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GP for eating disorders


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I finally convinced my friend to go to a GP for her eating disorder.

She hasn't had her period in eleven months.

She's growing more body hair.

Her BMI is in the anorexic range.

I followed her in, because I know she's capable of lying about this kind of stuff. So together we described all her symptoms. The doc took her blood pressure and a few other things and said everything was fine. Then I ask him "so, what are you going to do about this?"

Doc: "Uhm, there's not that much to do. She just has to make sure to eat and not lose anymore weight."


Then I convinced him to take a few blood samples to test for malnutrition and basically FORCED him to write a referal to an eating disorder center. He seemed a bit scared of me after that.

I'm pissed off.

I asked for any complaints forms you could fill out, but they didn't have any so I'm calling the boss on her telephone hour tomorrow. I don't care if I'm in school, I'll leave class to do that.

But of course my friend loved the doctor because he didn't take the problem seriously. Denial denial denial.


And btw, what are normal things to test for when someone is severely underweight? I couldn't read the lab instructions very well, but I noticed they didn't test for magnesium or calcium. Is that weird?

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helena, i think you definitely did the right thing taking your friend in. If she agreed to go, i'm sure on some level she agrees that she has a problem. i've been anorexic, and even when i did agree to see a doctor, it was hard to hear that what i was doing to myself was bad. I liked hearing the doctor say i was okay because it reassured me that i wasnt hurting myself.

that being said, your friend is very lucky to have you!! unfortunately, doctors not specializing in eating disorders often have no idea what they are talking about! and that can be really frustrating! i hope you can get your friend to go to the eating disorder center. but most importantly, i hope she cares enough about herself to actively eat and get better.

and i have no idea about what doctors might test for... my blood was never tested. and the most important things are definitely BMI and the fact that she hasn't had her period in 11 months -- that is very unhealthy. and just an FWI for the future, its best not to list numbers and weights in eating disorder discussions b/c they are part of the compulsions that lead to EDs... and weight, being under or overweight is not the only thing that makes an eating disorder.

i wish you and your friend all the best! good luck!


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and just an FWI for the future, its best not to list numbers and weights in eating disorder discussions b/c they are part of the compulsions that lead to EDs... and weight, being under or overweight is not the only thing that makes an eating disorder.

Oh shit. I never thought of that but it's obvious when you say it. I'll delete some of it.

Thanks for a great reply too, I'm in a hurry but I'll get back to answering you.

Ok, longer answer:

I've never been diagnosed with anorexia or bulimia, but I definitely had some eating... issues... when I was younger. I never got any professional help, because my parents said that it "would go away on its own". It didn't, obviously, but I worked really hard and now I have a neutral relationship to food. But I never went as far as this girl, that's why it's so important to me that she gets help, because I can see it has gone to far for her to help herself.

I think, deep down, she realizes she has a problem. Sometimes. Other times she'll just say she's fat and that there is nothing there to fix. Another thing is that she has a very negative view towards therapy, I think because she's from another culture. It's pretty much only in the western world psychiatry and therapy are accepted.

She is living with me right now for other reasons, and it's really hard seeing her suffer, without her admitting it and refusing to seek help.

I think all doctors go through at least some training in eating disorders, even though probably very little. But any doctor should know better than this.

I just don't know how to help her. The ideal would be to get her to the center, but I can't force her.

Help me.

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This situation is so hard, and I know how frustrating it is for you to watch your friend make herself sick, but just think how it is a million times harder on her. She is not doing this to hurt you or anyone else... she is doing this because of the way she feels about herself. Helena, i can tell you know what you are talking about and are doing everything you can to help your friend. She is one lucky girl to have you!!

so what should you do? you have the referral to the eating disorder clinic, right? you just need to convince her to go? definitely tell her you will go with her like you did with the GP. tell her you love her and want her to be happy and healthy and it might be good for her to talk to other people that are dealing with the same issues with food. She is not alone and there is no reason to be ashamed or embarrased to go to a center.

the most important thing is her wanting to get better, and thats just going to take time.

wishing no one had to suffer through this,


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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't know much, but here is what I know. They usually test blood for electrolytes, potassium, magnesium, lipid profiles, liver and kidney function and hormone profiles. Malnutricion screws up all of the above. If your friend is seriously underweight, an EKG should be done to check her heart.

Nothing sucks more than going to someone that is supposed to help you and getting ignored. She is lucky that she has a friend who cares more about her than she does!! Stay well....

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Your list helped a lot, and from what I remember they didn't test for any of those. I'm writing them all down now.

I just realized they haven't sent the test results yet (she's living with me at the moment). First he said that he would only if they looked bad, but I made him promise to send them no matter what. At our local lab, you usually gets the results within a few days. It's been over two weeks now.

I'm going to raise hell over this. He probably never sent the referal either. The worst thing is I feel like I triggered her by talking about it, it has been worse since then. I just want her to eat something more than an apple and some bread here and there. I just want to help but it's impossible in this fucking system.

Nothing as frustrating yet strangely pleasurable as fighting with authorities...

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