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Old 09-13-2009, 05:21 PM   #1
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Anorexia and digestive problems

I'm a recovering anorexic...it was a long ugly road. Apparently not ugly enough as I've recently started to relapse.

Anyway, question. I have really really bad digestive problems. I can't remember them being there before. I'm pretty sure I did some serious damage to my body when I was Anorexic. Anyone have a similar story? What have you done to help with the digestion?

 
Old 09-14-2009, 11:19 AM   #2
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Re: Anorexia and digestive problems

I had very bad digestive issues also after my last bout with anorexia. My dr prescribed Reglan which helped tremendously. I had a lot of issues with swelling also that have only recently subsided (it's been a year). I will still swell if I restrict or skip meals.

I had to take my recovery very slowly and only introduce small amounts of food at a time.

In addition to the Reglan: moderate exercise, lots of water, and very small, frequent meals helped. I can't handle dairy at all anymore so replacing it with soy and rice products has reduced the bloating.

Recently, I started supplementing with Metamucil and that's helping out my slow digestive system too.

My heart goes out to you...I know it's tough. For me, recovery was by far more uncomfortable and difficult than anything I ever experienced with EDs. ED was easy for me and the thinner I was the better I felt (physically). Recovery is worth it though and EDs weren't...they took too much from my life in other ways.

Take Care!

 
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Old 09-14-2009, 12:03 PM   #3
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Smile Re: Anorexia and digestive problems

Hi guys,

I just started recovery 3 months ago and at the beginning it was really hard with bloating and water weight.

Because I restricted so much, I had to have my gallbladder removed, so I have to be careful of what I eat.

Basically, I try to get lots of fiber, take digestive enzymes, eat no red meat/milk, no diet cokes, eat slower and smaller meals. I try to eat all kinds of food but I really try to stay away from salt.

(TMI: But it took me about 2 months of doing all those things I mentioned above for my stomach issues to be regular. <removed> )

I am going to start taking a vitamin which is a reall big step for me!

Good luck!
ps. there is a digestive board on here, they suggested taking a diegestive and probiotics enzymes which really helped with the bloating. I don't know if we are allowed to mention names?

<* names of products are allowed, but not websites.
mod-anon Moderator *>

Last edited by mod-anon; 10-12-2009 at 11:11 AM. Reason: edited triggering words

 
Old 09-14-2009, 12:21 PM   #4
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Re: Anorexia and digestive problems

I had gallbladder issues too...isn't it incredible all the ways EDs can affect us?!? Mine still bothers me if I go too long without eating...I'm glad I still have it though!!

What enzymes do you use ali? My vitamin contains enzymes and probiotics but I've considered taking extra enzymes.

 
Old 10-12-2009, 03:12 AM   #5
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Re: Anorexia and digestive problems

............ im almost about to cry when reading this !!

nah... :') or maybe a tear hehe

anyway! i know *exactly* how it is with all these digestive crapp issues you get from long-term EDs its so annoying and it just makes everything extremely miserable when you get symptoms and reminds you of NOTHING BUT that it was caused by your ED.....

i have and have had literally BOUTS of digestive problems.... from mouth to bowel. yeppp. and its no fun at all!!

its like as if EDs specifically targeted my digestive system somehow.......urghhhh!

currently i still have:
-poor gastric tone
-slow motility
-dyspepsia
-hiatal hernia
-IBS

............ i sometimes hate myself for what ive done to my body, seriously. its still hard to accept sometims

Last edited by polkaadot; 10-12-2009 at 03:13 AM.

 
Old 10-24-2009, 05:42 AM   #6
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Re: Anorexia and digestive problems

I am so happy to have found this post! I echo what everyone is saying - it seems that no one who has not suffered from an eating disorder understands that, long after recovery has started or been completed, the digestive issues still wreak havoc on our already-upset bodies. The person who does not know anorexia or bulimia seems unable to comprehend that a "normal" meal would stay with us for hours - even days - and create unimaginable physical and psychological pain. Many people would hope and pray for wealth or riches or the love of another person but I and you - we pray for a simple bowel movement, or the ability to stop eating before we feel terribly full. We long for a time when food was not entertainment, when food was not a constant companion to our everyday thoughts.

My husband of only a few months suffers with me - he suffers due to my negative attitude, my crying fits, my negative comments directed at him that, in actuality, have nothing to do with him whatsoever! They are a result of me voicing my own frustrations with this bloated, misshapen body that, I feel, will be with me for the rest of my days. I do not know why my husband doesn't turn around and walk out the door on me - if he did, I promise with all of my heart, I would understand why. I mean - I am ready to walk out on me - if only I could be so lucky. Even sexually, at the young age of 26 and a newlywed, I falter. I hate myself so intensely I cannot show love toward my beautiful husband who deserves love more than anyone.

We must continue to hope and root for each other!

 
Old 10-24-2009, 09:47 PM   #7
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Re: Anorexia and digestive problems

I am currently having more digestive problems caused by my years of eating disorders because I stopped taking my probiotics after meal time and started taking St John's Wort and it causes constipation.

I do not want to stop taking the St John's Wort because it is really helping me with my mood.

But I finally decided to get better and eat more but the distress on my tummy is too much and now I am starting to have second thoughts.

For example, I finally decided to eat at 2:00 pm and I then I felt so full/ uncomfortable and so phsycially drained of energy that I fell asleep at 5:30 pm and woke up at 9:00pm!

So my whole day revolved around eating, feeling full afterwards, taking a nap, and then waking up and having to eat again and start the cycle all over.

I eat the 25 grams of fiber so I know it's not that. Hopefully, I'll be able to buy some probiotics or digestive enzymes tomorrow.

If anyone has any suggestions, I could sure use them!

 
Old 11-30-2009, 11:22 PM   #8
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Re: Anorexia and digestive problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Comediane1111 View Post
I am so happy to have found this post! I echo what everyone is saying - it seems that no one who has not suffered from an eating disorder understands that, long after recovery has started or been completed, the digestive issues still wreak havoc on our already-upset bodies. The person who does not know anorexia or bulimia seems unable to comprehend that a "normal" meal would stay with us for hours - even days - and create unimaginable physical and psychological pain. Many people would hope and pray for wealth or riches or the love of another person but I and you - we pray for a simple bowel movement, or the ability to stop eating before we feel terribly full. We long for a time when food was not entertainment, when food was not a constant companion to our everyday thoughts.

My husband of only a few months suffers with me - he suffers due to my negative attitude, my crying fits, my negative comments directed at him that, in actuality, have nothing to do with him whatsoever! They are a result of me voicing my own frustrations with this bloated, misshapen body that, I feel, will be with me for the rest of my days. I do not know why my husband doesn't turn around and walk out the door on me - if he did, I promise with all of my heart, I would understand why. I mean - I am ready to walk out on me - if only I could be so lucky. Even sexually, at the young age of 26 and a newlywed, I falter. I hate myself so intensely I cannot show love toward my beautiful husband who deserves love more than anyone.

We must continue to hope and root for each other!
The bold part of your post really pulled at my heart strings, if you will. I went though the same thing with my now ex girlfriend. It's just good to read it I guess.
__________________
Hi Everyone,
I'm here to try to gain a better understanding of how EDs work and effect people. I know it's a little odd, but I feel like I need to do this.
Thanks.

 
Old 12-03-2009, 12:56 PM   #9
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Re: Anorexia and digestive problems

LIZDARE,

I think it's great that you are trying to understand more about EDs! I'm sorry to hear that you and some close to you had to go through this. If have any questions just post.

 
Old 12-12-2009, 10:41 PM   #10
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Re: Anorexia and digestive problems

Interestingly enough it turns out for me I had digestive problems BEFORE my eating disorder began. So a question is, would I have developed one if I hadn't had my GI problems? I still have the family dysfunction (or rather dys-notsofun-ction), personality, etc.

I started complaining of stomach pain and nausea/vomiting around age 6-7 and developed an eating disorder at 12. When I was 19 I was diagnosed with Gastroparesis (delayed gastric emptying) and given Reglan (and had severe side effects from). Wasn't told it was chronic or to change my diet, didn't give it another thought. Kept going through periods of the severe abdominal pain, bloating, n/v but attributed it to random other things. A few years ago I was re-diagnosed with severe gastroparesis and a year later with chronic intestinal pseudo obstruction (which is delayed motility in the small intestine). At first, my doctors thought that the gastroparesis/CIPO was a result of the eating disorder, but then I read on the Ehlers-Danlos National Foundation website and various other sites that Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (a rare genetic connective tissue (collagen/vascular) disorder) which I'd been diagnosed with at 16 was a big known cause to these motility disorders. My weight has fluxed dramatically over the years ranging from severely underweight to very overweight because of ability to keep down and digest food or getting it through IV (TPN fun blah)

Regardless of the cause, if you are having problems with early fullness (NOT related to eating disordered thinking, and be honest with yourself too), abdominal pain, distention, nausea, unintentional vomiting sometimes many hours after eating or taking pills (especially if you can tell what you ate and what the pills were obviously) then really go to a gastroenterologist and be honest about your ED history, and if they don't recommend it, ask for a 4 hour gastric emptying test (make sure it's the 4 hour test, the 90 min/2 hour test is BS and misses a lot of cases). Also endoscopy and barium tests (including a follow through). A gastric emptying test is fairly simple, you eat an egg white sandwich on white bread with some jelly and 6 ounces of water that has a certain amount of a radioisotope and they stick you under a machine and pretty much watch how much of the sandwich/water has left your stomach after 4 hours.

If you do have slow motility, a low fat/low fiber diet is generally recommended along with Reglan or Domperidone at first. Fat and fiber both slow down digestion, which is not what you want. Unfortunately generally people like to have bms without taking stool softeners so with eating disorders they tell you to take fiber supplements. In that case, the clear fiber supplements are the best. Metamucil has psyllium which just makes you more distended and gassy.

Luckily, if it IS due to an eating disorder, it will go away with time as long as you keep eating (small meals, but often). Your muscles forget how to work when they're not used consistently or correctly for a period of time, so the meds and the eating regularly will "teach" your muscles what to do again. If it's suspected that you had problems BEFORE the ED, that's a different story altogether, but the initial treatment is the same.

So, to sum up, go visit a GI, and among other tests they may want to do, make sure you get a 4 hour gastric emptying test. A good ED dietician will be able to help with dietary restrictions/sensitivities from whatever GI problems you may have and whatever the cause. Also, eating disorders are funny things...lots of examples of EDs being caused by medical problems, in particular GI problems. Often times people are misdiagnosed as having a chronic, intractable eating disorder when there's really a physical basis for symptoms. Not saying that's your situation, wasn't mine originally (although before the CIPO diagnosis my doctor was convinced that I wasn't doing my intestinal tube feeds like I was supposed to because my eating disorder was active again, which wasn't the case).

Sorry so long, hope this answered some questions, if anyone who has read this has any questions about what I've said or about how to approach your treatment team/doctor, feel free to message me privately.

Sarah

 
Old 12-19-2009, 07:25 PM   #11
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Re: Anorexia and digestive problems

GEEKYSAPANO-Thanks for the info!

During the first couple of months of recovery -I tried low fat and high fiber foods (it was a big mistake) I had so many problems with bloating, feeling full, constipation, and weird stomach growlings! I was ready to give up.

It's been almost 5 months and I have learned to stay away from dairy. Also, switching to low fat and low fiber really helped! These foods are the top three foods that give me problems: bananas, milk, and oats. The bloating has gone away, my weight is stable, but I still have all those problems that I mentioned up there.

I switched digestive enzymes and have begun taking 1 before each meal. They are called--- Now Super Enzymes--- and i'll post later on with my progress. I specifically took them with half a glass of milk and 1 carbohydrate because milk gives me so many problems. So I'll post later on with my progress! I hope they work.

I messed up my body with almost 5-6 years of diet pills, laxatives, starving, b/p -and everything else. Now I don't have a gallbladder and all these digestive problems. As soon as I get health insurance, I am going to ask for a referral to see a gastro.


If anybody has any other ideas to help relieve all the gastro problems, please post.



Thanks!

 
Old 12-29-2009, 01:41 PM   #12
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Re: Anorexia and digestive problems

Hi guys,

I wanted to post an update on my digestive problems and solution.

For the past ten days i've been sticking to this: I take One- Sustenex- probiotic in the morning and One -Now Super Enzymes-(digestive enzyme) before each meal and one serving of -ClearLax at night.

{These are products that are the cheaper versions of Align and Miralax. I've used Align and Miralax and I got the same results with the cheaper products so I am not going to spend the extra money.}

I know it seems like a lot but like I said on my post below, I am recovering from years of anorexia/bulima; laxative and diet pill abuse; and I had to have my gallbladder removed because of my anorexia.

So far, I have been doing great. My stomach feels less bloated even though i've been eating all kinds of food! I don't have insurance to see a doctor right now so I guess I am going to stick to this plan.

I know that the digestive problems that come with recovery of both eating disorders create so much discomfort and pain. But please do your research before you try something out especially if you don't have insurance to see a doctor.

 
Old 01-02-2010, 10:15 PM   #13
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Re: Anorexia and digestive problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by aileb View Post
LIZDARE,

I think it's great that you are trying to understand more about EDs! I'm sorry to hear that you and some close to you had to go through this. If have any questions just post.
Thank you. I have some more questions. Just about the relationship side of it. But, thank you again. I'm going to try to be more active here...
__________________
Hi Everyone,
I'm here to try to gain a better understanding of how EDs work and effect people. I know it's a little odd, but I feel like I need to do this.
Thanks.

 
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