My first 4 relapses, my bmis were all between 14-14.5 however my most recent one (sept '10-Aug '11) my lowest bmi was 12.5. And because of this I have a lot of damage done to my body e.g. I've never had a period in my life, I haven't developed properly and I have apparently quite severe heart muscle wastage :S
So to the point, to add to that list, my dietician is very concerned that I have osteoporosis (I broke my wrist from slamming it on a desk too hard!) and everytime I see her she says she would like me to have a scan to test.
But I'm thinking is there much point? As I may have had it for years due to my anorexia, so could it be too late? Also I already have a very high calcium/vitamin D diet. I have to have 3000mg calcium daily. I get that from milk on cereal at least once per day, calcium enriched tropicana with breakfast, 2 calcium supplements & a vitamin D one, plus some lunches I may have cheese/cream cheese, and plus I have a yoghurt every evening.
So surely all this should be enough? I know there are special medications to treat it but I'm not sure...
Does anyone have any opinions?
If you do have osteoporosis, strength training will help. Once you have done that for a while, high impact cardio, such as running will help (If you are really bad, running would just cause injury). Actually, I use to be anorexic for a while in my teens too. I went from fat to a crash diet to, well the classic anorexia symptoms :) As you know when you look in the mirror, you see yourself as fat even though others say you aren't. Besides the psychological part that I am sure you are familiar with, what anorexia does is encourage 'skinny fat.' Your body uses your muscle for fuel, so all your muscle goes away, thus even though you are supper skinny, you are left, well, flabby! So, for me at least, I kept eating less and less trying to get rid of the flab. It didn't work. All it did was make me sick. Weight lifting helped me get the muscle back and get rid of the flab. Plus since we are obsessive folks, I began obsessing over eating healthy instead of eating nothing/as little as possible. Just some thoughts. What worked for me may not work for you, but it can't hurt! (No you won't get super buff. That takes a ton of work and, unless you happen to have the right genetics, steroids).
For one, other than if expense is an issue, I see no reason to not get the scan. They are quick and 100% painless. You literally lie on a table and have this scanner thing go over you and if all they are concerned about is bone density, they'll probably just run it over your hips and that's all. If they are looking at body composition then they run it over your entire body. Either way, it's quick and easy - nothing invasive at all.
And no, it is not too late. You have until about 25 years old or so to continue to increase your bone density. At this point it still is reversible for you. Wait a few years and you'll lose that option. It might help you to know for sure where you stand so you know if you need to make the most of the time you have left before your body stops being able to increase it's bone density.
Also, even in my anorexia I ate a good many dairy products - yogurt daily, vitamin with calcium, etc but I still developed osteopenia (it has since been reversed so I'm back to normal :) ). But yeah, even eating a good bit now doesn't mean your body didn't suffer damage from the phases of anorexia. If you do keep up your high calcium diet and also add in some resistance (once you can safely do so without it compromising your health due to anorexia related issues) which can help. Even walking is lightly weight-bearing and can help your bones (just don't overdo it - that would be no good for anorexia recovery).
I guess I'm worried about being told I have it, I just don't want to admit it. I'm not exactly worried about the scan itself, I just don't know If I have the motivation for it... I'm not even sure what I mean by that :S
Oh and I never had any calcium whatsoever during my latest relapse. So for around a year. I pretty much lived on plain toast, apples bananas and stirfryed tofu and carotts (I am the queen of gourmet I know!) then for the final month and a half I had nothing short of apples, diet coke and sugar free gum D:
I guess its not difficult to see why I now gave so many health issues!!
I'm seeing my dietician Friday, so I'll wait for her to bring it up (which she inevitably will!) then I'll discuss the options ect with her.
There is every point in having a scan. You're only 17, you have years yet to reverse the damage. Don't give up!
You need to have a healthy well rounded diet with sufficient amounts of all food groups in order for your body to process the calcium and vitamin D. I think that dietary fat is needed in order for the body to take in vitamins (someone please correct me if I'm wrong). So have a calcium rich meal with vitamin D and fats every day for bone health.
If you do indeed have osteopenia or osteoporosis then you can get specific dietary and exercise advice from a specialist to reverse the damage as far as possible.
I'm 30, have a 18 year history of intermittant EDNOS/AN and have never had a bone density scan, I'm waiting for an appointment at the moment. I am sh*&ing bricks :(
Good luck Ramona, I hope that you can prioritise and concentrate on bone growth and repair in the next few years.
My take on it is that whatever damage you have is going to be there whether you do the scan or not. At least if you have the scan you'll know the extent of it and you can work with your doctor on how to treat it.
If on the other hand you don't have the scan, you're just going to be walking around carrying all that uncertainty, not knowing how bad it is and not having the tools and information you need to maximise your chances of recovery. The damage will be there either way, so you may as well face up to it and start doing what you can to heal it.
The scan itself is nothing to be scared of, not painful or uncomfortable or anything. When I had mine I was in and out in 20 minutes.
Sorry to revive this thread, and sorry that I never replied to it before! I always forget I've posted things :/
I just wanted to let you all know I've had a scan done and it's confirmed I have osteoporosis :( my T-score was -2.9 (below -2.5 = osteoporosis). I have medication I need to take nightly plus I keep up my high calcium diet.
To anyone who is considering having one, but is worried about it, dont be. It's better for you in the long run, and the scan itself Is fine :)
Thankyou everyone for your replies.
I am really sorry to hear that you have osteoporosis. You're young and have time to reverse all of the damage that your ED has wreaked on your body. I hope that you can find the strength to fight and a wish you a full recovery and lasting health.
Love Suzi xx
I wanted to let you know you can reverse this! In 2009 (I was 20) I had a -2.9 score. We have untill we are 25 to lay down bone, I have had a bone scan every year this year I was -1.7 (osteopenia). The most imporatant thing is to gain weight and get your period back because having a period releases the estrogen and helps build bone, keep up your calcium(take one in the am and one in the pm) and dairy, fortified oj, cheese, yogurt ect....