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leopardgecko123's avatar

Constipation and bloating after anorexia?

Asked by leopardgecko123 (777points) August 12th, 2013

So I was border-lining anorexia for about 4–5 months, restricting food and exercising excessively. I’ve made the choice to not starve myself anymore because it really sucks and my God is helping me realize there is much more to life than looks and weight. Recently I’ve starting eating more, when I’m hungry and stopping when I’m satisfied. I still have freaky moments where I get out of control, but the Lord is giving me strength to overcome these demons in my head. The problem? Constipation and bloating!! It sucks. Is it normal to experience them when starting to get back into healthy eating patterns? Is my body just getting used to being fed properly? And is there a way to calm the constipation and bloating down without starving? I’ve had one bowel movement in the past 3 days, and feel bloated often, which makes it hard to eat because I’m used to convincing myself I’m full after a few bites. But no more of that, I want to get better. So is this normal to experience? What else could I expect from recovering and getting into healthy habits again? I would like to note I eat very healthy, lots of vegetables, healthy fats, turkey, chicken, fish, some fruits, and lots of water (peeing every hour it seems). Do I need more fiber? Any suggestions or encouragements are really appreciated!! And please don’t preach about how terrible EDs are or get on me about my religious beliefs. I just want to get better.

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7 Answers

snowberry's avatar

Try a teaspoon of baking soda in water. I had that problem after a colonoscopy. My doctor recommended it to me to help get the pH of my gut back in order. He said to do it no more than once a week because it depletes B-vitamins. You might also want to take the B’s just to make sure you’re not low.

JLeslie's avatar

If you are eating a lot of raw veggies change to eating more cooked ones. Hard vegetables like carrots, celery and even cruchier lettuces like romaine and iceberg and legumes like nuts constipate me. Just a handfull of raisins help me a lot. Cereal like wheatina, veggie soups and split pea soup help with my digestions. There are different types of fiber. If what you eat is something that does not absorb water, like a carrot is not going to absorb cold water fast, but whole bran, raisins, things like that will absorb even cold water in a few minutes and soften, those things that absorb readily should help you be less constipated.

You probably are overly critical of bloating and constipation since you were bulimic and anorexic, but also getting back to a normal eating pattern can take your body some time to adjust. If you pee constantly consider possibly drinking a little less or if you are thirsty constantly adding a little salt to your diet so you won’t be so thirsty all the time. One bowel movement in three days is uncomfortable for sure though. I am not saying you are being neurotic about the constipation. Try some raisins or prunes today and drink water with them. It really should help within 12 hours.

gailcalled's avatar

Try some OTC Senna or Senokot. It is the laxative of choice pre- and post =-surgery where patients will be taking opiates for pain. It is mild. Take smallest suggested dosage.

Prunes are also good.

For immediate relief, you might try one glycerin suppository

Keep in mind that I am not a doctor or member of the health care professions but speaking to my own experiences, which were unrelated to anorexia or other eating disorders.

JLeslie's avatar

Does anyone know about your anorexia or are you self diagnosing yourself and trying to self cure? You might want to see a nutritionist who is familiar with people who have dieted in the way you have who is familiar with what problems people sometimes have when they change their eating habits again.

mambo's avatar

Don’t take any laxatives because it can cause someone recovering from an ED spiral back into old behavior patterns or laxative abuse.

By restricting your food, your body slowed down the way it processes things and it needs time to recooperate.

I went through periods of anorexia, bulimia, and an over eating disorder. I’ve been on both ends of the weight spectrum. During recovery, I had the same issues and you need to wait them out.

Try drinking some coffee during the day and eating more fiber. Your bowels will start to move a little quicker.

Good luck! I’m glad you’re making positive choices, now. Stay strong.

sujenk7422's avatar

Mambo had some great advice and I too think you should give your body time to adjust to having to actually digest food. Yogurt would help return some good bacteria to your stomach and help with the bloating and constipation. Acidophylus in capsule form with help balance the flora in your stomach lining. You can buy it over the counter almost anywhere. Whatever you do don’t use laxatives – you can become dependent on them and your digestive system will never work right! Coffee first thing in the morning is a great way to induce BM. If you don’t like coffee, drink Black Tea instead. Congratulations on taking back your life and good luck with the nasty symptoms!

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