View Full Version : stimulants and eating disorders?

11-21-11, 06:23 PM
My psychiatrist is hesitant to prescribe me any sort of stimulant due to my eating disorder (I've got a restrictive eating disorder, means I don't eat but am too fat to be considered anorexic).

I understand the risks, with stimulants usually decreasing appetite etc (which isn't a problem for me, since I don't eat anyway) but they can also mess with your glucose levels.

Has anyone with an ED ever had ADD meds that messed with glucose levels enough to make you quite ill? I have really low glucose levels, obviously, so taking a medication that lowers it even more is not practical.

Or is there anyone here with any sort of ED and taking meds?

11-29-11, 08:23 PM
I have an ED history and am currently on a stimulant (Vyvanse). My first diet was at age 9, and my disordered eating continued for about a decade after that. I mostly struggled with restrictive behaviors (and compulsive exercise), but also had some problems with binging around age 15ish.

I tried a lot of different psychotropic medications to treat my depression and anxiety, but nothing seemed to work. Finally, last year, I started a stimulant, and it was amazing to see the difference it made. Anxiety gone. Depression way better. Confidence up.

With that said, however, the effect of most stimulants on appetite is significant. When I take it, I don't have an appetite at all. I really have to force myself to eat, and having that physical challenge in addition to the mental (ED-related) ones makes it harder. But, it's possible to maintain an adequate intake without an appetite. Meal replacement drinks, frequent snacking, high-calorie food choices, etc. There's strategies to keep your weight up, but you have to definitely make a lot of effort to do so.

I wonder if your doctor would consider prescribing a short trial of stimulants with the agreement that you maintain (or gain) weight? Any weight loss more than X pounds = immediate discontinuation of the stimulant?

05-27-12, 08:09 AM
I posted a thread in this forum about my experience with stims and a borderline eating disorder, my story is posted on there.

long story short, adderall actually helped me loads. I no longer felt the urge to restrict or over-exercise. it has been a godsend.

also, as anon89 said above, my doctor has a deal worked out with me that as long as i don't drop below a certain weight, I will be able to continue treatment.

06-03-12, 07:32 PM
I have an ED and I take Adderall XR. My psychiatrist doesn't know about the ED though. I was bullimic but Adderall fixed that. I don't throw up anymore because Adderall supresses my appetite. Now I just don't eat. If you're that worried about blood glucose levels, drink sugary drinks a few times a day. When I start to feel dizzy and nauteous I drink gatorade. Adderall doesn't adversely affect your glucose levels. It supresses your appetite so you don't eat and that affects your glucose levels.

06-16-12, 04:56 AM
I just got started on ritalin, and have had ED for more then half my life now. I asked my psych if she thought it would be a problem and she said that if I came in and looked like a stick she would take me off them. I talked to my ED support group members and they seemed against the idea, one membe5r said she still struggles after 12 years without the added threat of medicine that can be triggering. I just started the ritalin about two days ago, and don't really have much to report yet. I'm glad I told my group, and have looked up what other people say that have been on it and have struggled with ED's. I am not sure if what made me so anxious to start the meds was really just my wanting help with concentrating, focusing and staying on task, or the nice added benefit of having my appetite surpressed. I do know that if I want to stay on the meds then I need to eat anway, and I also don't want to lose what I have gained with recovery so far. My therapist will keep an eye on me, as well, I talked to her the morning before I started taking the meds because I promised my group counselor that I would talk to her before I started taking them, since she originally had even said I would be put on a non-stimulant. Now I am relieved to be starting this, and super excited but I appreciate having my psychiatrist and therapist looking out for me at the same time. My ED wants to know things like how much lower I can get without hearing them threaten to take it away, but I know I need to stay as close to my weight now as possible, because that's the last weight my psychiatrist will have to go by, since they weighed me before I saw her last

06-18-12, 01:58 AM
I'm in treatment (/recovery?) for an ED. The shrink I was originally going to for the ED was an idiot (*so* many stories there!) and prescribed Adderall for me when I said that I was having issues focusing. My therapist was livid and ended up talking me into seeing another shrink instead (for more reasons than the Adderall). The new shrink tested me to make sure that I really have ADD (unlike the first shrink) and is being very careful with increases in the Adderall because of the appetite suppressant aspect. I'm not going to lie - that part has crossed my mind but I've worked so hard to get where I am in recovery that I refuse to rely on a med to allow me to get through the day without eating. It's a hard battle to fight, though. If you think it might be a problem, don't start it right away. Personally, I would say to keep your overall intake (including exercise) at a safe level and then visit the topic of meds. I really like anon89's idea. I really believe that if done safely, a stimulant is actually helpful. I think the Adderall (and my other meds working together) has actually helped the ED. I don't feel so out of control and I can now focus on multiple things throughout the day instead of forcing myself to only focus on unhealthy things for every breathing moment just so I could feel like I could focus.