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Constant hunger
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Questions in the Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Forum are being answered by Dr. Patricia Pitts, PhD, a Clinical Psychologist from The Bella Vita Program - CA.

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Constant hunger

I am currently recovering from severe anorexia, my BMI is 17.5 up from around 13 nine months ago.  I have been eating regular meals following the advice of a dietician and have had consistent weight gain.  For the past four months however I have been constantly hungry, no matter how much or what I eat I cannot feel satiated.  I am hungry all the time.  I can eat and eat until I feel physically sick but still I feel hungry.  I have no history of bulima or binging but am terrified of this happening.  I have to take sleeping pills at night because I can't bear the hunger pains.  Will they ever go?  What happens if they don't, surely I will become overweight? Please help.
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Dear Roxy4483,

You are doing fabulous!  To start at a BMI of 13 and gradually gain weight to a BMI of 17.5, you have been courageously honoring the needs of you body.  The hunger pains are your ability to listen to the physical needs of your body.  The experience of not being satiated is your body telling you it is still malnourished and you need to continue to a more stable BMI.  The research shows that reaching a BMI of 20 is the best likelihood of successfully moving on from anorexia.  

Speak with your registered dietitian regarding your lack of physical satiation.  Sometimes small meals given through out the day, increase of the amount of food daily, foods with protein or fats can support the physical hunger.  

Emotional hunger can sometimes be mistaken for physical hunger.  If you are not working with a psychotherapist, I would recommend you do so to support your continued recovery.

For more information on anorexia, visit our website.

Dr. Pitts

Patricia Pitts, PhD
The Bella Vita
Los Angeles, California

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