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Bloating in anorexia recovery

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I am a recovered anorexic for nearly two years. Approximately 1 year ago I started to have abdominal bloating which seemed to correlate with the week or two before menses (which also resumed about this time as I was amenorrheic as an anorexic). For the past year this bloating problem has gotten progressively worse. It no longer seems to be premenstrual as it all the time, but is at its worst when I am most "hormonal". My abdomen is tense, bloated, and visibly distended to everyone (people routinely ask if I am pregnant as my abdomen protrudes). I am in good physical shape otherwise (5'8" ~125 lbs). I have tried avoiding certain foods like dairy, gluten, spice, etc to no avail. Pelvic ultrasound was negative. Has any one else experienced this problem in recovery? Any help would be much appreciated!
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replied October 6th, 2009
Do you drink alcohol? I find when I drink a lot of alcohol I end up bloated. It causes bacterial growth/gastrointestinal problems. I'm also eating disordered. I know that yoghurt helps restore the good bacteria in your stomach which will help eliminate the bad stuff that causes bloating. Inner health plus tablets also do this quite effectively. And also eat plenty of fibre. I had this problem for a while when I was drinking vodka every night. So number 1 is to stop drinking, eat yoghurt or IHP tablets, eat plenty of fibre, and DON'T take a whole lot of fibre supplements because they made my bloating worse. Congrats for finding the strength to recover.
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replied October 7th, 2009
I have had a very hard time eating for the last 3 years..since my husband passed away. I have 2 teenage girls. Recently..everytime I eat , my stomach gets extended as if I was pregnant. I have started to use peppermint capsules and truly believe..I just need to eat more...more solid foods...trying non-acidic foods..
drink lots of water and exercise a little everyday.
No one has an answer for me and it is a horrible feeling to not love my body...to have to wear special shirts to hide my belly...any suggestions are very appreciated...
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replied October 22nd, 2009
It's important to just eat a very small amount but more often, if you're able. Try to drink hot fluids right in the morning, it helps your digestive system rev up for the day.

Are you "regular"? That might be a rude question, but if you're constipated, the bloating will never go away. You should consider going to a doctor and asking about a safe laxative to clean your system if this is the case. Then make sure you incorporate plenty of fluids throughout the day. REMEMBER: Avoid bubbly, carbonated drinks.

People keep saying that alcohol bloats them. For me, I continue to maintain/lose weight when I drink. So I don't think alcohol is the problem, unless you're drinking lots of beer/lager and you have a sensitivity to wheat or brewed drinks. Stick to wine?

Raw foods also have a tendency to bloat people who are not used to them. This includes fruits and vegetables in raw, uncooked forms.

Ask your doctor for a food allergies test. It could help. Also, make sure you're taking plenty of supplements. I take multivitamins, omega-3 (which is my hero! seems to keep my body weight healthy, makes my skin better, and makes things easier to digest), and calcium/vitamin-D.
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replied October 22nd, 2009
I am doing all of the above for the last 2 weeks. I totally cut out caffeine..I start my morning with hot chamomille tea, followed by a coffee substitute and Better tthan Greens drink....have 1 packet of oatmeal... another packet of oatmeal...Strong probiotic, and natural vegetable laxitive suggested by Gastro..and plenty of supplements.. Better..but not corrected. I drink no alchohol..just need to eat..That's my answer..need to eat and get that weight on..thanks all.
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replied October 22nd, 2009
Looks like youre on the right track! it doesnt fix itself in a day... Good luck!
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replied October 22nd, 2009
Thanks for your replies. I am in fact regular and have cut out carbonated beverages. I also take the supplements you mentioned. The only thing that does seem to help a little is to eat very small meals many times throughout the day. Unfortunately that helps some but hasn't solved the problem.

Some mornings my abdomen is perfectly flat but it distends significantly by noon (regardless of whether or not I've had anything to eat).
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replied November 8th, 2009
I've had a big problem not with bloating, but with really rapid fat gain in deposits on my face back thighs and gut. this sucks so much... I hope it gets better for you ! I have a lot of trouble with bloating too.
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replied November 8th, 2009
I have accepted this is going to take some time. I DO start my day with Hot Chamomille Tea...and I have cut down on my fiber intake. I was eating 3x the amount of fiber for a Woman my age....I eat a little every 3 hours..REAL FOOD..It is Very Difficult..but my Dr's told me to look at food as my medication...because I am very prone to infection and at this weight, I would probably die. I plan on seeking the advice of a Registered Dietician...for I need guidance of what foods to eat...But I force myself...some days are better than others...I am saving my life...and I need to do for me..and one of those things is eating...Quite the concept..to take care of myself ...It is way overdue...
Thank you all for your suggestions and support.They mean so very much!((hugs))
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replied December 4th, 2009
I must add I also have Hepatitis C, from a tattoo, years ago, before there even was hep C..and vulvodynia and pelvic nerve pain with Interstial Cystitis.....Lots of pysical stuff on my plate...I kind of have accepted the bloating...It will go away as I eat and get more healthy.
That is my goal...to get healthy...
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replied December 8th, 2009
I was anorexic and used to say I put on weight if I dieted and I then turned to bulumia! Years later|I found that I was borderline coeliac ie wheat intollerant. After avoiding wheat my stomach would swell if I ate any at all. I am now gluten free milk free and have no probs ( its hard to totally avoid both these you think you do , but need specialist guidance as otherwise a little bit creeps in and you react more thus thinking its not working) Anyway vitimins minerals are calorie free take them and consider a rigid gluten free milk free diet for couple of weeks to trial if this alone not effective.
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replied December 22nd, 2011
I wonder how long it would take to completely recover? I'm having this terrible bloating problem as well since I started self-feeding after having suffered a bout of anorexia spanning a few months, say two or three (but my periods have been absent more than five). I'm afraid that if I take artificial supplements I might be at risk for the more harmful side effects; then again I am not sure as to what might be lacking from my body right now seeing as I have been eating normally and all of my previous accompanying symptoms have faded away completely -- e.g. pallor, lightheadness, insomnia, inability to think properly, constipation) -- except for the amenorrhea which I understand will take time to resolve itself. I don't think I have anemia, haven't gotten myself checked. I guess I still haven't found the nerve to walk into a doctor's clinic and get the required tests, although I think I'll do it myself when a) I have the money (I don't want to rely on my parents for this -- I'd like to do it on my own) and b) I've acquired the inner strength.
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replied August 14th, 2012
Bloating
I dont know why I am bloated even if I do not eat. I have IBS and use Soya milk no sugar in my tea. Some days I am OK and some days I look like a pregnant women. Maybe I should get tested for any allergies. I am putting on weight fast. Any suggestions would be appreciated folks.
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replied November 9th, 2012
Bloating after anorexia
I have had anorexia for almost three years now and i have been hospitalized twice. One of these times my heart actually stopped for a bit before re-booting, the second time was worse. I couldn't even find the strength to climb stairs anymore. I couldn't do anything. A few months ago i was released from the hospital recovery program. I have had severe bloating. I was at the gym one day and someone had the nerve to ask when my twins were due. Then further interogated me for being to young to be pregnant, even though i wasn't pregnant at all!
I have been getting into bodybuilding as a positive way to love myself and have fun doing something i love, and i have a personal trainer, yet no matter how much cardio and abdominal exsersises i do, the bloating remains. I have tried 6 months of trying to get rid of this bloating issue and failed. Can someone please help?
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