ED Muscle pain & Eating - restricted calorie intake

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I'm no doctor, but muscle pain immediately brings magnesium deficiency to mind.

I'm not going to get into the diet side of things, because I'm a recovered anorexic/bulemic and not sure I'm qualified to give advice around those sorts of things ;) but you could try epsom salt baths?

Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate and are commonly used to ease muscle pain (in a bath!! I think it probably goes without saying that they aren't for drinking, but because my abuse involved being made to drink them I feel it's important for me to clarify; bath: good, drinking: bad).
Super cheap, and you could buy online if physical stores aren't your thing.

Oh! ETA: I never had any muscle pains like that during my period of successive fasts/when I transitioned to meal replacements. Other symptoms but don't remember having that one.

Probably best to mention to a GP the next time you're there though? I know it's hard, but your health is important :) the old 'few words on a piece of paper' might come in handy there.
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Okay, so I’m hearing the ‘eat more nutrition’ stuff. I truly am. It’s not going in one ear out the other.

I could start on my list of why that’s just not going to work, but then, it’s not currently working, so... Spending a whole lot more time buying up eggs (what aisle do they even have eggs in? Is that like the fridge aisle!?) and stuff isn’t exactly an attractive prospect.

But I will sleep on the concept of ‘eat more nutrition’ advice and see if I can find a new compromise.

@bellbird - thank you for that advice. Taking supplements as pills isn’t typically something I go for (seems to mostly just make for really expensive urine!), but epsom salts in a bath is definitely something I can do. And get from the pharmacy (where they’re super friendly because I spend a lot there every week, and are more than happy to run round the store finding stuff for me). So I’ll give that a shot.

Having just gone up and down the stairs in my new townhouse 3 times in a row (thank you dissociation, love ya work), it’s occurred to me why I’m suddenly noticing this...!!!


I go down the refrigeratored aisle sometimes to get treats for my dog. It’d make sense that they’d be there, because you keep eggs in the fridge. But I’ve never noticed eggs.

The bread aisle would make sense. Haven’t been down that aisle for a long loooong time!


I don’t have an eating disorder, I just don’t particularly like eating or get hungry, and I hate grocery stores. So not eating food works for me lifestyle wise.
I'm going to challenge this a little bit. You may not have a 'full blown' eating disorder, but restricting calorie intake like this is disordered eating, and personally, I think it's important to call it what it is. Slippery slopes and all that.
I'm saying this as someone who also has long periods of poor eating 'because I'm just not hungry' 'because I don't notice I'm hungry' 'because I don't particularly like eating' 'forget to eat' etc Even at my best I struggle to get close to the recommended intake. I have to get pretty strict with myself at times, which is tricky as most of the time I also have some level of SI in the background and, while the eating thing isn't deliberate or particularly conscious, it's hard to care enough at times.
Have there been times when you have eaten more 'normally'? If so, can you think of a couple of foods you've enjoyed previously.
I’ve been having chronic, generalised pain (not neuropathic) in my larger muscle groups
Six months is a long time to be on the calorie level that you're currently at? Your intake doesn't look like it's going to be covering the basics so your body is going to need to draw energy from other things to make up the deficit. At some point it's going to take from your muscles if it can't find enough fat, or thinks it needs to store the fat you have because you're starving yourself.
meal replacement shakes
Diet type ones or supplementary/invalid type ones? If it's diet can you switch to the higher calorie type ones instead, or add an extra one in?
I hate grocery stores
Do stores have a delivery option where you are? I do most of my food shopping online to get around this as I can't cope with supermarkets.

ETA - this might be a useful thread to check out ED - Struggling with unintentional food restriction, disordered eating. Ideas needed.

take an iron supplement (took a while to get the right one, I take an Iron + C) because that’s always been low.
I can probably ask my pdoc for a full blood work up
If you can get the bloods done, do - I'm on a prescribed iron supplement because my body doesn't manage to keep my iron stores up for some reason. It's a much higher dose than over the counter supplements, you might still not be getting enough from that. Low iron can cause muscle pain.
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@digger - yup, I’m using the diet ones. I’m not even close to being underweight. I refuse to have a pair of scales in my home, because my sister had anorexia as a teen and I learned to hate the concept of weighing yourself - always seems like a no-win outcome when you get on the scales. But I know from my clothing size that I’m on the upper side of average.

Then in my 20s my BMI went up beyond 25 because of the amount of training I was doing (not training for anything specific, although I had it in mind to join a triathlon team vaguely) and I had almost no fat on me. That was before I became really unwell, but I’ve always been reasonably active.

I’m seriously resistant to the idea of having an eating disorder, but ‘disordered eating’ I can come at. Possibly. There’s a lot of contributing factors. And yeah, chronic SI makes everything harder.

I’ve avoided resorting to ordering groceries online, because...(there’s a reason but it doesn’t matter much, there’s always a reason). I had a panic attack at the grocery store last week because I’ve moved and had to change stores. That doesn’t help. I keep the number of aisles I go down at 5 per trip.

Even as I’m writing this my sister literally just dumped an armload of single-serve chocolates “from nan” on the coffee table in front of me and I can see that my reaction to that was disproportionate. She’ll finish them if I go to bed. And I’ll toss them out if she leaves them there.

I don’t know what’s going on with my body. I’ve had similar stuff checked out during long hospital stays in the past, and previous pdocs have referred me to nutritionists and dieticians (it was the dietician recommended the shakes to get my nutrition up), but there’s too much other stuff to deal with to make an issue out of my eating as well. I’m not thin. I’m not underweight even, so what’s it matter. My thyroid has been checked. I drink too much water but my electrolytes are normal.

Blah. I get angry really quickly on this topic. It’s not rational. It’s just, food is the last thing I want to make into an issue. And mostly if there’s consequences of under-eating or malnutrition I’m the last person to notice.

I have a part that used to take care of eating for me. She cooks. She’s revoltingly healthy - lots of stir fries, lots of “have I had a serve of oily fish yet this week” nonsense. Did sensible stuff like having a tv dinner if a day had been too hard and would add some microwaved veges to make a meal out of it.

I can’t bring myself to like food. I just can’t. I’m hypersomnolent, and probably that’s where my body makes up for lost energy. But I also have depression, so hypersomnolence makes sense.

And when you toss around “disordered eating”, like it’s an issue I need to deal with, then even I can notice that I’m not being particularly coherent and this is more like a journal entry than a literate response.

Every now and then, I end up at my parents place at meal time and they do something heinous like order in pizza, and you have to eat (because to my parents, if you’re not eating it must mean you’re not well). And I won’t purge because that’s something you do when you have an eating disorder. Which I don’t. So I’m guessing the additional calories from those occasions are getting me across the line.

In which case it’s not actually an issue at all. Because it doesn’t matter how you get your calories, so long as you’re getting enough. Which I seem to be.

And if you made it through all that? You’re more committed than you probably ought to be, because I had a crack at editing (not that you can tell) and I think that just made it worse.

The suggestion of increasing my calories doesn’t get a healthy reaction from me, that is one thing I am sure about. But I can see it coming to a head. I’ve moved in with my sister, and it’s an absolute certainty she’s going to tell my mother that literally the only food I keep is either apples, or it’s for my dog. I didn’t have a pantry cupboard in my last studio, but I didn’t need one. My dog almost does, but I just don’t do food anymore and it’s become really convenient and something I really seem to balk at changing.

Like, considering higher calories brings on the SI, ya know? And that’s probably not how it’s sposed to be.

Low iron can cause muscle pain.
Yeah, have become a vegetarian by default since I last had my levels checked, so I’ll get that done.


What you describe is worrisome. I would talk to your Pdoc about getting some labs done now.

I don't know what vitamin and mineral supplements you are on but it could also be potassium deficiency. Happens a lot to people on these super low calorie diets and can be life-threatening.

What is your Vitamin D level? Could explain a lot of your symptoms including depression.

You could try adding MCT oil and/or protein powder your meal replacement drinks in the meantime.


Not Active
No doc here but I have tight sore muscles in the same area and eat normal so my inclination is they may not related. As for calories, if you do not have known disorder, and you are not particularly active, my personal opinion is we at least in the west, overeat. Are you hungry? Physically hungry not emotionally like light head etc? If not. U do not need to eat too much and you can accept your different appetite as life cycles change.


Policy Enforcement
Are you hungry?

Just pointing out, when someone chronically under eats their body gets used to it enough that they don’t feel physically hungry anymore. So going by whether she feels physically hungry isn’t necessarily the healthy way when the calories are so low. Anorexics often mention they just don’t feel hungry, so that makes it even easier to restrict and avoid, in spite of how thin they are getting. A recent public case- Eugenia Cooney on YouTube.

@Sideways, I know you say you are no where near underweight, I hope you are right. I am glad you are moving in with your sister because I worry your perception of whether or not you’re underweight may be faulty. I don’t know you in person obviously, don’t know your BMI, but body dysmorphia is a thing, a dangerous thing.
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