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Not Eating After Injury




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#1 Heather1984

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 01:25 AM

ok so I know this is stupid but I have pretty much stopped eating a few months after my accident. I was around 130 pounds at the time of the wreck and now I'm down to 77 pounds. I just can't let myself eat in fear of gaining weight. I always ate healthy, and when I do eat it is never anything bad for me. Has anybody else gone through this?

#2 Travelling Blackbird

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 01:39 AM

I really hope I don't come across as too strict or harsh, but this could be a really serious issue, and I want you to realize that. I went through something like this due to post-traumatic stress disorder, and two pupils at the integrational school I worked at went through something like this, one due to body image issues and the other due to PTSD, like myself.

77 pounds is far too light for an adult. That is a dangerous weight. You need to see a medical professional to deal with the root cause of this.

Do you have any appetite? Are you actually denying yourself food despite feeling hungry, or have you no physical desire to eat? The first thing you need to do is take a step back and think about that.

If you have an appetite, if you want food, but are not eating, or making yourself not eat, or filling up on water and tea so you don't feel hungry... if you are denying yourself food, then, and I mean this very seriously, you need to go and talk to someone about it. You've already done part of the work by admitting here that this is worrying you. You've admitted that it is a problem. Now take the next step and go and talk to someone who can help you. A therapist, a trauma therapist, a doctor or a dietician.

If you have no appetite, and never actually feel hungry, then there are a couple of possibilities. Post-traumatic stress disorder can cause major disruptions in appetite, including a total loss of appetite, and major injury can interfere with the way the body handles itself. Either way, you need to see a doctor first, and possibly a therapist thereafter.

You've taken the first and biggest step: you've admitted that not eating is a problem, and that you are in fact, too light. Please take the next step. Get some help and get your body image and appetite and weight back to a healthy level.

#3 twisted_ophelia

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 01:46 AM

Yeah, I went through something similar. I dropped to about 95 lbs (i'm 5'7"ish) and it's complicated but I ended up getting diagnosed with anorexia sort of brought on by post traumatic stress. I went through treatment for it while also being in SCI rehab. Don't feel that it is stupid. Eating disorders are really complicated and painful especially if you're trying to deal with it alone. Do you have a therapist you can talk to? You mentioned the fear of eating/gaining weight--that's disordered eating. You can always PM me here on the forum if you want to talk more about it. I'm not really comfortable opening up too much about having dealt with anorexia in public but I can definitely offer advice if needed because I know how tough it can be.
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#4 Santa Cruz Soul Surfer (LRO)

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 03:08 AM

I too dealt with the very same issue and it got really bad there for awhile. Whats happening, is that post injury your struggling with your self image...We all have to go through it post injury and it manifests itself differently for each person. I would highly recommend you seeing you doc immediately, as it can get out of control VERY quickly!...Before I got hurt, I was 195 lbs and 4% body fat...Within 6 months post injury, I was withered down to 128 lbs at my worst...which is REALLY unhealthy weight for someone who is 6 feet tall. Actually this is pic taken of me 7 months post injury and will give you a idea of what i'm talking about....PLEASE, get yourself some help soon!

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#5 twisted_ophelia

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Posted 28 February 2009 - 04:12 AM

Yikes, 128 lbs at 6 feet tall... :D

I think that everyone deals with stress, emotional upheaval in different ways. The hardest thing to do is recognize in yourself that there is a problem and eating disorders are notoriously difficult to 'cure' because those of us who are in that headspace don't realize really what we are doing to ourselves. It's really hard to put into words. Either way, when I started to get treatment for it, I was totally resistant to it because I didn't want to gain weight, get better, etc. It took me a long time. I'm good now, it's been years and years since then but I have to be vigilant that I don't turn to that same pattern if I get upset or stressed out now. All I can say is plllllllease get some help Heather.
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#6 BenjaminLucas

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 04:44 AM

When I was still an in-patient, I would only eat fruit. I lost my appetite, and whenever I smelt food I wanted to vomit.

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#7 JesseB

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 09:20 AM

when I was in the hospital I didnt eat anything at all, mostly because I had a broken jaw and sevrel cracked teeth though.

but now I eat alot, try not to, but, sometimes I do :thread jacked:

I have lost some weight though since i've been home, I don't know why, cause i mean, i'm less active than I was.
then again it could be because i'm not out geting smashed every weekend now haha.


oh and p.s welcome to the bored's benjamine, out injures are the same levels, :rolleyes:

Edited by volc0m101, 16 March 2009 - 09:22 AM.


#8 Slowlegs

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 09:51 AM

Hi Heather
I did have an eating problem. After my injury I was on bagged liquid food and they put it into a vein in my chest. Not sure what it was called. I remember I didn't eat anything even after they took me off the bagged food and they kept threatening me I would go back on. In the end I used to have coco pops for breakfast and hot dog and coke for lunch because that is all I wanted. They kept offering me meat and veges but I had a pretty vivid memory of my injuries and ham and other meats looked a lot like what I remembered my flesh looked like. I am 6'2" and weighed just under 100 pounds at my worst. I have photos and my arms were so bony they looked like deer legs and my backbone stuck out like a stickleback. I After a while I started eating more. Sounds like yours is something more though. You don't need to worry about gaining weight, more about losing it by the sound and you are about 40% down in body weight. You really do need to get some medical advice on this as although it could be something that could have been triggered by your SCI, it could actually be something deeper. Please promise us you will get help on this.

#9 Lol Hare

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 12:53 PM

I too dealt with the very same issue and it got really bad there for awhile. Whats happening, is that post injury your struggling with your self image...We all have to go through it post injury and it manifests itself differently for each person. I would highly recommend you seeing you doc immediately, as it can get out of control VERY quickly!...Before I got hurt, I was 195 lbs and 4% body fat...Within 6 months post injury, I was withered down to 128 lbs at my worst...which is REALLY unhealthy weight for someone who is 6 feet tall. Actually this is pic taken of me 7 months post injury and will give you a idea of what i'm talking about....PLEASE, get yourself some help soon!

Posted Image


WOW 4% body fat? what was your sport or proffession or whatever? Average for a guy is 15% - 17% and Elite athletes 6% - 12% (the Lance Armstrong's and Olympic Gymnasts etc) you must of been a training maniac!
Sometimes we are the windscreens,sometimes we're the flies...

#10 Santa Cruz Soul Surfer (LRO)

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Posted 16 March 2009 - 07:19 PM

I'm a professional surfer...And yes, pre injury I spent anywhere from 6 to 10 hours a day surfing and cross training, living on Pasta and chicken breast...Now almost three years later, i'm back up to 178... My upper body is stronger than it ever was, but my legs have lost most of their weight. I'm probably in the 9-12% now, as it's way too hard to train to the sub-8 level when your in a chair.

#11 Lol Hare

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 12:06 AM

Way to go ! :wink05:It's cool you can still do some form of your previous sport,good luck with it too and much respect dude!!. I was a proffessional motorcycle racer and i miss the whole deal real bad,the competition/thrill/lifestyle/travelling/people and the training too,i do what i can but i need a proper multigym or likewise that i can use but it's hard being a quad,i have a hand bike/weights etc but i'm restricted,especially here in the UK it seems!
Heather,my appetite also went out the window after my accident but slowly came back gladly,medication can surpress apettite but even if you eat very little,at least make it count by eating the right foods that your body can build on,77 pounds sure sounds way too light,slowly but surely i guess could be the answer but like Santa Cruz says go see someone quickly :)

Edited by Lol Hare, 17 March 2009 - 12:09 AM.

Sometimes we are the windscreens,sometimes we're the flies...

#12 bythepacific

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 04:50 AM

ok so I know this is stupid but I have pretty much stopped eating a few months after my accident. I was around 130 pounds at the time of the wreck and now I'm down to 77 pounds. I just can't let myself eat in fear of gaining weight. I always ate healthy, and when I do eat it is never anything bad for me. Has anybody else gone through this?



Hi! I think you definitely need to get into to see a doc . asap. You can damage/weaken your heart without proper nutrition and you are far more likely to develop long term problems such as pressure sores when you do not eat healthy enough ( it only takes something like 30 minutes to begin to develop one ). If you are active in your chair you are not likely to become overweight - realize that truth. You may be depressed and not realize this is how it is manifesting (by fearing eating). Things will slide quickly down hill healthwise if you are not eating enough and healthy enough.



This website is a way for those with spinal cord injuries to share experiences and advice. Any medical matters, treatments or alternative therapies discussed on this website should be thoroughly reviewed by a medical professional or therapist before being acted upon. Under no circumstances should you alter prescribed medication or a medical care plan without consulting your doctor or care plan supervisor first.