I'm sorry to say I agree with the above posts about a possible eating disorder. She has all the signs (overexercising, refusal to eat anything but a few mouthfuls of oatmeal).It takes one to know one. Firstly, my sister suffered from anorexia at age 13, to the point where she was institutionalised for 6 months. She would only eat minute portions of certain foods, which were her "safe" foods, because she knew exactly how many calories, fat etc were in them. She couldn't substitute them, e.g. apple for a pear, even if they had the same number of calories in them, her brain just wouldn't let her. She also measured everythng, wouldn't eat anything unless she prepared it herself or watched my mother do it, she had her own glass, plate and cutlery which she had to use, after she had gove throught the ritual of checking them for "specks" first (food residues, calories).It also affects your capacity to think and to feel, you become almost robotic. Nothing gives you pleasure anymore, everything seems too hard, the only thing that you can control is your food intake.It can have irreversible effects on your brain, hormonal levels, bones, muscles, internal organs etc.)Along with all the "usual" anorexia symptoms, she ended up with severe bed sores and heart muscle damage (and goodness only knows what other long term organ damage). She recovered psychologically (although her personality had changed permanently after she cam out of the hospital, she was gentle and loving before, but now, to this day at age 25 she is aggressive, violent and prone to sudden mood swings), but the physical damage is done for life.Having seen her go through it, you'd think I would know better, but something just "clicks" in your brain and away you go on that downward spiral. I suffered from AN from 17-21.I also used to claim that I 'couldn't' eat certain foods (This was before I suffered from any IBS symptoms).I would exercise excessively every day, have problems sleeping (hunger prevents you from sleeping, although you dream about food all the time, making it, eating it, buying it, smelling it, then wake up in a panic thinking you were "fat"). Body hair (which they call "down")grows over your stomach, face etc, your periods stop unless you are on the pill,your skin becomes dry and your hair on your head falls out. You are not an attractive sight and you know it, but you just can't stop. I remember being in a department store one day and walking past a young couple and hear the girl say to the guy "Oh my God, did you see that ? Was that a girl or a guy?" And less than 2 years before I was modelling!! You are always constipated because not enough food goes into you, then you use laxatives and the vicious cycle begins. Also, even though you are stick thin your belly is disproportionately large (swollen looking)After I recovered from AN, I was okay digestive-wise for about 18 months, then severe C-type IBS started and has been with me ever since (I'm 27 now). Coincidence? I don't think s
nly you can pull yourself out of AN, others can support, and you can want to get better, but I really think something has to "click back" in your brain before you can start to eat again. Some "click back" permanently, some have relapses and some never recover.How long has your wife been starving herself? Did it coincide with a significant or traumatic event?I think that if your wife flatly refuses to put anything but her "safe foods" in her mouth, especially if she measures and weighs everything, there is a very good chance that she has anorexia nervosa. Does she weigh herself every day or two? Does she think that she is fat or too skinny? Is she preoccupied with food, talking about it, making it for others, looking at recipes, menus etc?Not only my sister and I, but also 3 of our cousins also went through this nightmare (one who is now 28 and is still suffering after over 10 years).Please consider this possibility, and if you see any of the telltale signs, please get your wife the help she needs pronto!I hope everything turns out okay.