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Eating disorders and IBS

eating disorder anorexia bulimia

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#1 anon034


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Posted 14 August 2014 - 11:45 AM


Hi. i'm new to this forum and I wasn't sure where to post this, so I've posted it in two places (I think the first place wasn't the right topic).


I'm having a hard time at the moment and wanted to see if anyone else has had a similar experience. I suffered from eating disorders as a teenager and now have IBS. I'm not sure if the two are related, but I think they may be. From what I gather this is quite common to have both, but there's not a lot of support out there for people. I consider myself recovered, but obviously I still have issues with body image and have to be very careful I don't slip back into old habits.


I was wondering how other people cope with having to restrict food after recovering from an ED?


Also how do people cope with body image issues? I'm always bloated so I constantly feel fat. It's affecting my self-esteem and I'm not sure what to do. I've tried the FODMAP diet and the bloating went away for a couple of days, but it's so hard to stick to it strictly enough to get an effect because I eat out (and at friends houses) a lot so I can't always control what's in my food.


If not advice, I'm just looking to see if other people have been through something similar.

#2 mariareese


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Posted 20 October 2014 - 07:17 AM

We require to hear positive recovery stories of eating disorders in order to get hope and faith that there is a solution and one that works. Often the trials and mistakes that someone else has gone through can be effective in helping us. Similarly, knowing what indeed does work is crucial.


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#3 Minea


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Posted 13 November 2014 - 07:59 AM



I noticed your message on EDs and IBS. I suffered from anorexia in my early 20s, and I've had IBS as long as I can remember. Whether the two are connected or not, I don't know, but in my case the constant bloating in my teens made me think I was super thick + of course I couldn't do sports with my stomach problems. Eating very little relieved the symptoms of IBS, however grose that may sound.


After recovering I've always been afraid that my eating problems would be thought of as symptoms of an ED. It took really a long time to convince everyone that the real reason is IBS, and this involved a couple of hospital stays. :-(

But now I just tell everyone I cannot eat gluten and this and that and that because of my stomach, and that's important for yourself, too. Keeping away from the "bad" stuff somewhat helps, and makes life a little more predictable. And it makes you to take your condition more seriously, too.


Good luck and take care!

#4 jilliantodd


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Posted 20 January 2015 - 11:54 PM

Eating disorder patients commonly complain of gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms including bloating, abdominal pain, and constipation. While disordered eating behaviours and other ED symptoms clearly play a role in GI disturbances, it is possible that other factors, such as chronic stress and personality traits, may play a role in causing and/or maintaining EDs and FGIDs.

#5 Sensitive


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Posted 17 February 2015 - 08:03 AM

I developed an eating disorder in response to IBS because I found that being underweight stopped my cycle (which was a big trigger for me) and just led to less discomfort overall. Then I got into over-excercising as well just because I liked the feeling of being suddenly very thin (I'd always been small, but now people were started to notice--I don't know how it works psychologically, but it's like being unusually small made me feel safer in the world or like people would be nicer to me). It was awful, looking back. I mean, my bones ached and my hair was falling out and everything, and everyone in my life thought I was on drugs because I was so scrawny and sickly-looking. However, when I finally recovered from the ED I found my IBS was a thousand times worse! It's quite possible that restricting food led to problems with my gallbladder, as most people who fast or lose weight rapidly develop some kind of gallbladder issues. It's also possible that after a year and half without ovulating I messed up my ovaries so bad that when my periods started back they were worse than they ever had been before the ED. And of course I was probably low on all kinds of gut-healthy nutrients like vitamin A and vitamin E. And a B-12 deficiency (which I did develop during the ED) can make anxiety and depression worse, which makes IBS worse in general I think. So EDs, if not the cause, do sometimes make things worse in the long run. It's easy to think of restriction as some kind of solution to symptoms, but it's not sustainable and can, until IBS, actually be lethal. Wishing you the best of luck in staying well. It's not easy.



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