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I'm a 20 year old female who's had chronic tension headache and IBS (I'm not sure if it's IBS-A or IBS-C) for the last 8 months. I starting having these two symptoms about a month after I started to recover from a restrictive eating disorder/overexercise that resulted in severe weight loss (I'd lost 23 pounds in about 1.5 months). Since IBS/Chronic Tension Headache I have been having EXTREME trouble knowing when I'm hungry... It sounds ridiculous, I know... I'm always bloated and never feel hungry in the stomach, so I have to take cues from when my headache becomes especially painful to know that that's when I am hungry or not getting enough sugar to the brain. Due to this, I have lost and gained back 30 pounds FOUR more times since the eating disorder, all in 2009. I'm getting completely sick of this... I'm a nutrition expert now due to so much research and would really like to just get on with a healthy lifestyle that includes both exercise and eating whole foods (both of which I have a passion for), but not knowing that I'm hungry (or even properly full, for that matter) really frustrates me because I can't eat according to whenever my body cues it's time for me to eat. I've tried having regular snack/meal every 2-3 hours but it always ends up somehow that I eat way too much when I do that because I keep eating the snack until I can't eat anymore (I'd kept a food diary for about a week, earlier this month). I can't eat 3 big meals a day because by the time I start to eat and my body "realizes" that it is hungry and I go nuts eating everything in sight. Ugh!I was wondering if anyone else has a very difficult time knowing when they're hungry? I really don't want to keep gaining weight because of this (or losing weight for that matter) because "I look fat" thoughts are what triggered my eating disorder in the first place (which triggered, via stress/trauma, the IBS and headache)... does anyone have any advice?
 

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Have you tried eating every 3 hours but not having an unlimited amount available.We tend to eat in proportion to what is sitting out. (this is true of everyone, not just people with eating disorders, you give people popcorn at a movie and they eat 2/3rds of the container no matter what size the container is) So if you set up 5 mini meals of 350 or so calories each, each in it's own container (or whatever adds up to your calorie needs for the day. Then on the clock eat that amount and don't go back in the fridge for more or anything.When we are bloated (and after an eating disorder) it can be hard to retrain those "I need to eat now" signals. After they are really messed up it may take a while of normal eating (and not eating way too much then dieting hard so you yo-yo) to get those signals back.It may be worth seeing if there are any mindful eating classes in your area. They work on figuring out when you are full vs I stop eating when the bag is empty. Until you can get that sense of "I'm full" back it may be worth doing the portion out the meal/snack and put everything else there is to eat completely away so you do not see it and when you are done with the pre-portioned amount immediately go do something else so you aren't in the kitchen with the food.Some people find a digestive enzyme with pancreatin in it can help that I feel bloated too long after a meal thing so you might be more ready for the next meal on your schedule. I would do something really regimented (like portion out all your meals a head of time and eat on the clock) until your body starts to get back into a normal rhythm and you can hear its signals again.
 

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I first started having problems way back and it was not long after losing a lot of weight quickly too.It wasn't due to any psychological problems but just a diet to lose weight which I went a bit overboard with.I lost about 20 lbs in a couple of months and have always wondered if that was the catalyst for the beginning of my IBS.I have been told that after losing weight your mind can tell your stomach you are full after eating only a relatively small amount and if you put on weight the reverse can also happen.I suppose it's a case of finding a happy medium.With IBS there are times my digestive system/bowel is behaving like it is hungry but I know it isn't but all people are different.I agree with Kathleen that the best way is to eat several small meals a day to prevent feelings of empiness or fullness.Good luck
 
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