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Dr. Phil, MD
Dr. Phil, MD, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 56517
Experience:  GP in the United States
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My husband won't see a GP or acknowledge he has an illness.

Customer Question

My husband won't see a GP or acknowledge he has an illness. I believe he has orthorexia, an eating disorder which severely limits his diet to the few things he accepts as good for him. His diet has become more and more extreme over the past 2 years. Now he only consumes food that has been blended into liquid form. He uses large quantities of porage oats or green bananas or quinoa, mixed with various herbs or roots in powdered form bought from health food shops. He will consume fruit, usually blended. Because he has done a course in herbal medicine he thinks he know how to maintain a sensible balance of minerals and vitamins, and shrugs off my concerns. All I know is, he used to be slim and muscular but in the last year he has developed an alarmingly distended tight looking abdomen, he lacks energy, I can hear him having diarrhoea most mornings, and he cannot eat any different food offered to him without having terrible tummy ache. What do you think is happening to him and what can I do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for this question

I'm Dr. Phil

This is clearly a psychological issue is it not?

what is driving this? OCD?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I feel he controls his food intake excessively because he feels in other ways not in control of his life. He had a very violent father, and many things in his life have not gone his way. I understand his psychological issues. I really want to know what is wrong with him physically as a consequence, and how this should be addressed.
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.

Is he losing weight?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He won't tell me, but he doesn't look like he's losing weight. He looks a bit puffy around his fingers and like he's lost muscle tone in his arms. It's only his abdomen that looks alarming.
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.

It is probably due to low protein

protein helps hold in fluid

This is definitely affecting his health

It can result in electrolyte issues too

Dr. Phil, MD and other Medical Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
He consumes lot of blended nuts and seeds which he says provide him with the protein he needs. Do you still think it is probably a protein issue? (sounds a bit like kwashiorkor without the skeletal body) What are electrolyte issues?
Expert:  Dr. Phil, MD replied 1 year ago.

Yes, I do think it is protein.

He could have his albumin checked to prove it

electrolyte issues are when potassium or sodium get out of whack due to malnutrition