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Medical Eating for the first time again

  1. Feb 28, 2009 #1
    I am very involved with someone who has been bulimic for more than twenty years. She is taking control of her life and starting to actually eat for the first time in that long. What is your suggestion for food groups that will help her body to boost her metabolism and to be easy for the body to digest. I want to suggest some things that she can eat that will digest well and quickly to keep her from feeling full. This is not a comfortable feeling for her yet.

    FYI she is under the care of a physician, however, these things require all of the help that there is available under the sun.

    thanks,
    suez
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 28, 2009 #2

    turbo

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    Yogurt is good, with friendly organisms that can re-populate the gut of people who have depleted their "good" symbiotes through self-deprivation. I am NOT a doctor, but it seems logical that she must regain a healthy relationship with food and learn to eat healthy portions. My wife likes to eat yogurt with a bit of chopped fruit and some fiber-rich cereal for lunch. It seems to agree with her.

    Good luck!
     
  4. Feb 28, 2009 #3

    Danger

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    Yogurt...? :yuck:
    I admit that it's probably good for you, if it doesn't make you sick. I'd look into the 'hospital food' sort of things as well. Jell-O is always well tolerated, and both Ensure and Boost are full-meal liquids that taste like milkshakes. One can will give you all of the nutrients and trace minerals that you need, but it would take half a dozen to make you feel full. Energy bars can also be useful.
    Best wishes for your friend's recovery.
     
  5. Feb 28, 2009 #4

    turbo

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    Those liquid "meals" start with water, next is corn syrup, and they go downhill from there. They provide calories, but are not a good idea to actually build a diet around.
     
  6. Mar 1, 2009 #5

    Danger

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    Agreed, Turbo. I didn't mean to imply that a diet should be base upon supplements; rather that they can be effective as a transition measure while her system adapts to solid food.
     
  7. Mar 1, 2009 #6
    While I think the drink option may be something, I wonder whether this will be enough to make her be full enough to not feel hungry. I also wonder if this would not just add another step to her re-learning the art of eating food. A whole lot to think about inside an issue that should not be so complicated. For example, vitamins, minerals, calories, portions, ease of digestion, triggers.....

    I really appreciate all of the input.
     
  8. Mar 1, 2009 #7

    turbo

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    Your really need professional guidance for your friend, and probably some on-going surveillance, since people who are using such tactics may be really good at hiding anorexia/bulemia from you.
     
  9. Mar 1, 2009 #8
    In efforts to gain assistance from "strangers" I did explain already that she is under the supervision of a physician, however, that is so limited in its scope. So, as a friend I want to have suggestions that are helpful at my fingertips should they be needed during the much greater amount of time that I am able to spend with her in comparison to that during which she is with the professionals.
     
  10. Mar 1, 2009 #9

    Evo

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    I thought bulimics ate heartily then induced vomiting. Are you sure she suffered from bulimia (self induced vomiting)? They are pretty normal eaters, which is how they can hide the mental illness.
     
  11. Mar 1, 2009 #10
    This is one of the unfortunate habits of this condition. And your point is?
     
  12. Mar 1, 2009 #11

    Evo

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    My point is that you're saying that her body can't handle food. Bulimics can handle food. They induce vomiting. Very bad for their teeth and esophagus, but they can eat normal food.

    Here is a good description of bulimia and advice on treatment.

    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bulimia/DS00607

    Bulimics are normally binge eaters. Are you sure she's not anorexic? Is she getting mental help?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2017
  13. Mar 10, 2009 #12
    That is a very good point! The details sound more like anorexic than bulimia. In my personal opinion she should start with small portions, less variety to avoid diarrhea. Diarrhea would cause more discomfort as well as dehydration.
     
  14. Mar 10, 2009 #13

    cristo

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    Whilst bulimics can handle eating food, they cannot handle digesting solid food, since they normally eat and eat and then vomit immediately. This is presumably why the OP is asking for advice, since their friend's metabolism is not used to dealing with solid foods.

    I don't know what sort of food to suggest, but I do know that ways you can help are to encourage her to eat with you: cook a small/reasonably sized meal for both of you, sit down together and enjoy it.

    One of my ex's was bulimic. It's a really hard thing to get over, and I wish your friend all the best of luck.
     
  15. Mar 10, 2009 #14
    Thank you of mentor for helping me to get this point across. The metabolic rate of a bulimic slows for the body to retain what it needs for survival. This is what I am asking...What foods will assist with increasing the metabolic rate to a normal speed?

    I will follow your advice, however, and cook for her and eat with her and make the portions small. The content of the meals will be healthy. I would still appreciate any answers to the question above if someone would have that information.

    Thanks to all.
     
  16. Mar 11, 2009 #15
    Rice, yogurt and broths are good to start off with. Add a soft cooked veggies and small chunks of chicken to start off. Cooked apples and pears are also easily digested.
    Add things slowly to the diet, just like you would a babies diet. See how its tolerated.
     
  17. Mar 14, 2009 #16
    She needs to become comfortable with eating again and to do that I think she should eat whatever she feels like, not thinking about nutrition. One book that could help is "Intuitive eating" by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch. It's not a book about how to stop being bulimic, but I still think it's helpful.
     
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