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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody:Sorry for the pathetic message - I generally never post anything.My wife Larisa has digestive problem - she can't eat almost anything. The amount of food she could eat was slowly reducing during last two years, and now she can eat only a few ounces of outmeal a day.Otherwise - bloating, pain - totally no motility.Other symptoms include severe insomnia (no medication helps), muscle pain, fatigue.She does Yoga three times a day, takes all supplements, vitamins, etc. Motilium used to help a bit, but not now.All GI (ant other) tests are normal. We consulted two dosen doctors already - no help.She gets weaker every day, her weight now is 92 pounds.I don't know what to do.Any help?Roman.
 

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This may sound a little strange, but if she is getting weaker and weaker you may get her to eat some baby food - this usually sets well on stomachs. I would start with fruits and veggies see how she handles that, and add a little more in. She may think this is totally crazy, but she needs to get something in that stomach besides oatmeal. If it starts getting any worse they may end up putting her in the hospital and placing a feeding tube in - and that is no fun at all.
 

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I agree with NewForMe, try baby food and if that doesn't work she needs to go to a hospital.When was she diagnosed with IBS? The reason I ask is because eating so little and losing so much weight caused symptoms that are pretty much exactly the same as IBS symptoms (bloating, C, etc.). So if the reduction in appetite came before the IBS symptoms, you may want to seriously consider that she might have a thyroid disorder or an eating disorder. The yoga also makes me think it could be an eating disorder -- when my IBS symptoms act up the last thing I can do is exercise, even yoga. Yoga burns more calories than many people think, and to force yourself to do it three times a day when you cannot eat any food seems a little extreme to me.Also, has she had blood workup done to check for thyroid problems, hepatitis, ect.? Those are things she should be checked for right away.
 

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My thoughts on this: if she can keep down supplements and vitamins I would think she should be able to keep down more than just oatmeal. Vitamins and supplements are generally hard to digest and can cause stomach irritation. And if she can't keep her caloric intake to a normal healthy level she definatly shouldn't be buring calories by exercising 3 times a day.To be honest my first thought was also eating disorder - with the low food intake and constant exercise it definatly sounds like anorexia. Maybe antidepressants would help.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Roman,Sorry to hear that your wife is not doing so well. Maybe you can try the supplement drink called Ensure, or if you do not have it where you live, ask your pharacist about a supplement drink the store might have to give her. Hope she is feeling better soon, what a terrible way to feel. I am so sorry. Also ask your pharacist what other foods you can try to give her, they are trained to help. Keep us posted on your wifes condition plase.------------------Love to all.
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, all I can say is my daughter has lost 15 lbs. since March. Her doctors say she is not doing this to herself. She has a rare auto immune disease called Dermatomyositis which causes very weak, painful muscles. She now has the added problem of pain every time she eats and very bad "C". I know you what you are going through. I wish I could help. My daughter is going AGAIN though a lot of tests. You can read my other post I just wrote - subject-- ? Miralax-worried mom etc.
 

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So sorry, Roman. Most of my comments have already been reported by others here. Please don't let her lose too much more weight before, if necessary, you take her to the hospital. The side-effects/pain from extreme weight loss are great (I know myself, but I doubt I got as low as your wife). Yoga's great, and I enjoy it myself. But I'd say that 3x/day is overkill. Maybe you can get her to do it only once/day. What about also checking into hynotherapy, relaxation therapy (in addition to the yoga), and "healing" music by Dr. A. Weil?
 

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I only weigh 72 pounds as a 5'2" 18-year old male! I can't take in many calories due to the bloating. I'm not really deficient in specific nutrients other than fat and calories in general. Rather than lose weight, I never grew after age 14 and never gained weight. I haven't lost any, luckily, but I eat the same thing nearly every day just to maintain my weight. It's hard for someone with bloating as a main symptom.
 

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Ad, are you serious? you only weigh 72 pounds? I don't want this to come out wrong but has your doctor told you that you should gain weight? For your height and sex, that seems a little extreme...I understand that it's hard to eat certain foods with IBS, especially bloating, but what has your doctor said?
 

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Your wife needs to start eating adequately. I'm afraid it is that simple, even if it causes discomfort. The thing about the gastrointestinal tract is that it works by being stimulated by what you put in it. So if you stop feeding it, it goes all silly. An example - sufferers of anorexia nervosa end up with a bunch of GIT problems, usually severe bloating and c, from not eating. When they try to eat adequately it can be quite uncomfortable at first but usually in time this improves. Is it possible your wife has anorexia? The weakness and insomnia are often present in anorexia. Often people with anorexia convince themselves that they can't "tolerate" various foods so that they can avoid them. Does she recognise she is underweight, and that this can be dangerous? She needs to see a dietitian urgently. I don't know how tall your wife is but 92 pounds is very underweight for ssomeone of an average height. If she remains underweight she is likely (if not already experiencing) to have a variety of associated medical problems including ammenorhrea (periods stop), which can eventually lead to osteoporosis, also cold intolerance, extreme weakness, decreased cognitive function and other problems. A dietitian will advise on a weight gain program, which needs to be supervised as it can cause problems if not done properly. If your wife refuses to go or do a weight gain program, it might be worth talking to a Dr about the possibility anorexia nervosa. Often people with AN don't recognise they have problems at a psychological level, and believe they have physical problems to 'justify' the unusual behaviours. I hope this doesn't sound frightening-I wish you both the best of luck.
 

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Roman--I really feel for you and your wife.Has your wife stopped menstruating at this point due to the weight loss? Has she grown excess hair on her body (arms, etc.)? If you give her Ensure, or even a little packet of salad dressing, will she refuse to drink/eat it? These are also things to keep in mind and report to the doctor. (All three are typical of anorexia nervosa; just one or two may indicate something else.)I have to agree about the supplements-- vitamins can be very harsh to the stomach, and usu. should be taken with food (some people even vomit them up if not taken with food as a cushion!). It's strange that she "can" take these but "can't" take food. When my IBS acts up, the LAST thing I can dump in is vitamins.Reiterating again: baby food is a great idea.I know this must be very difficult to deal with the stress of this and THEN have to process in your mind and your heart that your wife may have anorexia or another disorder such as described by Mhen. But keep an open mind, because no matter how bad it is, the sooner you find out what is wrong, the sooner you and she and the doctor(s) can work together and make a change.Please write down any observations you have and then consult another doctor-- writing them down ahead of time will help you remember when you get in there. You don't need me to tell you that anything you do can help save your wife, as this situation sounds like it's getting VERY serious.BEST OF LUCK... please keep us updated.Regards, Lilymaid
 

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Roman,I was almost in the same shape your wife is in two years ago. And had all the tests they would give me and could find nothing wrong but the weight was falling off of me...17 pounds in 5 months from the constant diarrhea and consequent not having any appetite. Got to where I did not want to eat...could understand how anorexic people felt...a real revulsion for food. Could not tolerate vitamins (which I've laways taken, could not take calcium, which I had taken for years, could not eat fats...had not been able to do that for years anyway) I finally took myself in hand and decided to "cure" myself. Started keeping a food diary of every calorie I ate...found I was not even getting enough to keep my weight let alone gain any. Started forcing food every two hours even if it was only a few bites. ..hungry or not ...I ate at certain times all day every day..right up until bedtime. than sometimes if I was having a bad day..took food to bed and ate during the day. Hated it...sometimes would fill up in a few bites..soemtimes could eat a reasonably normal meal...for me that is. Anyway, long story...I finally began to see results and now I maintain at 100 pounds sometimes gettign a few pounds over that soemtimes losing a few but always continuing to eat no matter what or how I feel. 1800-2,000 a day is needed to ad any weight. I am a small boned woman who should weigh 105-115 and I may never see those weights again but I am SO much better now than I was a year ago and I have myself to thank for it and no doctor even cared, asked or did anything about my nutrition after they find out there is "nothing wrong" with you they just drop you. Then all sorts of other problems are created from this one. Find the foods that your wife can tolerate...my foods are only about ten things that I can toldrate and I get SO sick of them but I make myself eat them. It takes a very disciplined person to do this consistantly but I had no choice. I wanted my weight back on All I eat is baked chicken, green beans, carrots, peas, french bread, grits, applesauce, some plain cookies, Socialbles crackers, saltines, potato stix (believe it or not they don't bother me even though I would nto put a potato chip in my mouth. Rice milk is good and easy to digest and good for you. Check labels for fats, milk products etc...whateve bothers her. Is she lactose intolerant?What I'm saying is that there have got to be some foods that your wife can eat. Certainly if she can take vitamins she can eat SOME food! I wish I could take vitamins.Good Luck. And if you need any more info from me feel free to e mail me.Judy
 

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Bubbles, I know I should weigh far more than I doand doctors have stressed that plenty. I never feel tired or hungry. I do eat however by the clock not by appetite (otherwise I'd be eating only about 1000 calories a day!) As it is, I would vomit over 1500. I drink lots of prune juice and use Polycose maltodextrins (corn product) which dissolve into soft foods and liquids to add calories without the sweetness. I also tolerate nuts and peanut butter well, but I have missed out on fruits, whole grains, many fats and vegetables.
 

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I am 21 I am 5'6 and two months ago I weighed in at 97lbs , I have a big problem eating due to my insecurities with my IBS.Being treated and on meds for it has helped but I still couldnt gain weight I tried the ENSURE drinks and I weigh in at about 103 105 now.They are lactose free and are very gentle on my stomach. Also this is odd I heard if underweights drink alot of Slim Fast you gain weight. I agree with the above a thyroid and hepatitis test if thatz no good Hospital ASAP.
 

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One more thing I forgot to mention in my previous post... being severely underweight can cause some incredibly serious long-term consequences such as liver failure, heart disease, and more. So this is something that should not be taken with a "wait and see" attitude...
 

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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 so_Only 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.
 

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PoohBear, I can totally relate to the symptoms. I used to eat only 1000 calories a day (now about 1500). I have recovered from all of the body image and self-esteem related issues, but the physical problems remain, and thus, I often feel too bloated to eat more again. My worst symptom is bloating and distention relieved only by forceful expulsions of gas or D. I have taken milk of magnesia daily for 3 years now, but drink plenty of water. With the MOM, I am more of a C/D type. My worst complaint is the sensation of trapped gas. It makes me sick and makes my abdomen distended. I have had numerous blood tests with everyhting normal except high liver enzymes. I have no physical problems, lack of energy, pain or discomfort other than bloating and IBS. Is it normal to have chronic C after an eating disorder?
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi:Thank everybody for the ideas.You are so friendly and compassonate group!I started giving my wife Baby food yesterday, and it seems to work (so far). Also I am trying the powdered protein. I will post more detailed message in a few days.Thanks to all.Roman.
 

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You might try glucose polymers. They are available at many nutritional centers and also sold as Polycose or maltodextrin. You can mix it in with oatmeal and add calories. It has no taste, little sweetness and dissolves easily. Being pure carbohydrate, it is easy to digest. However, if you are trying to boost protein, I don't know how it would work. It's mainly a calorie, not a nutrient, source.
 

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Ad, I kind of think that my symptoms have resulted from my restricted calorie diets, and messed up eating schedule while I'm at school. So, yes, I do think that eating disorders DO mess up your system...my mom says this all the time, and I hate to say I agree with her
but I think that once you start to introduce those foods that bother you slowly, you'll develop a tolerance to them. Veggies and grains are very important for good health.
 
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