I can't stop eating junk

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Hi, I'm 29 years old, 5'2" in height and weigh 46.5kg. I was recently diagnosed with underactive thyroid and I read that hypothyroid people are usually overweight. I've always been slim and petite so that aspect of my illness has never registered. Whenever I've gone to thyroid support meetings the other members immediately guess that I'm hyperthyroid and are shocked when I say that I'm the opposite. I like to look nice when I go anywhere (I don't obsess about it) but I don't like it when I get young girls glaring at me or men looking at me. I have also had unwanted attention from other men and I tend to avoid them when they say/do certain things.

I have no desire to eat - when I say I have no desire to eat it's mainly where I have no desire to eat healthy foods. The only foods I'm likely to touch are:

* Crisps (same ones - sea salt and vinegar)

* Cakes

* Sweets (certain ones but when I have eaten the same ones for so long I change to another type of sweets and go back to the other ones when I'm fed up of those)

* Chocolate (certain ones but when I have eaten the same chocolate for so long I change to another type of chocolate and go back to the other type of chocolate when I'm fed up of that)

* Yogurts (always the same ones and I've never gotten fed up of them - lemon creamy yogurt made with whipping cream)

* Bread

* Cheese (I'm not meant to eat cheese that much because it gives me reflux but that doesn't stop me.)

I have been measuring my BMI but I haven't lost a lot of weight and when I spoke to my employment assessor she was worried that I am now in the underweight range. I don't know how to go about telling my GP that I have this unstoppable craving for sweet, salty, milky foods because I know that I will instantly be in their bad books.

Can anyone advise why I am so addicted to the foods I listed? Could it be a deficiency in a vitamin/mineral? I already know I am Vitamin D and iron deficient but my GP and endocrinologist haven't checked me for any other deficiencies and I really feel that they should.

Ferritin (checked in August) - 28 (30-400)

Vitamin D (checked in October) - 73 (>75), up from 59.6 in June (>75)

Folate (checked in July) - 4.9 (4.6-18.7)

Vitamin B12 (checked in August) - 362 (180-900)

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  • Posted

    I wouldn't worry about what you think your GP will day or do, they will not treat you any differently than if you were there for any other problem.  I would say your body is probably crying out for certain vitamins and minerals.  Do you feel able to introduce food like a banana which should help satisfy your sweet tooth, you could even top cereal with it and or yoghurt.  Tomatoes and bananas will help you with maintaining your pottasium levels.  When you fancy savoury, such as crisps, cheese etc, couldn't you have some savoury rice with Chicken or other meat if you are not vegetarian.

    You do seem to be pre-occupied with food and your BMI, these could be warning signs.  You need to address why your BMI is so important to you.  Your doctor could do a blood test to see if you are deficient in anything and could refer you to a dietician.  

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  • Posted

    I wouldn't worry about what you think your GP will day or do, they will not treat you any differently than if you were there for any other problem.  I would say your body is probably crying out for certain vitamins and minerals.  Do you feel able to introduce food like a banana which should help satisfy your sweet tooth, you could even top cereal with it and or yoghurt.  Tomatoes and bananas will help you with maintaining your pottasium levels.  When you fancy savoury, such as crisps, cheese etc, couldn't you have some savoury rice with Chicken or other meat if you are not vegetarian.

    You do seem to be pre-occupied with food and your BMI, these could be warning signs.  You need to address why your BMI is so important to you.  Your doctor could do a blood test to see if you are deficient in anything and could refer you to a dietician.  

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    • Posted

      Hi there, thanks for your reply Lillypad.

      I don't feel able to eat bananas because they are sticky and I get choking fits.

      Tomatoes are fine as long as they're peeled because the skin can stick to the roof of my mouth and make me choke. I have got a craving for tomato sauce at the moment.

      I could have savoury rice, no problem.

      I guess I'm preoccupied about my BMI because my family have said I am skinny and I was also bullied at school about my appearance.

      I am worried the GP will not test me for vitamin/mineral deficiencies because of how expensive the tests are.

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  • Posted

    Hello Starla8

    Thanks for your reply.  Do you find that many foods cause you to choke?  Because, to me it's easier to choke on dry foods like crisps or nuts.  Did you have a bad experience with choking when you were younger?  I ask because, I am wondering if maybe you are fearful of eating certain foods.  I would still advise you to talk to your GP and ask for a blood test, they do blood tests all the time and for people with less problems that you are having.  The cost of blood tests I would think is minimal to not having a test only to find out that they missed something that you need medication for, so it's cheaper in the long run.  I really do think also you should ask to see a dietician.  If you feel uncomfortable, write a letter or a list of questions you have when you go.  I once went to a GP and said I was too embarrassed to tell her whats wrong and handed her a letter.  She read it and was absolutely fine about it, in fact she was brilliant.  

    I was also bullied at school about several aspects of my appearance which did get me down, but now I am older I now know that they picked on me due to their own insecurities.  It still hurts though, but as I got older, got married, started a family, my confidence rose and I had other aspects of life to focus on.  

    My concern is that you could be malnourished, hence the cravings.  I do hope that you take some action to help yourself.  Sorry if it comes across as nagging or similar, that was not my intention.  If I don't hear from you, then I hope you have a happy Christmas. 

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  • Posted

    Personally i would address your preoccupation with restricting your food and your weight issues, as i feel this is going to turn into something more. I would be really honest with your GP and see if you can get some kind of councilling. I only say this as i am 5ft4 and weigh 35.8 kg with a BMI of 13.4 i have anorexia and have been admitted to a Psychiatric unit 4 times and a medical ward 3 times. My preoccupation with ony eating certain foods started years ago , i was 16 now 49 when i was bulied. It has been throughout my life to the point that i became a strict vegeterain 6 years ago.This was to reduce the amount of fat adn also at the time i couldnt bare the consistency of meat in my mouth. Its now got to the point where i am only eating ryvita edam cheese and a bit of cucumber. I am now seeing the dietician with an eating plan and have supposed to introduce diffeent foods which i cant. I find the idea of new foods scarey ive bought yogurts and porride but cant bare the idea of eating more than once in the day, as this will trigger feeling more hungry. I have also developed a spitting and chewing as i get the sensation and taste without the calories. This completely and utterly contros my life, i cant go to cafes friends houses incase im confronted with food and just dont like tomix socially.

    I am only sharing this with you because i want you to address it before it becomes something more please seek someone to talk to. I am not saying it will but the fact ypu are on here might indicate that you are worried.

    My local Health board in North Wales have applied for funding to go to a special unit, but its in Engladn. It scares the hell out of me as i wont  be able to see my son, but i know its gone to far and cant do it on my own as on top of the eating i over exercise. 

    I am writing as a concerned friend take care

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    • Posted

      I am so glad that you shared your experiences with Starla8.  I hope you don't mind but I really felt the need to chat to you, it is almost as though I am reading about myself in your story.  I am 46 and have had anorexia for years.  I too have had several admissions to ED Units, General hospitals and Psychiatric hospitals.  I am so relieved to hear that I am not the only person who chews and spits, it is something I only admitted to professionals earlier this year, unfortunately the amount of sessions I was allowed came to an end before combatting this.  I chew and spit for several hours at a time and I hate myself for it for several reasons.  My weight has started dropping again thankfully, because medication made me put on so much weight earlier this year that I turned to other form of self harm, now my weight is starting to go in the right direction the self harming is going away.  I could have coped with the weight gain if I had been eating enough food to gain the weight, but I wasn't which as you can imagine made eating even more scary.  I am no longer under the ED team as they are so far away and overrun, but I am under the CMHT.  Do you manage to limit your chewing and spitting and if so, I would appreciate it if you could tell me how.  Best wishes.
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    • Posted

      Hi there Liliypad, the spitting and chewing realy is a new thing i have to cook for my son and the smel of the food just becomes to much for me so sometimes find myself tasting the food but cant bare to swallow it.How much do  you weigh and your BMI,im hoping that the admission to an ED unit will hep as i cannot get better on my own. I dont have a family around and ive in a rural vilage after going through a helish divorce this last year to an emotionally abusive man. The ED team have just started working with me again but i find tha really tough the dietician is visiting tomorrow and ive not followed the eating plan as find eating new foods to difficult.

      I cope with self harm and alcohol and exercise but have depression as well, im supported by the CMHTas well, i seem to spend most of my time in bed as cant be bothered, especially at the moment with christmas. What medication were you on that made you gain weight, keep talking it  certainly heps to share, take care 

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    • Posted

      Hi,  I have no idea of my weight or BMI, because even although I have started to lose weight again, I am still bigger than I have been in years.  I refuse to weigh myself while I am like this as I will only end up self harming.  I too accidentally started with the chewing and spitting, I am totally obsessed with food and would always be cooking and baking for my family, one day I made a batch of cup cakes and I took a mouthful.  I knew I couldn't swallow it so spat it out and it went from there.  I hope you can get a bed in an ED Unit, it helps to be with others who understand and also have supportive staff on hand 24 hrs a day.  I too have depression and was diagnosed last year with Borderline Personality Disorder.  I was put on medication for anxiety and can't remember the whole name, it began with c and ended with pram I think.  It's hard to remember as I have been on so many different medications.  Do you know when and where you will be going to an ED Unit?  I do hope you have to wait too long, I know that when my BMI falls below 13, I feel like I need to run away, can't concentrate, feel cold and weak etc.  Make the most of your stay there and accept the help they give you.  We have been ill for too long and it isn't fair on our children or to ourselves, I am determined to beat this.

      You say about your meal plan being difficult to do because new foods are difficult, do you think that you would be able to have a nutritional drink such as fortisip, or ensure?  They are a good starting point if solid food is to hard at first.  Vanilla is my favourite, then strawberry.  Maybe you could speak to your dietician tomorrow, I am assuming she is visiting you because you are too ill to go out?  I found the drinks really good, but if you have them I would advise you to put them in the fridge, and sometimes when it's too cold for me (weather) I would heat it up in the microwave.  

      Have you visited the website Beat? or ieat?  They have some useful tips which might be able to help you over the Christmas period.

      Feel free to post to me again.  Take care. 

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    • Posted

      Sorry, there is no edit button, my post was supposed to say I hope you don't have to wait for too long to get a bed.
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    • Posted

      I have the ensure drinks but cant even bare to drink them because of the calorie content, i lie to the dietician about my input, i knoew im in a really sh*t mind set but cant get out of it, Ive got to the point that i dont really care about myself but know that i have to accept admittance to an Ed unit is the only way. It scares the sh*t out of me as i know i hve a problem with alcohol as well, fee really desperate ive takena an OD 3 times in las t 6 months. I have got to the point whwere i cant shop or go out much so need to sort it but im so scared 
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    • Posted

      Thank you bikerjools. My main concern is that the reason I have been restricting my diet as well as eating only salty/sugary foods most of the time is because I have difficulty swallowing. The front of my neck swelled up 2 years ago and a scan showed that I have an enlarged thyroid and I have since developed 2 palpable lumps at the front of my neck. At the time of this scan the report noted that the lymph glands on the right side of my neck had swollen up and there was a new blood supply created where the thyroid had enlarged.
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    • Posted

      I would imagine that your dietician knows that you aren't being totally honest with her/him.  She only needs to look at you, she can see what we can't.  If you have been offered a bed then please accept it, the worst thing is putting it off and then getting sectioned because you will lose any power that you currently have.  Are you seeing a therapist at the moment or just your gp?  Talk to them about your concerns about alcohol, they can't help you if they don't know. What part of the country do you live in?  Try and be strong, not only for your son but also for yourself.  I had to stop od-ing around May June time, part of me wanted to die because I can't see any way of getting better, but I couldn't bare to put my children in a position where they might think I don't love them or care for them.  I know what it's like to be abandoned.  I too have started drinking over the last year, it's under control, but I have forced myself not to lie to my care coordinator.  I had a psychiatrist appointment this morning, I have a feeling she is concerned because she has gone from seeing me twice a year and now she wants to see me in January, I have seen her three times since and including August.  How often do you see somebody, because it sounds like you need a lot more support than you are getting.  Just know that you aren't alone. 
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