IBS-D leading to eating disorder, poor mental healtheating disorder ibs-d bulimia anxiety depression
Posted 27 May 2015 - 05:18 PM
I'm 29-years-old with IBS-D. I've been dealing with it for about five years. I've visited this forum hundreds of times but this is my first post. I am becoming scared and need to unburden myself.
As a teenager, I was bulimic. I threw up everything I ate, up to seven times a day. I never sought help and somehow I got myself out of it. Then, at around 23/24, I began to have symptoms of IBS-D (constant loose stools, pain, nausea, etc.). I thought I was just dealing with lactose-intolerance or the inevitable consequences from my years of bulimia.
After seeing several doctors (who prescribed useless anti-anxiety meds and Miralax, and said the eating disorder has nothing to do with IBS), I finally saw a gastroenterologist. After a negative colonoscopy and a negative endoscopy, the only thing she found was gastritis. I began an acupuncture regimen paired with a muddy tea made of ancient Chinese herbal medicine for a year, and that helped a lot (maybe it was a placebo, but drinking disgusting mud twice a day makes for a good placebo). My gastroenterologist told me to go on an elimination diet, to which I found that I basically can't eat anything but crackers, white rice, root vegetables, and simply cooked chicken/fish. Filtered water. Herbal teas. Everything homemade and organic. I discovered that most packaged foods caused the worst symptoms, even foods I thought were okay (Vitamin Water, Kind Bars, all poison). And that alcohol (except a little red wine) is the worst culprit. I also found that most medicines hurt my stomach, so the only thing I do now is smoke marijuana. I smoke everyday to manage my anxiety, pain, nausea, and appetite. I also find that I stop having bowel movements for the day as soon as I start smoking.
Even though my IBS-D symptoms have become more manageable, my mental health has plummeted as a result of years of pain and disgust. I have become so anxious and prone to panic attacks that I am homebound except when my husband manages to drag me out, whispering "it's going to be okay" the whole time. I quit my job and although I am a successful freelancer, I am terrified of the moment when a client invites me to lunch, or drinks, or an in-office meeting. I always find a way out. I recently turned down an amazing job offer because I knew the commitment would kill me inside. I even avoid my friends sometimes, and they know about my issues. I shake uncontrollably when I have to take the subway. I won't go anywhere that doesn't have facilities. I won't go to bars unless I know they have multiple restrooms. I literally laugh when people invite me to breakfast or brunch (my worst nightmare). I don't need to go into more detail about what triggers it because you all know.
But what I am really starting to worry about is the eating issue. I can feel myself falling backwards into a familiar pattern of controlling food to control my life. I did that when I was bulimic. Self loathing = eating = disgust = nausea = vomiting = feel better. And now eating = pain = diarrhea = anxiety/depression, I'm starting to cut out the eating part more and more to reach the feel better stage. I am basically always on the BRAT diet, only minus the A because apples are a trigger. I won't eat the whole day if I'm traveling. If I do eat a normal meal, I won't leave the house the rest of the day. I never make plans for after a meal. I don't make meal plans with anyone but my husband because he won't judge me. I already know I'm not getting the nutrients I need, especially because some of the most nutritious foods are the most offensive (kale, tomatoes, onions, beans, broccoli, leafy greens of any kind, etc. will result in pain, nausea, with visible food in BM). I have low B12, low vitamin D. My nails are lumpy, my skin ashy and blemished. I am weak, fatigued, despondent, tired, depressed. The only time I feel okay is when I haven't eaten, and I know I don't have to eat for a while, or be anywhere, or with anyone. Important to note that this is not about being thin (alternately, if I could be chubby but healthy and up-for-anything, I'd take it).
Has anyone else had to cope with an eating disorder that emerged after IBS-D? Or did anyone have an eating disorder BEFORE IBS joined the party?
And if you had to suggest seeking professional help, do you recommend a psychiatrist, therapist, psychologist, clinical social worker, behavioral therapy, etc.? I have not yet spoken to ONE professional (except the acupuncturist) who took my condition seriously, and it is immensely important to me that the person I see actually knows what they are doing in regards to dealing with the mental issues that result from having IBS-D.
Best of luck to everyone here.
Posted 28 May 2015 - 03:13 AM
First thing, I think you can get more support here than visiting a "professional". We understand.
When I decided to change my diet to try get well, I was sent to a eating disorder professional. She didn't understand anything and was convinced that her "food pyramid" was ideal and I was crazy.
Since you mention an elimination diet, have you read about Aglaee Jacob's elimination diet? Glutamine? Boulardii?
Posted 28 May 2015 - 06:18 AM
I think that it'd be better for you to find a professional who is specialized in helping drug addicts withdraw from their drugs abused as you said that you took marijuana
Posted 28 May 2015 - 09:29 AM
jaumeb, this is why I like the forum and I agree that professionals are not always as helpful as they could be. I hadn't heard about Aglaee Jacob's diet, but I am going to research it now. I wouldn't have heard about it elsewhere.
Demise of Commies, marijuana is the only "substance" that has helped me. Anti-anxiety medications gave me side effects that I was trying to avoid. Anti-diarrheal meds just cover up the problem for a short time. Pain meds cause stomach pain in me (go figure). I don't think marijuana is right for everyone, but it has helped me deal with IBS and I wish more people would take seriously its healing properties. But thank you for your concern.