National Eating Disorders Association

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Things are getting worse

He is barely eating.

He has long periods of confusion. It's hard to talk to him any more because often he doesn't understand and he asks the same questions over and over again. For instance, we were at a store. I said "Mary won't be here to work with us today." He said "who is Mary?" I said she is the woman we always work with, you know that." He said, "how do you know she won't be here?" I said, "today is Wednesday and it is her day off". And He said, "how do you know". And I said "she told us." and he said "who is she?" It must have been 15 minutes later that he said: "Mary won't be here today, it is her day off" like we hadn't just discussed this, and I just looked at him in shock.

I grow terrified by the progression of this because the confusion happens more and more often. His doctor is sending him to a neurologist. A neurologist will not deal with his eating disorder.

So, I wonder: I don't think people stay in marriages where one person has an eating disorder. What are the percentages of divorce in these situations?

How long can people restrict eating before they become very physically ill, especially if they are Type II diabetic?

Is mental confusion a sign that the ED is very advanced? Do people live much longer after mental confusion sets in?

Hi sister has dementia, so I'm not sure what the root cause of this is.

I am very tired of dealing with this. I am tired of his nastiness and lack of mental acuity. There really is no good answer.

Mental Confusion.


Oh dear, how unsettling ! And no - In my experience something of this severity is not a normal symptom of eating disorders.

So yes, good that he's getting checked out, because it could be something else.

As to how much people can restrict and still present an outward semblance of health, it seems that people can get pretty far before their visible signs of health begin to deteriorate. Their vulnerability to health issues does increase, and they can look pretty frightening, but still be up and walking around, if that's what you mean.

I'm not well-informed about diabetes, but my sense is that people's cognitive powers can be effected by it, if it's not well-controlled.

I'm sorry that the two of you are going though this. The whole thing is wearing I know. Hopefully you'll get some answers once he's seen the neurologist, and come away with some positive steps you can take from there.


Medical Signs and Symptoms

Hi, dittoditto. We're sorry to hear that he is experiencing these symptoms. It's concerning to hear so we wanted to post up some signs and symptoms to look out for. The following are just some of the signs of a serious problem that demands immediate medical attention:• accidentally or deliberately caused themselves a physical injury• become suicidal• confused thinking and is not making any sense• delusions (false beliefs) or hallucinations (experiencing things that aren’t there)• disoriented; doesn’t know what day it is, where they are or who they are• vomiting several times a day or has uncontrollable vomiting or diarrhea• experiencing dizziness or fainting spells• too weak to walk or collapses• painful muscle spasms• complaining of chest pain or having trouble breathing• blood in their bowel movements, urine or vomit• a body mass index (BMI) of less than 16• an irregular heart beat, and fast heartbeat, or very low heart beat (less than 50 beats per minute)• cold or clammy skin indicating a low body temperature or has a body temperature ofless than 35 degrees Celsius/95 degrees FahrenheitIf he experiences anything in the above list, we highly recommend seeking medical attention as soon as possible. Seek medical help soon on an outpatient basis if he:• has significant heartburn and/or a burning sensation after eating• has other gastrointestinal concerns• has high blood pressure• struggles with significant joint or muscle pain• has difficulty sleeping (falling and/or remaining asleep)• struggles with fatigue, sudden weight gain, and/or hair loss• has frequent urination or unquenchable thirst• has gained and lost significant weight repeatedly• has gained significant weight in a short period of time• struggles with chronic diarrhea or constipationWe wish you both the best.