General Question

ducky_dnl's avatar

Can my stomach shrink?

Asked by ducky_dnl (5371 points ) July 28th, 2010

My parents tell me my stomach can shrink. I used to be able to eat a lot of food, but for the past three months I can’t even finish a poptart without feeling like I’m going to throw up. I force myself to eat until I feel like I’m going to get sick, wait like ten minutes, and then start eating until I feel that way again..and I do that for small foods too. (ie poptarts, hotdogs, chicken nuggets, etc.) Any suggestions of what could be wrong with me? Drinks and even water does this to me too.

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20 Answers

marinelife's avatar

This is definitely something that you need to have checked out by a doctor. Your stomach shrinking would not be doing what you are describing.

NaturallyMe's avatar

Yes, it sounds odd. Your stomach will only “shrink” when you eat less over a period of time, so that you’ll feel fuller much sooner. But over eating will make your stomach “stretch” again to accommodate more food. Did you do something like this?

ducky_dnl's avatar

@NaturallyMe No, I haven’t. One day I was eating a lot of food and I couldn’t handle it. I thought I might have caught a sickness or something, but I just started to eat less and less after that. I try eating a lot, but like everyone..I don’t like thowing up and I stop eating to avoid getting sick. Oh, I also don’t think I’m fat. People think that I think I’m fat when I mention this, but I don’t. I only think I’m a little chunky when I’m feeling down, but it wouldn’t make me starve myself or eat less. I’m 90 pounds if you were wondering lol.

NaturallyMe's avatar

@ducky_dnl hehe, no, i wasn’t thinking anything about your weight. :) I have no idea what it could be, perhaps you should have someone have a look at you and see what’s the matter…you shouldn’t feel sick from eating small portions of food though.

JLeslie's avatar

Yes, your stomach physically shrinks if you consistently eat smaller portions, it is not just a old wives tale, it is true. I refused to overeat when I was younger because I did not want to throw up. I assume you are young. Are you underweight for your height? Does eating disgust you, or simply you want to stop when you feel full. Has your ability to eat a lot of food changed drastically recently? Or, have you always been like this?

JLeslie's avatar

Oh, I just saw it changed about three months ago. What changed?

Blackberry's avatar

Yes it can shrink, but in your situation, that is not good.

JLeslie's avatar

Are you full? Or, just nauseas?

ducky_dnl's avatar

@JLeslie My appetite changed. I enjoy eating.. A lot! I just feel bloated and like I’m going to get sick. Then after a ten minute wait..it subsides and I can eat a little bit more until I feel sick again. :/

JLeslie's avatar

@ducky_dnl Hmm. If you had only had the problem for a couple of weeks I would say wait and see, but since it has been three months maybe ask a doctor?

How old are you? Are you female? Have you been through puberty? Are you losing weight?

ducky_dnl's avatar

@JLeslie I’m 17, female, and yeah I’ve gone through puberty. My weight goes up and down. I’ll lose three pounds, gain 2 back, etc. It’s weird.

JLeslie's avatar

@ducky_dnl Well, girls generally stop growing taller once they have completed puberty, so it is not odd to sometimes have a reduced appetite once you are not growing as much. That is a little different than physically no tbeing able to fit as much in your stomach, but it could be part of the puzzle.

When I was 17 a Mc’D’s happy meal would have been plenty for me. Or, just 4 chicken nuggets and a large coke. Many people around me at lager meals, but they were fat. I was thin, but not too skinny, and I wish I still wanted to stop eating after that size meal LOL. My husband and I both look at people in fascination who drink lots of beer, because we could not even drink that much water.

Last question: If you eat only a little, like one poptart, do you still get sick to your stomach, or only when you eat too much?

ducky_dnl's avatar

@JLeslie I can’t even eat a whole poptart without getting sick. Maybe three or small bites and I feel like throwing up. :/ Eating half of a poptart without stopping will make me throw up. :(

JLeslie's avatar

@ducky_dnl That is very extreme. Do you actually throw up if you push it? I guess your parents trying to get you to stretch back out your stomach has some logic, you may be keeping the problem going, because you are afraid.

I went through a month when I was in my late teens where every time I ate I was sick to my stomach, it was awful. I can only guess that I had some sort of long lasting virus, but I never had a real answer. I think you should go to the doctor. Maybe they can do an ultrasound and see if you have something pressing against your stomach or something?

Austinlad's avatar

I agree with much of the feedback here, especially to see the doctor. It may be some type of blockage . Don’t keep worrying about it—get it checked out!

charliecompany34's avatar

only way to make anything happen with our bodies in regard to weight loss or “toning” is good diet and exercise. there is no fast easy way. no fad diets. no starving. no throwing up food.

THE TRICK:
what you want to eat is not what you need. and what you need is not what you want to eat.

JLeslie's avatar

@charliecompany34 What does that have to do with the question?

augustlan's avatar

One other thought comes to mind. You said “One day I was eating a lot of food and I couldn’t handle it. I thought I might have caught a sickness or something, but I just started to eat less and less after that. I try eating a lot, but like everyone..I don’t like throwing up and I stop eating to avoid getting sick.”

This makes me wonder if you might have formed an association between eating and throwing up, and are now experiencing anxiety when you eat. In other words, it could be the anxiety that makes you feel like you’re going to throw up, rather than the food itself. One of my daughters went through something similar, and didn’t eat solid food for a year. If you think this is a possibility, please see someone about it. The longer you wait, the worse it will get.

JLeslie's avatar

I agree with @augustlan that is what I was trying to get ask when I asked if you actually throw up when that feeling comes upon you while eating. That you are scared or anxious of what could happen. That you may be keeping the problem going, because you are afraid. Anticipation of a dreaded event can be very anxiety provoking.

I don’t usually suggest this, but maybe see if you can take 3 or 4 Xanax over a few days, and if you can eat better you know it is probably anxiety and you will have a few days of eating more to help stretch your tummy. But you cannot take more than a few. Risking becoming addicted is not an option.

Little's avatar

Maybe it’s what you’re eating that’s making you feel ill? I know for a fact my stomach shrinks when I eat smaller meals for a period of time. It takes very little to make me feel completely stuffed. But 2–3 mouthfuls seems still too little to fill up a small stomach.

If your stomach is feeling a bit delicate, ie feeling sick after eating, maybe you should swap your poptarts, hot dogs and chicken nuggets for fruit, small handfuls of nuts and other unprocessed, healthy foods? I steer completely clear of junk food and don’t eat much per serve so as to keep my stomach small, but if that small serve of food I do eat was made up of chicken nuggets, my stomach probably would feel like throwing it back up too. Another factor is even ‘healthy’ foods can upset your stomach. Gluten is well-known to cause digestive problems, and a lot of people can’t tolerate much dairy (if I have a drink with milk in it, it invariably comes back up – yuck). Meat is also very high in saturated fats, and processed meat (eg nuggets, hot dogs) can often be high in chemicals and antibiotics. All of these things could be upsetting your stomach. Try fruit, vegetables, nuts and legumes for a little while, cut out dairy and gluten (wheat) and see if it makes a difference?

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