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Health & Support
Moderators: tigermoth5, autopilotfrank193, nycgirl, bierorama, ksylvan, peaches0405

tired and drained?

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hey guys. Recently i have been extremely tired, like i can hardly keep my eyes open during the day and have been waking up a lot later than i usually do, still quite early like around 7 but for the past 5 months i have not slept past it is a bit odd for me...well when i wake up each morning these past few days i feel very dizzy, shaky, and light headed and famished.  i am eating around 1700-1800 calories which i know is not quite enough, i am still at a low weight around 15.8 bmi but i have gained about 20 lbs since September from a 12.4 bmi...I am trying to get my calories back up to at least 2000, i was at 2700 for a while but then dropped, due to struggling a lot....well i know i have lost a bit in the past couple of weeks on this amt. nothing too much i think like 1 lb or 2 :( but i have just started to feel like this in the morning for the past like 3 ish days, and i have been eating this amt. for like over 2 weeks now, so i am so confused why all of a sudden i am sleeping later, and feeling so so tired? it is really worrying me, i am getting blood work done next nutritionist said it may be my blood sugar, which it probably is, but any thoughts as of now...i just hate waking up to these symptoms it is really horrible, and i just hate to feel so shaky you think eating my night snack later would be beneficial, i usually eat it around 8 and go to bed at like 10 ish...ahhh idk, i don't even know if this is a weight gain topic and why i am writing this? i guess my ed tells me that 1700-1800 intake is enough and fine to sustain my body, but it seems like my body is crying out for more?...ugh but this is really hard to push myself to gain the rest of the weight, and i know i will get attacked for maintaining this bmi :/ but just i am so clueless why i am so so tired all of a sudden, i don't exercise at all by the way.


Edited Feb 26 2010 16:13 by nycgirl
Reason: Moved to Health & Support
12 Replies (last)

wow seriously this same thing has been happening to me! i will even wake up in the middle of the night and have hunger pangs as well though..i also am recovering from an eating disorder and am maintaining a bmi of about 16.2 and am eating around the same amount a bit more between 1800-1900....sorry i can't help you! i just thought that was weird the same thing is happening to me...for your info though i just had blood work done last week and my blood sugar was very low...but this week its normal and i still have the same i have no clue whats going on!

Although you have come a long way from a few months ago, you are still seriously underweight- therfore your body is starving, regardless of what you may think about your intake. If you are underweight and not eating enough to gain, you are restricting. Being so far from a healthy weight puts a huge strain on your body- I know you know the risks to bones, etc, but there is a lot more to it than that. Healthy weight charts weren't just drawn up at random because they made pretty patterns on a page. Your immune system (white blood cell count) is likely to be low, as well as blood pressure, temperature, pulse, etc. Not to mention how your organs are dealing with the strain of trying to run without adequate fuel.

I am not a doctor but I think you need to see a doctor about this- could be completely weight related, or could be something else and it's better to get checked.

I agree that you really should bring these concerns up with a doctor qualified to help you.  This is nothing to play around with.  Being severely underweight is playing with fire, trust me I know.  I like to think I am doing so much better because I am eating so much more and have gained a fair bit of weight and its easy to forget that I too am still quite underweight, despite the distortion my eating disorder has about the way I look.  At my last doctor visit, while my labs were all normal, and while I am eating 2200 to 2800 calories per day and steadily gaining, my pulse and blood pressure are still very low.  My hormones are also all over the place adjusting to the biochemical changes going on in my body.  One can not "maintain" at a weight they werent meant to be at.  This is called restricting and controlling food intake to an unhealthy level.  And it costs one's health. 

For sure 1800 calories is not enough to repair your body and heal the damage done.  It may be enough for a middle aged woman at a normal weight with no health issues.  Also, even if you are eating a "late night snack", while this may help a little to quiet your stomach,the cumulative effect of eating too little and always chasing the hunger or barely staying on top of it will wear you out and not allow your body to rest.  I also know this from experience.  I sleep better when I get in a full day of eating well.  And I still struggle because of the emotional toll recovery takes on me at times.  That too wears me out.

I dont mean to sound preachy or harsh.  It makes me want to rebel when others are that way with me.  I just say these things beacuse I know them to be true for me and because I care.  Its so much easier to see the patterns of disordered thinking in others than in oneself.  Its good that you are honest and bringing this up, but please dont depend solely on the internet to "diagnose" you.  It could be many things so do follow up with your doctor!

Sweetie, you need to eat more. That is why you are so tired. I am 100% positive that you need to eat more than 1800 calories a day to even maintain your weight. You may not be losing, but its still probably not enough. During the summer, I thought I could maintain my weight on 2100-2200 calories a day because I had cut down the amount of cigarettes I smoked (how AN of me, I know....) Turns out I did maintain. But when I started trying to gain again, I found that I could also maintain on about 300 calories MORE than that too. And I no longer felt tired or irritable. I felt 100X better just by eating a bit more, even though it didnt promote weight gain. i know everyone thinks I've just got a crazy ass metabolism. And to some extent I do. But I know that 1800 calories is not enough for you. You know it too, and that is why you are posting this. You know in your heart that you do need to eat more, and gain more weight. Your body aches and feels tired because its yearning for you to keep healing it. Give it the rest and nourishment it so desperately needs. I know, BMI 15.8 is HUGE improvement for you. And its OK to take a few weeks or even a month or two to adjust to the new weight. But you know you need to keep going soon. If you have been losing a tiny bit, thats even bigger sign that you need to eat more, and the calorie deficit is  what's causing you to feel so badly lately. Your body is still very fragile right now and its quite rough on it to experience such a variance in calories. You need to get your calories up and keep them there to start feeling better.

I know, I've struggled here and there over the past weeks, months, year. Im trying to pick myself up again too. but it IS possible and you CAN do it. There is nothing to be afraid of anymore - only things to look forward to. A life without your ED manipulating, deceiving and hating you. That is the life you want - the life where you are the one living.

thank you everyone so much for your feedback.  you all are right, yes the calorie deficit is def why i am feeling so tired, and i knew that, and as tori said "in your heart that you do need to eat more, and gain more weight. Your body aches and feels tired because its yearning for you to keep healing it." yes so true, and my mom said the same thing, i think my body/i know my body is not done healing from all the damage i have done while in my ED and not eating for so long...i am definitly going to up it and i know i wont gain at all but if i do, that is ok becasue i know i need to gain more and 15.8 bmi i know is not okay but yes a great improvement for me but i want a life without ed, manipulting and controlling everything i do...and i want to just get over this ahh so much easier said than done but yes i know adding back those cals will make me feel 100 times better and as narurebound said It could be things so do follow up with your doctor...yes it may be some sort of blood pressure or blood sugar problem or as angel_26 said it could just be a weight related thing? i will see...but well today i did do well and last night had a bit extra before bed a couple prunes and dried figs and i think that helped a bit...well thank you guys again.

much love <3

I too am in the same situation as you eliza, of course...I went to therapy this morning and my T said i looked "sick" and "tired" and i kept denying it had anything to do with my calories and me being still underweight. But rationally That is why..we are feeling this way... eliza, THink about came from such a starved place and now 15.8-16 bmi is still so low, as much as u dont believe it is! and i am certain as Tori said that eating 200-300 more would do nothing in the sense of wg, it would only give us more nutrients to have more energy and repair. Although wg is needed, try for now to get back to 2000 so it doesnt become a slippery slope, u know? Perhaps it also could be medication? i know Klonipon makes me tired? so perhaps? drousy ness? i have no idea, but hypoglycemia, and not eating enough. I think we really fool ourselves with thinking 200-300 less calories a day, has no effect, it does!!! even if not weight loss, its taking a toll on ur body.  I know that u can get ur cals back up, and it will mke u feel better.

You've done great so far, but you need to continue. The fact you're so tired proves this isn't enough for you. Up to 2000 were maintaining on that not so long ago, right? (yeah..I read your blog. Kinda stalkerish, but I love it. =P Ha!) Upping to 2000 again and getting used to that for a little would be key. I know how hard it is to comprehend needing to gain more but the risks of staying at this weight forever are too great.

I hope you feel better!

Being underweight and undereating this is your answer. Not just you but others here often ask ? like this and look for some other reason like sleep issues what ever and the fact is still being in your ed is the major factor. I understand you have made a lot of progress and I am not taking away from this but you need to move forward. Being this weight and eating the amount you are can cause major damage or even kill you. 2000 is not ok and you know that. Why comprimise with your health and life? You have to get to 2500 plus and accept getting to a healthy bmi. I am not trying to be mean but I also don't think it is acceptable to give advice on just doing "better" which can really harm you. There will never be an easy time. It is so hard but you can do it and that is for your sister too. You both deserve to be healthy and have a lot going for you if you become healthy I hope you will see that

I am sorry to be harsh but you know why you are tired and drained and are losing. You need to be eating 2500+ to gain, to get better, to LIVE. End of story. You know what to do, you have been successful and a great inspiration to others. Please get back on the wagon and keep it up. Don't you want to live a full healthy life? I promise you, that you won't live a long healthy fulfilling life if you are eating so little.

We cannot and will not support those with ED who are not helping themselves. For you this means keeping your calories up.

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I think you're posting because you need the reassurance that so many people who have any of the various eating disorders crave after they've begun to accept that they need to change.

YES, you need more calories, you need a lot more calories and you need to gain weight, no it is NOT worth it to remain miserable and tired and sickly just to perpetuate an unhealthy notion of thin.

You'll feel better if you do it. So please, just do it. You can.

It may be low blood sugar or it may be hormones. I'm a recovered anorexic so I know it may be scary but try as hard as you can to increase your caloric intake. If your scared of a sudden increase try to increase it by 50-100 at a time whatever makes you comfortable. Also when you wake up immediately have breakfast to give your body some needed fuel. Try taking some supplemental vitamins also it will help speed up your bodies repair. If your scared of eating complex carbs try to add more fruits to your diet it will give you that energy lift you desperately need.

I know that ED is telling you to restrict and to keep the MINIMUM of 1700 calories or less.  But the whole essence of recovery is to fight that negative self talk and ALLOWING yourself to eat more.  You mentioned you are tired a lot more than usual and we both know need to eat more!   I too have been getting tired during the day while I am at home studying (or doing something else) to the point my eyes start closing, I get light headed and shaky to where I just want to fall asleep.  This is when I go grab a snack packed with carbs. because it's my body telling me I need more calories to function.  It's good you admit that your BMI is too low but what are you going to do about it?  You should ask your doctor for an accurate BMI [not one on a website] since it's based on many factors of age, bone structure, body fat, etc.  As Hedgren mentions to me, the tools on here aren't structured for individuals recovering from an ED.  

So my suggestion is to stop focusing on your BMI and STOP counting your calories!  But do work on doing something good for your body and yourself, such as eating more and reward yourself with a food you know you deserve for your progress!  Keep up the hard will pay off in the end. 

12 Replies