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Metabolism problems after anorexia recovery--Please help!

I'm a 27-year-old female and I "recovered" from severe anorexia after in-patient treatment in 2005. I'm 5'3" tall and weighed in the low 70s before treatment. After treatment, I was eating about 1850 calories a day and weighed just under 100 pounds (still low, I know). I continued eating about that much and exercised a bit more (but not much), and by spring 2006, my weight had dropped for some unknown reason to about 83 pounds. I was secretly pleased but disturbed.

In the summer of 2006, while I kept my calorie intake at about 1850 and continued exercising for 45 min/day, my weight started to inch back up. After it got to the high 80s, I couldn't help myself---I started to restrict again. Every three months or so I would cut out 30-50 calories (I can't remember the exact amounts/times), at which point I would maintain my weight (or even lose half a pound or so) for about three more months, after which the weight would go up again---until I restricted a tiny bit once more.

Now it's 2009, three years after I weighed 83 pounds, and I weigh 95 again. Not a huge deal, but I'm now restricting my calorie intake to about 1300 calories--which I hate, and I DON'T want to go any lower! (I'd rather increase it.) How can I have restricted calories so much---to the point where I'm eating notably LESS than what I should be burning in a day---and I'm STILL gaining weight?

I know I'm still underweight and I wouldn't be terribly upset about gaining a few more pounds—but not 10!---and what I really hate is not being in control or understanding.

Did anorexia completely mess up my metabolism, and if so, how can I fix it? And why the initial post-treatment weight loss?

My blood tests don't red-flag a thyroid disorder, but my mother does have one. Could I have developed some kind of disorder like hypercortisolism?

You may tell me to eat more and let my body adjust its weight itself, but I also feel there's something truly wrong. Please tell me all the possibilities!

Thanks a lot.
3 Responses
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4742865 tn?1358632836
A related discussion, anorexia is it harder after u hit 40 was started.
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Avatar universal
A related discussion, to add a bit more... was started.
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514715 tn?1338266258
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
I understand that it is hard not to focus on the numbers.  However, anorexia is about the underlying issues and all eating disorder symptoms that maintain the disorder.  There are metabolic problems that can occur from anorexia.  They can be reversed.  However, to best support you it sounds like you may need an intensive treamtment program.  At a minimum, you may need a full day program.  Also to suppport you emotionally as your body adjusts you may need a residential or inpatient program.  The treatment team can focus on your unique metabolic and emotional needs.  To learn about treatment options visit the bella vita website.  Best, Dr Patricia Pitts The Bella Vita in Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley.
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