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1223598 tn?1289968459

Recovery, physical symptoms of reintroducing food!!!

Okay, this community has been helpful to me in my recovery, I am grateful for Zoe responding to my first question at the beginning of my recovery from Anorexia, Bulimia and Over exercising for 11 years. I am fighting strong this time, so far I am doing awesome. I have never come this far in my life, and i know i am going to make it this time. I am going to overcome it all.

Just some background info: I am abstaining from working out, to heal my addiction to it, and have been working on relaxation, and self awareness, and positive thinking. Positive thinking, and retraining my thoughts is the only reason i have come this far.
I allow myself to only do some cardio, because without it my digestion is slow and painful. Truthfully in all, abstaining from working out probably means i work out like a normal person now. It's not like i am doing nothing, i still end up working out, but the most i do now, is HIIT (high intensity interval training) for under 20 minutes, meaning i skip rope or run really fast for 20 minutes until i am about to pass out, then i stop and do nothing for the rest of the day, and for me, that is a huge accomplishment because before it was 24/7 of working out.
My ED routine was anorexia by day, working out excessively, and binger at night, then purge, then overdose on laxatives.

My problem:
It has been a few weeks of reintroducing food. I am struggling with excruciating pain and major bloating.

I was a hardcore laxative abuser. I am now not taking any laxatives, and i think i might have cut down on them too fast, although i did reduce them. Because my insides are painful. The bloating is really bad.
I am taking a huge list of vitamins,I think i have all the fiber, veggies and fruit and vitamins anyone can tell me about, enzymes, and on prescription drug Motilia that is useful to help anorexic people reintroduce food.
I am also drinking huge amounts of water.  

But within the first few days of reintroducing food and eating regularly and normally, I gained 10 pounds. I know this can't possibly be weight gain due to fat. But it's messing with my mind. The thing I am worried about, is it is probably due to constipation or water retention.
I read about the horrible withdrawal symptoms of laxatives, and i am scared sh!tless. No wonder ed patients who abuse laxatives don't want to stop. It causes temporary weight gain and such.
What I am worried about, is not being able to take a bowel movement. I do, every day, but only small pitiful amounts. I can't get it all out. I don't even feel constipated, it's just that, things arent moving.
And my stomach remains huge and solid bloated like a brick.

The sharp pains have ceased down quite a bit from when i started, but they are still there. It is mainly the bloating I am worried about. I also get periods of nausea. Will it go away, or am i going to be stuck like this?

I know my habits of ED behaviour were drastic and extreme, so i'm worried i damaged the function of my insides.

I just weighed myself right now to make sure and i have gone up. It CANT be weight gain, because everyone says i have not gained weight. And also, i have been eating regularily, healthy, there's no way it can be from weight gain.

My normal weight is always 120 and fluctuates up to 125. I don't think i was underweight. I looked at a healthy weight. When I checked a few days before starting eating it was, 135. Now it is at 140, after only a few weeks. I am really worried. Is that amount of weight gain normal for constipation and laxative withdrawal? Or am i really gaining weight? And if it's simply due to constipation, that can't be healthy can it? HOW LONG IS THIS GOING TO GO ON FOR? I am also worried about the fluid retention getting worse.

(I don't think my body is moving up to a normal weight for me, because 120 - 125 seemed like a normal weight for me. My height is 5'8, and i had lots of muscle and was really healthy in a physical activity aspect. I also had Bulimia, so i overate a lot more than i am now, and i was at 120 for many, many years. I managed to keep at a stable weight for a very long time.)

I really don't know what to do, and my doctor isn't any help at all. He doesn't know anything about eating disorders and neither does my community.

I am also realizing my energy levels are going down. I thought i was supposed to be feeling more healthy, but instead i feel more sick. Is that normal? For example I just went on a bike ride, short distance, and when i got back it felt like a classic anorexia, bulimic attack of low potassium levels, i was all shaky, weak just like way back in the bad days when i had one eating disorder at a time (i mean i used to go in cycles of just anorexia, then cycles of just bulimia, then cycles of overeating, then back to the beginning but for the last many years i have somehow stabilized three eating disorders at once which probably isn't good either but not as extreme and i didn't get many health problems that way)... but the thing is, i've been eating healthily, regularly, and getting all my nutrients, more hydrated than i have ever been in my life, so why am i feeling unhealthy? I also had no strength on the bike ride, i had to stop and catch my breath 6 times. I also felt my chest becoming heavy. This is very unnatural for me, since i am very strong, and my endurance is very high.

I also want to know, if going on a cleanse to clean my liver and colon and bowels would be a good thing? (A cleanse sticking to my meal plan and not restricting food, just taking cleansing pills) Is that good for my digestive system, or is it a huge NO NO for people overcoming eating disorders and especially laxative abuse? I have read that some cleanses seem similar to laxatives in the first place, so it doesn't seem like it would be a good thing, but a natural path woman told me i should consider it?  

Any help would be appreciated :)  




4 Responses
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Avatar universal
I came across your post and though it was near 5 years ago I was wondering if any changes have taken place for the better? I sadly am experiencing everything you felt in your first post from bulimia for years. Awful stomach pains, bloating, not so much constipation but like you said, here and there. I have absolutely zero energy and constantly want to just sleep it away. I have only been doing well now with eating clean and right for a week so I was unsure if this was all in the beginning of recovery stage or if it is long term. I hope to hear back from you and I hope nothing but good news for you and your healthy lifestyle.
Helpful - 0
1493843 tn?1309256719
im glad you finally got some answers yes ed can destroy everything   i hope you are able to get better  best wishes:)
Helpful - 0
1223598 tn?1289968459
Thank you beachbunn, i really hope you find your way out of your relapse and that life becomes easier.

Well, i just found out some of the answers to my physical problems. And recovery isn't just hard, it can lead to death, because this is the time where all the damage comes to the surface. Especially if you have multiple eating disorders like me. It would have been nice if someone told me my symptoms were abnormal.
Instead i waited a few days longer thinking it was normal. Even the expert forum never responded to me. I know bloating and constipation is normal, but everything is i mentioned is not, and i know that from finally visiting the doctor after things left unresolved and got worse.

Anyways, here's the real answer.

Having the disease for so many years makes our bodies immune to the damage we are inflicting. I never really had any phases in my life where i stopped, so i never knew the intensity of how badly i ruined my insides.
Stupidly, i thought i could continue on living that way, because nothing too bad was happening.
Of course i read the long list of permanent medical illnesses that is caused by eating disorders. I also knew death was common. But the disease is tricky, and so is the body, it can survive a long time hiding what is wrong with it, until you strive for recovery. That is when the damage shows up.

I just want other eating disorder patients to know this, and not make the same mistake i did. I thought my body was fine, and not dying, so i put off recovery for that reason.

I decided to recover too late. And it's of course, unfair. I recovered from the disease completely as i have no eating disorder thoughts anymore. But now... i am on my death bed. Hopefully they can fix the permanent damage i have done. So yes, this is resolved, i do know what is wrong with me, and NO it is not NORMAL.

And just so you know, the symptoms i listed at the bottom mean something is horribly wrong with your insides, colon and liver. However there are many more symptoms that have come up, that are not on there. Such as, your body becoming toxic. Or you become fatally ill and start puking up stuff that tastes like dead things.

And just so you know, if you don't take a crap in a few weeks, you can die simply from that too.

I apologize if i sound rude, but it took me a long time to find these answers. I seriously, don't want anyone else to make the same mistake as me. Eating disorders can lead to permanent medical problems, and those problems can kill you. We aren't always lucky.







Helpful - 0
1493843 tn?1309256719
recovery and intrducing healty eating is the hardest part iv been anerexic for 13 yrs, i got better for a little while but so hrd everything i ate i felt so big and the bloat was unbearable it came down to me only being able to stomach crackers, so i ate only crackers for about a month i know your prob thinkin well how is that healthy but for me it was scary i never ate fat and i was eating 3 packs of crackers a day which had a alot of fat to me!   eventually i was able to reintroduce other food until my diet was healthy i had my moments but i went from 79 pounds to 120, and sometimes it takes small steps so dont overwhelm yourself.  i had a baby in 07 and after having him felt discusting but i lost the weight healthly.  over the past two years ive suffered through 4 miscarraiges and 1 false preg. due to a cyst iv had two surgeries. and with all the stress and heartache iv found ed has come back , and iv lost about 20 pounds in a month and  half, i want to be better and normal and hopefully i can get back to that.  i pray you stay in recovery :)   have you tried taking a stool softner  not a laxative   this should help with getting reg bowels  also try eating an apple or yogurt before bed .  good luck to you and if yu need anything  im on here :)
Helpful - 0
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