Need Cathletes healthy eating perspective!

tralaiven

Cathlete
I have a girlfriend who is VERY much into healthy eating and organic eating. (But does not exercise) I am a healthy eater too, but not to the extent that she is...plus I workout faithfully 5-6x per week. .ok here is the story...

She has been in poor health for a few weeks now, her heart rate has been hovering in the low 100s. She does not like doctors but she finally went to one ...well this is her second one because she did not like the first one..the first one wanted to put her in hospital...but now she is not even doing what what the doctor told her to do, only take half dose of the med she is supposed to take. I Went over to see her and she could barely get up to hug me hello...and was talking about how she did not like this dr either because she would not talk to her about her diet...she is obviously not doing well.. I Just told her she needed to do what the dr told her because what she was doing was obviously not working and had to think about her husband and children...and yes diet is important but we are a bit beyond this now and we need to get her better. I asked her if she had a Doctorate in endocrinology and she acknowledged that she didnt but still insisted she was not going to listen to the second dr who basically confirmed what the first dr said. She was still obsessing about her diet and what she could and could not eat...and in fact got upset with me for telling her she needs to listen to her dr.

I am asking this question because even though I am careful, i am not totally into clean eating...what do you think? She seems to think that the answer is in her eating differently, when, by her own admission, her extreme clean/vegan eating is what brought this on? It seems nuts to me! What do you think?
 

maddiesmum

Cathlete
Exactly how does a way of eating or type of foods eaten correlate with heart rate and blood pressure? I am not seeing this clearly. It might correspond with quantity eaten, yes, if your friend is borderline anorexic and is practicing such a degree of food restriction that she is severely limiting her calorie intake for the day for a long period of time, no matter what type of foods she takes in. A vegan diet does not correspond to necessary heart trouble. Depression, anxiety, anorexia, OCDs can, and food is just the arena where these psychiatric problems display their symptoms

In which case, what is needed here is a psychiatrist and a psychologist to work on the mind first, and the body will follow. Sounds like, if she's too weak to get up and hug you, she's going to need hospitalization soon.

Tread carefully, but seek help for her from her mother/spouse. They need to know, and they need to act. Just because someone says they don't "want" a particular treatment does not mean that is exactly what they need and somebody has to find a way to help/make them get it.

Clare
 

IslandRose

Cathlete
Sorry about your friend. I hope she gets better soon.

I have to say I agree with Clare. Another thing I have to add is that sometimes people decide to eat a certain way and their diets become unbalanced in certain nutrients due to their lack of expertise when planning which foods to eat on a daily basis. Vegetarian or not, our diets should vary on a daily basis. For example, if we eat beets and kale every day we won't get the nutrients from other vegetables. Not all vegetables have the same ratio of nutrients. Same goes with white meats, red meat, and fish. Our diets should have a certain percentage of carbs, proteins, fats and not be lacking any of those macronutrients.

I am 35 now and in my early 20's I decided I wanted to become a vegetarian, the problem was that I cannot tolerate soy and I have a lot of food allergies so my options were very limited. I thought I knew it all and that as long as my food came from the Earth I was going to be fine. Well that didn't work out for me. I became very sick and severely anemic after eating like that for about a year. I mean how many variations of salad and cereal can someone eat? That wasn't a balanced diet. I stopped being a vegetarian because of that experience, but if I ever wanted to try that again I would see a dietician that can help me design a vegetarian meal plan taking into consideration my food allergies and sensitivities. I would never blame the vegetarian lifestyle for me getting sick, it was the fact that my diet was lacking in proteins, fats, and other nutrients.
 

tralaiven

Cathlete
Exactly how does a way of eating or type of foods eaten correlate with heart rate and blood pressure? I am not seeing this clearly. It might correspond with quantity eaten, yes, if your friend is borderline anorexic and is practicing such a degree of food restriction that she is severely limiting her calorie intake for the day for a long period of time, no matter what type of foods she takes in. A vegan diet does not correspond to necessary heart trouble. Depression, anxiety, anorexia, OCDs can, and food is just the arena where these psychiatric problems display their symptoms

In which case, what is needed here is a psychiatrist and a psychologist to work on the mind first, and the body will follow. Sounds like, if she's too weak to get up and hug you, she's going to need hospitalization soon.

Tread carefully, but seek help for her from her mother/spouse. They need to know, and they need to act. Just because someone says they don't "want" a particular treatment does not mean that is exactly what they need and somebody has to find a way to help/make them get it.

Clare

Thanks for your response. I appreciate your perspective. This is what i think is happening...i think there are some psychological issues because she thinks food is going to be a big part of healing her and her restrictions are all consuming and encompassing. She cannot eat this, she cannot eat that and she can rattle off a speech about why this is unhealthy and that is unhealthy....and we are not talking about processed or junk food here, but healthy foods, which she has restricted herself from.....

Meanwhile, she will not take her meds which the dr has prescribed (2nd dr telling her same thing as first) because the dr would not talk to her about her food diet.....and her heart rate is still high and she can barely walk! She needs to take her meds! She is having a hyperthyroid and is trying to treat it with food when it looks like it is kiling her to me.

I was just wondering if i was too close to the situation to see what was going on, but now i do not think i am. I think my impressions are right on and she needs help....but she will not receive it. As far as treading carefully, i have already pi$$ed her because i was honest and told her she needs to listen to her dr. She flat out said she was not going to! ANd accused me of being mad at her and yelling (which i was not doing either-glad we had another friend there to confirm that) but i was just calling her out on her foolishness/bad decision.
 
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tralaiven

Cathlete
Sorry about your friend. I hope she gets better soon.

I have to say I agree with Clare. Another thing I have to add is that sometimes people decide to eat a certain way and their diets become unbalanced in certain nutrients due to their lack of expertise when planning which foods to eat on a daily basis. Vegetarian or not, our diets should vary on a daily basis. For example, if we eat beets and kale every day we won't get the nutrients from other vegetables. Not all vegetables have the same ratio of nutrients. Same goes with white meats, red meat, and fish. Our diets should have a certain percentage of carbs, proteins, fats and not be lacking any of those macronutrients.

I am 35 now and in my early 20's I decided I wanted to become a vegetarian, the problem was that I cannot tolerate soy and I have a lot of food allergies so my options were very limited. I thought I knew it all and that as long as my food came from the Earth I was going to be fine. Well that didn't work out for me. I became very sick and severely anemic after eating like that for about a year. I mean how many variations of salad and cereal can someone eat? That wasn't a balanced diet. I stopped being a vegetarian because of that experience, but if I ever wanted to try that again I would see a dietician that can help me design a vegetarian meal plan taking into consideration my food allergies and sensitivities. I would never blame the vegetarian lifestyle for me getting sick, it was the fact that my diet was lacking in proteins, fats, and other nutrients.

This is exactly what my friend had done too. And by her own admission she told me she thought her vegan diet had facilitated her getting sick...which i agree because she was so extreme. Yet, she is still being extreme in her food choices. I feel sorry for her in a way because it is like she is afraid to eat anything...and it is like every meal time is this battle of what she can and cannot eat. It is like she is in some sort of a prison...meanwhile she is wasting away.
 

IslandRose

Cathlete
This is exactly what my friend had done too. And by her own admission she told me she thought her vegan diet had facilitated her getting sick...which i agree because she was so extreme. Yet, she is still being extreme in her food choices. I feel sorry for her in a way because it is like she is afraid to eat anything...and it is like every meal time is this battle of what she can and cannot eat. It is like she is in some sort of a prison...meanwhile she is wasting away.

I'm so sorry to hear this. Sometimes people can be so hard-headed and getting them to change their bad habits/beliefs it is extremely difficult and nearly impossible because in their mind they are right, they are doing the right things, and what they want to do. I'm thinking she needs professional help asap, but either something has to click inside her head to make her believe it is out of her control to get better or, and this is not the nice alternative, her family needs to get a court order, against her will, and get her help. And you are right, she probably feels like she is inside a prison and everybody is against her. Hopefully she can see food as nourishment and not poison, it might take some time. I really hope she gets better soon.
 

maddiesmum

Cathlete
This is exactly what my friend had done too. And by her own admission she told me she thought her vegan diet had facilitated her getting sick...which i agree because she was so extreme. Yet, she is still being extreme in her food choices. I feel sorry for her in a way because it is like she is afraid to eat anything...and it is like every meal time is this battle of what she can and cannot eat. It is like she is in some sort of a prison...meanwhile she is wasting away.



Tracy:

all the vocabulary here indicates a psychological disorder which has food as its battleground: prison, control, extreme, afraid to eat, etc. I recognize it because I have lived with it since I was 15, and still do, although in a less extreme fashion than your friend, from the sounds of it.

Have you spoken to her family members? What are they prepared to do? They have legal authority, you don't. What are they doing?

My husband's mother died of diabetes related complications 2 years ago. Actually, she died of depression, the diabetes was just the disease allowed to progress and take her from the world because her sons did not have the balls to go up against her wishes and storm her apathy and do what had to be done: enforced psychiatric hospitalization to get drugs into her system. If they had acted in time, the depression could have been treated and she would have recovered enough to care about herself enough to not ignore her medication and sink into a diabetic coma. So, there is a time and place for taking action, and for making health decisions on someone else's behalf, and braving the emotional fall-out.

I am sorry for you that you are in this position. Wanting to help a friend in a crisis, not being able to do very much at all.

What I can tell you is that your friend is doing battle against herself, her biological instincts and needs, the body's demands for nutrition, and her own self-loathing. I have done the same since I was 15 and it is exhausting. I have reached, now menopause is bringing all these symptoms back again in full force, the point of realizing that the only answer to this psychological misery is reaching out for help. I started taking antedepressants last week and am about to consult my PCP to see about the hormonal side of things. I can't keep doing this and fighting this alone. Getting help is almost a relief: I don't have to be so strong on my own anymore.

In all likelihood, your friend endures the same sort of torment: she needs help, she resists help, but she also craves it because fighting this sort of battle on one's own is a very lonely business. And, it leads to a life only half-lived, not to mention, health scares in her case.

You can share this with your friend's family if you think it could be useful. They have to listen to you. She cannot do this alone.

Good luck Tracy. Thank you so much for caring about her. You are a good person.

Clare
 

jcm

Cathlete
You've already gotten great insight from fellow Cathletes and I don't have much to add other than I'm sorry she's going through this. You're a good friend. In my opinion there are definitely psychological issues tied in with her eating. I went paleo/primal about 3 years ago and it works for my body. I uncovered food issues didn't even know I had. However my sister and I both firmly believe it's a bit foolish to just pick a diet and call it healthy. Each person responds differently. It's more about finding an eating plan that works for you. Your friend's symptoms are frightening. I hope it gets resolved and please keep us informed of how things are going for her.

Jen
 
Just sending hugs and support to Tracy and Clare. Tracy, I hope your friend accepts the help available to her. You are definitely earning good karma points from the universe for the care you've shown her. Clare, take good care of yourself. You deserve it!
 

Traildoggie

Cathlete
There are a vast number of medical issues that are not related to or caused by diet, nor fixed by "cleaning up" or eliminating things from your diet. it's denial to think everything can be fixed by forgoing some foods or adding some supplements.

It sounds like she has a fairly obvious diagnosis if two docs, seen briefly, agree on what the problem is. just because she doesn't "like" it doesn't make it less true.

would she be more convinced if she looked it up online and read about whatever her medical condition is? so the message was separate from the messenger?
 

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