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malnutrition recovery?!11

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So around February I decided to start eating healthy bc I wanted to feel more athletic seeing as how I played volleyball year round and I just didnt feel as in shape as I should. I have always been very very skinny and ate terribly( 2 dovebars every night etc) and senior year it definately caught up with me. I was 140 pounds at almost 5 11 and I dropped to 119. I didnt want to loose that much weight I just wanted abs and I Didnt want for my legs to get any smaller. I do not know why I tried to loose weight to begin with. SO at the end of the summer I had not gotten my period for about 4 months and we thought it was bc I was off bc. Parents were coming up to my parents asking if I was sick and my parents were shocked bc i was still eating alot. I had just cut out too many fats. I wasnt anorexic but i was reading about something called orthorexia where you only eat healthy foods...all i know is i had a problem. I thought i was helping myself but in the end i hurt myself. Before I left for college my hair started falling out and shedding in large amounts. I went far away on sports scholorship and at that point I was taking bc again. I got my period after a month and Ive had it for four. My skin also got wierdly colored in some places on my arms and my neck and stomache. DOes anyone know what that means does it have to do with malnutrition? ALso my hair is still shedding and i know it wont be fixed over night but it made me so depressed i gave up my scholorship and came home. I also noticed the pieces that fall out have pigment then no pigment then pigment again. DOes that have anything to do with malnutrtion. Anyways how long does it take to fix the repairs needed to be made on my body. Has all my hair been affected and will my skin become fixed. I also expiernece and still am having an itchy irritated scalp and sometimes my feet and body parts feel tingly any correlation with the malnutrition. I have been eating healthy and better for a little over 3 months now adding in nuts and desert 2 times a day. Is it possible to have all these problems from not eating enough fats.ALso what does it do to your teeth and other parts of your body. I know nothing about this so any advice would be greatly appreciated!!!

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my skin went discoloured when i was at my worst and even now, on occasion, i get funky pigment. it is malnutrition. or rather, a vitamin deficiency, as my doctor calls it. 

it's because of the lack of fat in the diet. 

the only solution that completely worked for me was to watch the intake of beta-carotene (carrots, broccoli, mangoes, cantaloupe, sweet potato) and also UP THE FATS. when i ate, like, 1/2 cup almonds a day (which is ridiculous) my skin went back to normal. 

okay thanks for the advice did your hair suffer when you were malnutritioned or your nails? i also bruised very easily

my nails have always been thin and brittle and i have ridiculously thick hair so i wouldn't have noticed. i did bruise VERY EASILY. i needed to get my BMI up to 20 in order for things to get better. 

OH i used to also its sooo depresssing i cant take it i never realized how much an identity thing hair is...its sad but true i just want a sign of recovery :-(

Malnutrition is not one simple condition - its results will vary depending on exactly what nutrients you have been missing. My hair took several few months to stop falling out completely when I was in recovery, but I did notice improvement in the condition of my hair within a few weeks and the amount that was falling out rapidly decreased when I became an inpatient (and therefore began eating again).

Bruising can also be a sign of anemia so you may need to increase your iron intake.

A visit to the doctors where you can get a blood test that will check all your nutrient levels would be a really good idea, as then you can figure out exactly what you're missing. That said, if you already know your fat intake has been very low it's a good idea to increase your fat intake straight away.

Good luck!

Your body is clearly still under stress and you should go and talk to your doctor quite urgently.   Malnutrition means that you're either not getting enough energy (calories) or enough nutrients or both.... which is what's happened to you if you sunk down as low as 119lbs.  Whether you are/were suffering from anorexia nervosa is for a doctor to diagnose but a BMI below 17 was incredibly dangerous.   Your aim should be to get back up to a healthy weight of 145lbs.... and for that you'll need about 3000 cals a day average.   Fats are important and should be at least 1/4 of your dietary intake but you'll also need a wide range of other foods, carbohydrates, vegetables, fruit, meat, fish etc...

Are you eating that much now?  Is your weight increasing?  And have you consulted your doctor?   They're the best people to assess your current state health and advise about treatment.

I guess I probably should have updated you I have gotten 3 blood tests the first one said I tested pos for an autoimmune disease. I went to specialty doctors and it was neg. Everything was find in my blood work but my serum ferritin was on the low end at 31. I have read that 70 is normal for hair growth and other things. I jsut got it done last week and it is a 67 so that was positive. I have gotten my period three times is that a good sign. The only thing is i got in going on bc but I did gain 10 pounds to get it. It will almost be month 4 this week. I know I Still need to gain but I feel like it was such a waste to loose it but that is comp recic if it will help my health. (but will it) Before I went on bc last year i was just under 135 with no health problems and I ate like a pig! Then a year later I was 140. Then i got off it in feb when i started to eat "healthy" or so i thought except i was still eating 2000 calories a day but exercising two times a day for volleyball and thats why the nutrionist said I was having problems. I wasnt called anoreic just my body was in an anorexic state. Do you think its really necessary to get 145? if i have never weighed that much. And should I stay on b.c and ciould going off it potentially cause worse hair loss. I am also not bruising anymore and my nails are growing really long and strong the only thing left is my hair. I was asking if my previous sympton were normal of malnutrition. WhAT else happens to the inside of your body. the fats i eat everyday are icecream or a cookie at dinner. snack protein bar with decent amount of fat. Lots of nuts. mini oats cinnamon streusal at lunch. IS that enough fat. im not counting dinner and lunch bc its diff everyday. am i doing enough or do i still need to do more??my main question is i only getting my period bc of the bc or am i actually healthy again?

The only way to find out whether your periods are regular is to not use the birth control pill and see what happens   145lbs (BMI 20) really is the low end of a healthy weight for someone your height.  Below BMI 19 is when periods generally stop.  So to get yourself well out of the danger-zone in terms of nutrition it's best to be in the low twenties rather than any less.  That way if you are sick or can't eat for some reason, you've got a little saftey-net.

To work out if you're getting enough fat, enter your day's food accurately into the CC food log for a few days and press the 'analysis' button.   A good fat intake is about 25-30%.

And as for the rest it's a question of allowing your body to recover as best it can.  You've come from being extremely sick so it's not going to happen overnight.   All the symptoms you described would be consistent with a body under stress due to malnutition.  It doesn't pay to think about what else could be happening but if you're looking better on the outside, chances are the insides are keeping pace.  If you're not bruising so much then your iron levels must be getting up to more normal levels which is good   If your nails are strong that suggests more improvements.  Being healthy is a continuous process.  So keep getting that balanced diet, make your food choices as varied as you can as that's the best way to get the full range of nutrition.  And keep gaining weight if you're sub 145.

Best of luck

thanks for the reply that really good advice!

do you think stopping bc is a bad idea and would just be an additional shock to my body?

It's such a relief to find this randomly. I had the exact same circumstances/ symptoms and am doing the same thing. Could you possibly give an update on your status? I could really benefit from it cos it doesn;t seem as though anything is changing and I'm trying real hard but I know that time is the main remedy (o how I loathe time it's so absurd)

Anyhow guess thats all, should stop blabbing but even if I don't get a reply- thank you for having this here :)

11 Replies