Having feet discoloration causing an orange appearance.
A year before she had struggled to squeeze into a dress size 24, but her final purchase, a pair of black trousers, were a size 14, and they barely stayed up over her tiny hips and shrinking waistline.
Laura Faulkner was 80 when she died on April 19 this year.
She was my grandmother and she was an anorexic. Psychologists at the University of British Columbia examined They found that the average age of death from anorexia nervosa for women was 69 and for men Their findings astounded them.
They scoured the literature and found that other doctors had found anorexia nervosa in people in their 60s, 70s, 80s, but not understood the scale of it. Anorexia is a very secretive illness that is easier to hide for those who are unsociable, lonely or depressed - which means it is especially easy to hide if you are elderly.
A friend of my grandmother Laura says that her weight loss was never taken seriously, and was even encouraged, ironically, for health reasons. Just like a teenage anorexic, Laura would say that she was full, not hungry, or feeling sick.
These symptoms, the classic symptoms of a sufferer, were not picked up on by her caring friends and family. Even her GP did not notice anything until it was too late.
The granddaughter of an year-old woman who died in March from anorexia tells me: Typical causes may include depression, a lack of enthusiasm for life, a form of protest, an attempt to attract attention from friends and family members, medication which can affect the appetiteand economic hardship.
Of course, wasting illnesses such as cancer can cause a loss of appetite, and, anyway, as we get older the appetite decreases. The capacity to taste and smell food declines.
False teeth may make eating more difficult.
A spokesman for the British Nutrition Foundation says: The ability to digest, absorb, metabolise and excrete nutrients decreases with age, though it varies between individuals.
For this reason it is difficult to make specific dietary recommendations for this group. Ian Rommory, head of care at the Kensington nursing home in west London, says: It is a way of ending their life in old age.
She was unwell for other reasons, but I believe that she died because she stopped eating, and was malnourished as a result of her refusal to eat. A glass of milk is often the only thing they will take down. Some patients go through phases, it depends on how they feel that day depending on whether they wish to eat or not.
Experts say that the elderly and teenagers share the most obvious underlying reason for an eating disorder occurring at any age, which is to gain control over an aspect of their life.
The world becomes an unsafe place in which all food is an enemy. The British Medical Association says that eating disorders are serious psychological illnesses which require considerable medical intervention and may be, in part, genetically determined. So what should you do if you suspect an elderly relative has a problem?
The answer is to tell someone, as there are strategies for helping elderly people cope with an eating disorder, and they may well have a lot of life left in them yet.Aerobic exercise, massage, basic body awareness therapy and yoga might reduce eating pathology in patients with anorexia and bulimia nervosa.
Research has found that individuals with anorexia have a mortality rate 18 times higher than peers who don't have eating disorders, for example. 3 Eating disorders can devastate the body. Physical problems associated with anorexia, for instance, include anemia, constipation, osteoporosis, even damage to .
Eating Disorders -- Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder, Compulsive Overeating. Eating Disorders definitions, signs and symptoms, physical dangers, online support and much more. Physical Dangers and Effects of an Eating Disorder. Starved or severely malnourished patients can undergo life-threatening fluid and electrolyte shifts.
Almost all complications are reversible with weight restoration related to healthy eating and physical activity. Without treatment, complications persist and can worsen, and can be associated with death. and long-term recovered anorexia patients. Research has shown that some patients with anorexia nervosa may respond well to selective.
In anorexia nervosa homeopathy treatment addresses mental, emotional and physical levels thus helping a patient get rid of anxiety and depression caused by pressures of life without side effects.
It treats the psychological effects behind the deranged eating habits. "The physical effects of ageing alter the efficiency of many body processes. The ability to digest, absorb, metabolise and excrete nutrients decreases with age, though it varies between individuals.