and cloudy and dehydrated and I honestly could relate to some of what my d had shown signs of for years.  This happened many times over the years of figuring out what was going on.  So I think a "too quick weight loss," at least in my experience, is accompanied with a feeling that is not normal -- for me it was not a lack of energy, but like I said, maybe dizzy and just "off" mentally is what I would say, and in fact, probably orthostatic although I never officially checked that.  When I got that feeling I knew I needed to hydrate better and would make myself drink as many Ensure Clears as I could in a day because I had no appetite but could feel the effects of losing weight too fast and although dehydration may have been slightly part of it, I think it was also too few calories. All of that has gone away since proper diagnosis and removal of a portion of my colon ... sorry if that is tmi but it sounded sort of grim to keep suggesting a mystery diagnosis .... 

Maybe stress makes it hard for her to eat (it does me, even now, after surgery) and perhaps drinking caloric drinks would be helpful.  
Mom of either pre-diagnosis or non-ed underweight 12 yoa (as of March 2018) kid here to learn how to achieve weight gain.  BMI steadily in the mid 12's for nearly her entire life.  Born 2006. UPDATE:  April 2018 diagnosed ARFID, based solely on weight being less than 75% of Ideal Body Weight.  Mildly picky, but mostly the problem is a volume/early satiety issue, along with abdominal discomfort and chronic constipation, all present since birth.  UPDATE:  July 2019 diagnosed with PANS. Dr. said likely started first PANS episode at less than 1 or 2 years of age.  On long-term daily prophylactic antibiotics. BMI now about 16 after period of intense refeeding prior to PANS dx,  followed by stagnation as we sort out what is next. FWIW ED-D is a fraternal twin and we have no other kids.
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Torie
Thanks so much for all the kind replies. 

The doctor doesn't know what is wrong with her - it is not just the weight loss but also a whole array of other symptoms.  For the moment, I was just trying to figure out if I should try to get some weight on her (which I think I could do) or if the weight loss per se is okay.  She has been trying to lose weight most of her adult life, to the point that she had bariatric surgery some decades ago.  (At which point, she lost a lot of weight, much of which she later regained.)

Thanks again for the replies. xx

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

Just saw your post now and I am sorry for your loss. Your mum was blessed to have such support from her daughters and I hope more families stay as close.

Your sister is lucky to have you watching over. I hope you find the answer soon.
Mum's Kitchen

14-y-o "healthy living" led to AN in 2017 and WR at 16. Current muscle dysmorphia.
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PleaseEAT

So sorry for your loss Torie
what an amazing life of 103 years your dear mother had 
I’m sure you have many precious memories of her to cherish ❤️

sorry to also hear of your worry with your sister possibly the grief along with depression isn’t helping her
can you spend some time with her encouraging self care and spoiling her?
or if your not close by send her a voucher for a massage or facial, I know money is tight these days so even going on a walk together or a nice cup of tea and a chat/ phone call or Skype?
i know when I was awash with grief/stress and worry (through not seeing my daughter from this dreaded virus) I could not think straight and neglected myself 
Possibly she may need a medical check up too
sounds like you have all been through a lot 
hugs ❤️

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Torie
Thanks so much for the nice reply.  What is lucky is that I am still here with this sister, and also one additional sister is here, too.  So we are in a good position to try to help her and make sure she is eating and sleeping and going for little walks with us when the weather is not insufferably hot.  I know it gives her comfort to be with us.

As best I can tell, the weight loss has stopped.  Yay for that.  As for seeing the doctor ... well, we will see.

Thanks again xx

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

My condolences on the loss of your mom. What a long life she had and clearly she raised kind and caring children.
And what a support for her to have so many daughters.

warmly,

Kali
Food=Love
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deenl
Hi Torie,

I, too, am sorry to hear of your mother's passing. It is sad no matter what age but I think that it sounds lovely to reach such an age and to have your kids surrounding you and taking care of you. 

As regards your sister, I think you are more than experienced to consider state, not weight. Aside from the weight loss, what is your gut telling you? I'd follow your gut. I also think that your instinct to help her to have a daily rhythm of eating, sleeping and exercise is a good one.

I hope your concerns are soon put to rest.

Warm wishes,

D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. [thumb] 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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Torie
deenl wrote:
As regards your sister, I think you are more than experienced to consider state, not weight. Aside from the weight loss, what is your gut telling you?

Thanks, deenl.  I am sure that this is not ED.  But I know that rapid weight loss can indicate other issues - I just wasn't sure where exactly the line was between rapid weight loss and okay weight loss.  Luckily, I knew who to ask  🙂  xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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deenl
Sorry, there was more in my head than I obviously communicated! By state, I meant are there more physical or emotional symptoms, is there any pattern, what's different from how she was in the past, does your gut feel the changes are explained by grieving alone? Your and other family observations will be more insightful than a doctor in a short consultation.

You wondered if you should help her gain weight. Maybe casting an eye over her diet to see if she is getting enough micro and macro nutrients might be helpful? Just my own cockamamie musings but our family has many test results showing low vitamin D in spite of being outside enough. I always had the idea that we used it up quicker when under stress. And proteins as the basis of melatonin, seratonin, etc. No idea what the actual medical reality is around these, just my musings. Take or leave as required. 

One thing for sure, your sister is lucky to have loving and concerned sisters in her corner.

Warm wishes, 

D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. [thumb] 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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KLB
Hi Torie. I am late to reply to this but I also offer my condolences and I hope you’re also taking time for yourself amongst all the additional worry. I agree with deenl in regard to ensuring your sisters diet has all the range of micro/macro nutrients. I was unwell for a lot of last year and it turned out to be a B12 deficiency. I had a lot of symptoms I had no idea were related to B12. Perhaps a blood test may be appropriate?
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