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My mother does not stop eating. I will give her a decent breakfast and within 5 minutes of finishing breakfast, she is in the kitchen seeing what else she could have to eat. She particularly likes junk food. I try not to keep a lot of that on hand but sometimes it is there and she wants it. For several months she did not have an appetite and was vomiting frequently. That has since been controlled. I just can't figure out if it is her way of control or is there some sort of psychological thing going on. Any ideas or input would greatly appreciated.

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What can I do to stop my moms eating, she eats 24 7, she is up at least 3 times during the night eating, it won't stop!
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my mom has dimencia and is also a diabetic. She can have a bowl of spaghetti, soup, and a yogurt and no sooner than she finishes it-5 minutes later, she says she is hungry again. She is constantly wanting to eat. She says that her stomache feels like she is still hungry. What can I do?
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My bedbound MIL - dementia - does not eat much at all........ but she remains very overweight. I don't think she's lost a single pound. It's a real problem for me because she is twice my weight. I thought Alzheimer's caused weight loss?
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If it costs anything he won't do it. Stingy ole man! He reuses his garbage bags. He wanted my Mom to reuse h depends but sister and I called him out on that one. But he can go gambling. Sorry . I am crabby. I have not slept all night --again-- and have to call him in about 5 hours and beg him to let me go to my Mom's neurology appointment, she wants me to go but he will be mad. I have been putting this conversation off but the appt. is coming up and I really feel I should go. I cannot get answers from him about my Mom's diagnosis. he has this way of making me feel so stupid. He and I never were close. He was always out of town for business. And when he was home he yelled a lot. He wasn't a bad dad he just was absent. I love him -probably more now than when I was growing up but we struggle with communicating with each other. I am also very different from him. He and my sister are pretty close and I wish she would talk to him but she has kinda disappeared. I think she is going through some stuff at her home-but who isn't?
I feel like crying. I have been nervous for days. Manic. No sleep. Poo.
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Maybe you can talk your dad into trying Meals on Wheels for both of them. The Lazy (or impaired) Person's path to a good hot meal once a day, My mother loved it. She especially liked that they always included dessert (pudding or canned peaches or an oatmeal cookie, occasionally cake) but she ate the meat and vegetables, too.

Maybe this could be the first step in gradually adding a little in-home help.
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Thanks, Jeannegibbs! That makes me feel better. I was worried about those darn worms. I go through my own sugar cravings-have always like the sweet sugar candies-sweet tarts, skittles, and , yes, gummy worms, better than the healthier chocolate. The only thing I find for me is that if I indulge I get an upset stomach. Like-bad. She does not seem to. She does not , however, eat healthy at her home. My dad says-"she tells me she just wants half a bagel for lunch" but when she was here I made sure to have salad and sandwiches for lunch and at first she balked but then when I sat with her and ate mine she ate hers and enjoyed it. I TOLD my Dad this but he gets lazy I think. He is tired. I have got to talk with him. He really needs in home care. I have been neglectful to them this month , I fear.
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MishkaM, in general we gradually lose our ability to taste things (whether we have dementia or not) and sweets and salty things are the tastes we retain the longest. So many elders seem to develop a taste for sweets. I doubt they are AD cravings or sugar addiction -- they just taste good, when so many things don't! One creative caregiver reported having some success in getting her mother to eat more by sprinkling a little sugar over the cauliflower and green beans!

If your mother also eats healthy things and doesn't have diabetes, I don't see a big problem with her enjoying gummy worms (ugh!) until that obsession passes. Can she chew well and swallow OK? I'd be more worried about her choking on having 4 of the dang things in her mouth than nutritional problems.

And I think you are right ... we do need to pick our battles. Personally, I don't think gummy worms would be high on my priority list to fight over. (I'm talking about with an elder, not a young child.)

The last I read there was no PROVEN connection between sugar intake and behavior, such as hyperactivity or anxiety. But I'd rely on my own observations with a given individual for that. If sugar and gummy worms seem to increase your mother's anxiety, then that is your reality. I've read some studies trying to determine if cake and pop etc. make kids "wild" and the conclusion was that the "wild" behavior seemed more related to the activity around them, which was often a lot of other kids at a party, than the amount of sugar consumed. As I say, if you have a kid who goes crazy after eating candy, even if he is home alone, then that research might not be very convincing. :)
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My Mom won't stop eating gummy worms! She is thin and has no blood sugar issues- I think it is an addiction to sugar and , possibly, a result of her dementia. Doesn't AD make you crave sweets? She may or may not have that . I have yet to get a good answer to that.
When I had her here I really did not want to let her eat gummy worms as she needs to gain weight and she would rather fill up on tummies than food that could help her gain weight . But, I decided to pick my battles. I only have her part time. What good would one week do? I did give her coconut oil and made sure she ate 3meals a day - which she did. But , man, she kept those gummy worms by here side and she shoved them in her mouth-like 4 at a time! She soooo does not need the sugar as she has anxiety and OCD. But , again, I just did not have it in me to fight her on this.
Could your Mom's junk food habit be AD cravings? I really thought that Alzheimer's made people crave sweets. I know my grandma, who had AD , only ate cake until she was placed in a NH. She would not eat anything eles. From what I heard back then it was because with AD you lose all your taste except for sweet things. And , I do believe, those sweet things do not fill you up like those nice healthy grains and proteins.
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You have been given some good ideas for things to check out regarding the cause. Undiagnosed diabetes, drug side effect, poor nutrition in general, and dementia causing her to forget that she has eaten. It could be any of these things, or something else entirely. Maybe even boredom. She likes to eat and remembers that, doesn't remember what else she likes to do, and doesn't remember that she just ate. Hard to know. A medical visit seems wise at this point.

Aside from ruling out underlying problems, what is problem with her eating all the time? Is she gaining weight that would be unhealthy? Is it too expensive? Is it too time-consuming for you? If you can identify what the real problem is you will be more successful in coming up with ways to overcome it.

Good luck!
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Is it possible she is diabetic but undiagnosed? This will give you the munchies like you won't believe! Try to offer a lot of low carb protein foods and low carb fruits like berries. This is very filling but won't cause her to gain weight.
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There are a few medications that seem to be favorites of doctors and they tend to cover a few areas for elderly. One is used for mood but also has a booster for appetites. I would suggest finding out and discontinue this. It will help a patient gain some weight but it is not 'healthy' by my standards. I would suggest researching each of her medications.
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We had similar issues with our Dad who had dementia and also diabetes. The dementia did not allow him to remember that he had just eaten five minutes prior. Diabetes keeps sugar from food reaching your cells leading to constant hunger. So the combination of dementia and diabetes is a double edged sword. Weight loss is also a sign and symptom of diabetes. A healthy meal plan at regular times during the day is important and exercise if possible to keep blood sugar levels normal. Healthy carbs found in vegetables, fruits and whole grains will help. Use these for handy snacks along with fiber rich foods. Consult a dietician for in depth information and meal planning. There are great diabetic cookbooks out as well. We also did a lot of redirect with our Dad such as cards, puzzles and board games to keep his focus off of food. So any activities she might enjoy will also be helpful.
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If the foods these folks are eating are not providing real nutrition for the body, the body will keep demanding more food. Sugar, white flour and starches are stomach fillers, then a short time later, the body asks for more food because it did not get what it needs.

Sugar is also quite addictive. Once the sugar addiction is broken with healthy foods like meat, veggies, cheese and eggs, then the body will crave those only, until it gets nutrients it needs. Then the person will actually feel less hungry and stop grabbing everything in sight.

A good source of minerals and vitamins are needed to help offset the junk food cravings.

The eating habits of the above mentioned folks indicate theya re on a sure path to diabetes.

Hope this helps
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Sounds like a blood sugar issue. And yes, meds can do this. Ask the doctor. Don't go down the "psychological control issue" road, it won't help you -- it is likely to be wrong, and even if it's right, you don't want to get yourself lined up with the "other side" in a control battle. Whether she's emotionally hungry or chemically hungry, she's hungry. Do look into that as a symptom of something else (meds, anemia) with her doctor; for the rest, try to keep the food as healthy as possible and let her eat! By "healthy as possible" I also mean low-glycemic. If she's craving junk food, she's got blood-sugar swings going on. Even cereal, fruit, sweetened yogurt are high-sugar foods. Older bodies have an even harder time than younger bodies dealing with the insulin rush. More protein and veges, less grains and potatoes and sugars. Look up "low-glycemic" online to get a better picture of this and more ideas.
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Keep junk food (anything high and sugar and leading to plaque attacks) hidden (don't tell whatsoever). For our Mom, who similarly asks for more food after eating two bowls of cereal and fruit for breakfast, we either say that she's already eaten, or give her a clementine or a yogurt to calm (doesn't always work but no more food is given till lunch time). Possible dementia? If your Mom is showing early stages of dementia I strongly recommend making coconut oil (organic/unrefined) chocolates. Hope this helps. Good luck Cosmic40.
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Thank you for asking this question. We are experiencing the same thing. My adult nephew lives with my mom for now and he does the shopping. He said he had to stop buying cookies because no sooner than he put them in the cupboard he finds she has powered through a package of Oreo. I try to send cooked food up when I can. The last time I sent a pan of Ziti he said she ate the entire thing in a single day! (BTW, she had breakfast too) We have no clue where this is coming from and the fact that she is not gaining any weight is even more baffling. So if anyone else has any insight, I too would appreciate it. I share this link with my other siblings to help them understand some of Mom's behaviors. Thanks.
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It could be that one of her medications is making her hungry. I know when my mother-in-law was on steriods, it made her eat ALL THE TIME. I suggest you check out the medications she's on and see if there is a side effect. If not, it could be a phase she's going through too with her Dementia. There will be many phases where she will obsess over something that's probably not important, but by George it is to her. So that could be her problem too. Good luck!
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