Feeling sick in the throat

My daughter has anorexia and is struggling to increase her food intake. She has started to do this, but now has this overwhelming feeling that she is going to be sick . She has this in her stomach but it is mainly in her throat. So as a result she doesn't feel like eating and thus her weight is beginning to go back down. Has anyone else experienced this? Is this psychological or could there be some medical problem? GP has given her antibiotics but couldn't see any problem.

10 Replies

  • Hello. I have experienced this and I'm not sure what causes it.

    At one time I used to make myself vomit after anything I ate so I don't know if it's just a reaction to that.

    I don't like putting anything in my mouth and it makes me anxious before, during and after eating so it could be anxiety related.

    As a very young child I had issues with food and eating. I had particular things I would eat and other foods I refused to eat. In particular meat I hated it...The taste, texture...look of it. I would be forced to eat it but later once in my room or playing lumps of it would involuntarily come back up into my throat almost like I was beibg semi sick. Depending on where I was or who was about I would spit it into toilet paper or have to endure swallowing it again ( I never chewed the food I was forced to eat. ..it came precut into small chunks and I would stab my fork into it put it in my mouth and just swallow, no chewing while u stsred at the wall defiantly. It wasn't a pleasant experience and I don't think it helps my recovery to have such bad memories of eating)

    So in conclusion it could be anxiety/panic related... or involuntary.

    She might be feeling forced to eat even if she's not being actually forced to eat...which could lead to anxiety or create bad memories relating to eating. I was shouted at and told to shut up and eat up making me I guess fearful. Then I was also coerced into eating to avoid making others feel bad. ..causing them pain by not eating...being a pain or disappointment. ..rejecting my mother's food she'd made. It seemed easier to suffer the worry I'd get fat, eating would make me fat and for everyone to think I was "ok" than suffer eith my own anxieties and be bad to feel further guilt by my so called family.

    I applaud your efforts to support your daughter but maybe she's not ready. I'm sure that's hard to hear but if she is anorexic she is unlikely to really open up to you. Had she done so sometime time ago she probably wouldn't be anorexic. It is a long and slow journey and appearing recovered is rarely recovered at all as far as I can tell. It took me some very harsh lessons as a now parent myself to see the error of my ways and it's been a long slow journey since and it certainly hasn't involved family support and I can tell you it is virtually impossible to recover. It is by far the hardest thing I've ever done/ attempted and that is putting it mildly!!! There is a way to go yet I fear because the fears build up rather than dissipate the further down the rd you go and I totally see why you could easier die in its grip or live a maintenance/half life wishing you were dead or attempt suicide trying ti recover than actually truly recover and that is is the painful truth. You have to find a spark of life buried deep deep down and give it chance to grow and come alive it's the only way I can describe it. It's a tiny voice like the one anorexics hear in their heads saying don't eat but you have to hear this voice when it says it's time and give it everything you've got and it will take everything you've got and more. You know. ..hopefully...if you hear it and have found someone to trust to help you along the road.. and it is then and only then when you get your chance to attempt it. God lead me in this journey to a person I deem magic and I might just make it.

    I wish for your daughter a recovery much sooner than mine. Miracles happen they just take time.

    Good luck. ..hope this helps somehow. n

  • Hi there we attend a specialist clinic with our daughter your doctor should refer you. The main technique we are using is the Maudesley method which says that this is common its the AN of course trying to stop you eating and recommends that you distract the AN sufferer by doing something to take their mind off it. Many sufferers do recover its the low body weight that is causing these thoughts and food is your medicine just the same as the antibiotics which of course should not have been prescribed. I sincerely hope you both feel better soon yes Iits along slog my daughter is only doing it ver very slowly.

  • Good morning Barley3, I'm sorry to have taken so long to respond, I've been wracking my brains on what to say to you. Virtual healing hug to your whole family...

    The antibiotics, well if something is physically wrong with your daughter hopefully they will work. Not really sure why the GP would do this though. Is it possible to go back to the GP and ask?

    I can only speak from my experience with hindsight. I truly believe that when I didn't/don't eat - something in my life is/was out of control - so controlling the one thing I could was my body. I also know that for me there was also a death wish to escape this intollerable mind set. I truly have many times walked the path of food is Making me sick to my stomach. So easy one for me, just don't eat it. All reactions from other people were usually knee jerk responses, that I did not need. Nobody ever asked me what was wrong. Because outside looking in for all and sundry nothing would have been. Popular, parents had money, intellectually probably too bright, representative sports star, funny, very blessed with parents genes for looks, overly sensitive/empathetic/compassionate... So Barley3 I don't think it was an attention seeking exercise, I already had a spotlight on me. I was very traumitised by people not getting along. Interestingly at high school my relationship with food seriously went south, and at one stage my intake of food at school was a green apple only, which used to sit in my throat and come back up at inappropriate times. (of course the emotioal effect of the days politics seriously disturbed me - inwardly.) I want to share a completely different experience, AVACADO!! My recollection of this experience, "eat this piece of avacado on toast." me "no" back and forth for a little while (me getting truly distressed inwardly, other person outwardly visibly frustrated) "It won't kill you but the way you treat your body will. What is your problem with avacado." "it looks and tastes like snot".

    The THOUGHT of eating snot made me throw up. Of course I was relectured with "you don't know how lucky you are etc...) Outcome to keep the peace on that particular day, I ate some of it and promptly threw up. Of course the disgust in the air towards me was palatable. (2 probs now, I had just eaten snot as far as I was concerned and father unbelievably angry). I could go on and on about what my mental response was to different types of food!!) But I hope you get the gist.

    It was eventually discovered that I did have intolerances to certain food groups. Some food did make me sick.

    I will just say it, for me my journey of eating disorders has been accepting, most of it was/is mental.

    I've done all the labels, but don't believe in labels so still refuse to name eating disorders by todays terms (still controlling something, still escaping by not facing the label!)

    Sometimes I think back to that young girl (me) and I just wish somebody took the time to talk to her. I would never have opened up to the "lecture Nazis." A kind, practical, no nonsense stranger would have worked for me.

    A suggestion/question can she cut back a little bit? (only for a little while). Just to where she is not going to be sick? But then that's a win for the eating disorder, back to mental problem. As tiring a merry go round as it is, please keep trying to "find" a counsellor.

    For me, knowing WHY I react in this way has been the only hand up that helped. None of the knowledge as to WHY came when my body/brain was starved. I take my hat off to my father and everyone else who never gave up. Ultimately it all came down to me.

  • HI joolzzz, thanks for your reply. My daughter is a very private girl and only opens up to me. As you say - "lecture Nazis" certainly do not help - in fact the sessions she has attended have set her back and is left extremely distressed for days afterwards. She will be 18 at the beginning of June so will therefore be picked up by the Adult Services. I pray that she can interact with the new team better than the current. This feeling sick in the throat business in something relatively new, but as she has a phobia of been sick, she wont push the eating just in case she is sick! Soo frustrating, as we were just beginning to see a slight weight gain.

  • Hi there!!! Oh thank god she put on some weight. Little steps forward. Ok you got through to her somehow to move forward. Now this. Whatever the catalyst that the tiny improvement came from, will that work this time? Phobias are irrational fears for those on the outside looking in. I'm sure to her being sick is not going to happen, no matter what. Barley3 do you think she could be stressing about her new care team? June is just a few weeks away. Maybe sick to her stomach at the change to come? Remind her of her achievement, celebrate it with her, again. She has forgotten her little step forward.

    Truly hope that the new team are a better fit. I'm so mad that they had that affect on her. Make sure you tell her she did nothing wrong... You are doing something right Barley3! (teenagers don't just talk to anyone :) let alone - parents!) xoxo

  • Hello joolzzz, she stresses about any and everything at the moment. She used to be a fairly confident girl, but I don't recognise this person most of the time ! She finds the negative in everything and puts obstacles in the way of any help/suggestions/ideas that we and the professionals come up with - pushing our patients to the limits is no exaggeration. She has another assessment tomorrow, this time with Adult Services (2 hrs) I know she will go into shut down mode and not interact (which is not helpful at all). You are right about little steps......fingers crossed we can get these back asap . Thanks :-)

  • Hi! Can I ask, how did it go?? Hope you are ok :)

  • Hi, it went ok i guess. She was very upset and angry at times - told him she wanted to smash his head in !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! who is this person that used to be our daughter? He was from the Early Intervention Team - no-one seems to know who actually contacted this team! I have been trying to get her into this service for months - but was told that she didn't fit the criteria ! We attended our family therapy appt. yesterday and they had no idea that this was happening nor the Adult Service Team - all very confusing. No-one appears to know what the other is doing. Communication is non existent :-( Just hoping that we can get to grips with this and move forward now. Needing to push the boundaries with her now - so expecting a bumpy ride :-( Regards Liz

  • Hey there! Sounds like one fiesty little girl!! Liz, I'm sure you realise, all her acting out and being nasty is just a cover for her confusion/grief/loss of what she had and now people are trying to take the one thing that is just hers away. No it is not rational or fair. Please believe this mortifying time will pass. God, I feel for all of you but that is probably the last thing you need to hear. Stay strong for everyone, you are the rock/compass/captain of the ship. Good luck sorting out the administration mess. How many jobs are you now qualified for (probably lost count at 200 :) ) Here's one for Miss Fiesty "you cannot control everything BUT you can control how you react to everything."

    Thank you for responding. Look after yourself ~ ok. Julie

  • Hi, thanks for your replies. Nice to talk to someone who has a personal insight into this totally consuming condition. Need to keep a positive attitude to get us thro this, and your comments have helped me regain this, so thanks :-) Liz

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