Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know that there are a lot of similar threads here. but my situation is a little different...I'm a 19-year-old female. I've had IBS-A for about nine years (recently tilting toward the IBS-C end of the spectrum thanks to Elavil...YAY) and I'm just about at my wits' end. I recently graduated from high school, and I'm now a full-time college student living in a dorm over 500 miles from home. The past four years have been pretty stressful for me...I'm what you'd call an overachiever, and this last year especially I've been working really hard to take on things that challenge my anxiety in an effort to overcome it (most notably, I flew to New York City by myself for a weeklong arts scholarship competition). But in order to deal with those situations (long car trips, recitals, and so on) I have to compensate by not eating or eating very little. Also, whenever I have one of my major IBS episodes I literally have zero appetite for at least a few days. The Elavil is supposed to help with the appetite situation, but it was just prescribed about a month ago so it hasn't entirely gotten into my system yet.I've always had a very high metabolism, even before I developed IBS. The problem is, I now weigh about the same as I did when I was 13 years old: I'm 5'7" and 105 lbs. It's extremely difficult for me to keep weight on--it takes me two weeks or so to gain just one pound (and that's when I'm really making an effort) but I'm easily capable of losing five pounds in a week if, for example, I get the flu and eat nothing but chicken noodle soup and crackers. I also feel full really easily, so it's hard for me to eat a lot of food at once. I would really, really like to gain about 10 pounds, or maybe even 15, but I want to set a goal that I can reach.Because of my college situation, I have to eat in the dining hall for almost all of my meals. There's a small kitchen in my dorm and I have a minifridge in my room, but it's not like I have the means to prepare a full meal for myself. I don't have a car, and in order to get to a grocery store I have to take the bus (which is very hard to fit into my schedule). I don't have an exercise regiment or anything like that, but I do spend a lot of time lugging my backpack across campus, and my on-campus job involves some heavy lifting. My GI specialist is back at home, so I tried going to my college's Wellness Center and had very little luck. They wouldn't even let me speak to the nutritionist on staff until I talked to a psychiatrist. Even when I did get to talk to the nutritionist she didn't know much about foods that work for people with IBS, and I got the impression that the majority of her patients suffer from eating disorders. I'm still not sure she was entirely convinced that I don't have an eating disorder, and it was giving me a weird feeling so I didn't go back.So...any suggestions for easy ways to add calories to my diet? Things I have access to: dining hall staples (grilled chicken, noodles, bread, peanut butter, deli meat) and a grocery store (to a certain extent; my food storage capacities are extremely limited so I can only buy so much food). I try to drink an Ensure Plus every night if I'm feeling okay.Things I do not have access to: most cooking equipment (no blender, etc.), exotic/unusual foods unlikely to be found in a grocery store, a lot of money to spend on fancy supplements.Things that I do NOT tolerate well: fatty foods (things like peanut butter are okay, though in the case of peanut butter I already eat it a lot), the usual trigger foods (caffeine, etc.), and really sugary foods.Thank you so much for your help. Let me know if I left out any information. Gaining weight would mean a lot to me--it's not easy to be a girl in college and not like what you see in the mirror every day while at the same time feeling powerless to do anything about it.