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bloating and fluid retention in bulimia recovery

I was wondering if anyone has serious bloating and fluid retention (all over the body)? if so how long does this last? I am in recovery and have been on a structured eating plan for 4 weeks now.


Shaye Says

Hi there!

Congratulations on all the hard work you have been putting into recovery... You are doing so well :)

The bloating and water retention can be very challenging... but I promise it is temporary and will go away as you allow your body to heal. For me, the bloating was severe for at least one month... Then it improved a little. At 2 months it began to gradually improve again. It was a tough time, but I swear that it is worth pushing through!

With bloating and water retention, the only way out is through. Push through this time and allow your body to heal... It will happen if you give it the chance :)


Comments for bloating and fluid retention in bulimia recovery

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Fluid retention & bloat!! 2 hard 2 deal with NEW
by: Slsp2429

I have suffered 23 yrs ! I got very sick 3 weeks ago & went 2 ER! I don't remember much but had a very high fever! After 10 tubes of blood, cheat X-ray, stomach X-ray, & scan!! The dr came back in & said he has never seen any1 alive with a potassium level as low as mine! & rest of my blood work was horrible & didn't make Any sense!! Never told them that I was bulemic! I made a promise rite then 2 God that of I could live & he would b by my side I was gonna beat this disease once & 4 all! It's been #22 days & I have not had a slip up! The water retention & bloating is killing me tho & it's becoming tougher! I hurt & my skin aches! My eyes r puffy & I feel miserable! I have been eatin 3 small healthy meals a day wit a lite snack ( usually yogurt or grapefruit) in the eve! I feel like I wanna quit !! Please help! How long Will I have 2 fight this!??

fluid retention with bulimia NEW
by: Anonymous

the bloating and fluid retention has been bad for me too, face, hands, feet and stomach feels tight and looks swollen. i know it can be terribly hard to do, but i find exercise, walking, dancing to music, swimmming helps to get rid of the excess water and speeds up the excess fluid draining away. i m still struggling to do the exercises as i feel so wretched, fat and ugly to be seen out in a gym or swimming pool (my worst nightmare! also i find for it to work, i need to do it every. i ve not got to the stage where it has gone yet, because of so many relapses, but it mite be worth trying it. i m not a doctor, just saying what has help me to eleviate symptoms a little and an idea you might want to try. good luck and well done for getting so far and sticking wiv it.

Bulemia fluid & bloat NEW
by: Slsp2429

I have not relapsed in 10 wks! So proud of myself & am praying 4 u also!! I have been exercising about an hr or so a day & include strength training as well! Just waiting 4 this fluid & bloat 2 finally start 2 leave so my crazy mind will subside a lil 2!

Very Upset, but Pulling through NEW
by: Anonymous

I feel/look bloated every day! I am now 23, my ED wasnt as bad as 5 years ago, but I still suffer the consequences. I am just looking for answers as to why my face still bloats,(puffy cheeks/neck) even when I get the necessary nutrients.

permanent damage NEW
by: Anonymous

What if I have done permanent damage an the bloating spent go away? Ill keep on going for a few more weeks an if it doesnt get better I'm going to slit my throat

back to bulimia NEW
by: Anonymous

Ill never be able to deal with the bloating now I'm fat an miserable so I've gone back to bulimia.I dont think you even ever had it once ur in bulimia there no getting out giving false hope to people an then they kill themselfs why an how could you

bulimia bloat NEW
by: Anonymous

Well I've tried before and failed yet this time I feel more determined and in right frame of mind too beat this once and for all . B4 starting recovery I was in good shape and toned after completing a weights programme I workout regulary always have the bloat is a killer but not just in my stomache like his back fat its ugly and sore. I clean eat no process which I changed too as a life change not a diet and feel good with it if I can just overcome this part good to know this is here. I take pobiotic tablets omega 369 drink 3litres a day I need this support help me kick thus once and for all ..

It does get better NEW
by: Slps

I origanilly posted the comment on having bulemia/anorexia for 23 yrs! This week was 6 mos into my recovery! I have not relapsed @ all! I have breasts & a butt! I also no longer have a flat concave belly, but I am learning to like my new womanly body! The fluid & bloat took a while 2 overcome but 4 the most part it has dissapeared! Everyday is not always easy, but new life is starting 2 become a bit more familiar & less of a struggle! I am starting 2 eat outside of "my comfort Zone" & am learning that if I trust my body & mind to know when I am full or if my body is craving something... Trust it! It knows better than u do what it needs! I pray everyday that my determination & strength will continue! I refuse 2 EVER let this horrific disease control me again! Wishing u all well & much success!

couldnt have prepared for this bloat NEW
by: Anonymous

For over six years I have been severely bulimic. After years of hiding it, I finally told my family, friends, my fiance and eventually my tutors at university and now at my first job.
I had been to my doctors numerous times but help is turning out to be a very slow process. So five weeks ago, I decided I'd had enough and I wanted to fight this. I changed my diet completely and have stuck to a regular plan with regular exercise. The side effects of course were severe bloating which has truly taken me to rock bottom.
The physical changes at the moment are not long term but have a hugely negative effect. At present none of my clothes fit me and my confidence is at an all time low. This has included seeing close friends and other family members. When I decided to start this process I was totally unaware of this physical and emotional change and thought I was doing so well.
I am huge at the moment, in particular by stomach and my legs and everyday is a struggle dealing with this bloat.

Bloatings sucks NEW
by: Anonymous

This has helped me so much. To know I'm not the only one suffering. I was 2 weeks recovery with no B/p just this Saturday gone. Then all of a sudden. Major bloating. Constipation is probably the biggest trigger of all. I can't see how I am even able to comprehend getting better with out a slip here and there. Of b/p and laxatives to ease the excruciating pain I experienced. I didn't want to leave my house. I looked pregnant and honestly had no way out but to act on auto pilot. :( the guilt was enormous. But I just went to sleep and forgot about it the next day. Was perfect all Sunday. Then the bloating built up over today. And I acted out again. But replaced my meal. And am now bloated.
When will this go away.

Horrible bloat! NEW
by: Anonymous

I understand completely! I truly do! But as hard as this is to hear, I have had mine for 5 months now and it's honestly changing weekly/ sometimes daily! I have spoke to specialists who say it can last weeks to months, depending on the severity of the bulimia! I knows it's hard not to lapse but keep going! The only way through is to get through this stage! You can do this, fight it!! Promise we will do this! I have left work to concentrate in just getting through this stage!

Bloating NEW
by: Slps2429

Please keep on fighting!! After 23 yrs of hard core bulemia/anorexia, trust me!! It's very hard!! The first 6 mos were very painful! I hated myself worse than ever but also began to have the feeling of self worth & pride! It was hard "becoming a woman" with curves! Since the age of 13 I never allowed my body 2 do what it was supposed 2!! I am very proud & happy 2 say that with God holding my hand every min & meal of every day.... It has been 13 mos since I have been in recovery & have not had 1 relapse!! I will not allow it!! It gets easier! Take 1 day @ a time & FIGHT like hell 4 yourself!! U deserve it! I can now almost not worry about when or what I eat... Although I do 4 the most part love & enjoy eating healthy! I exercise somehow most everyday! Not becuz I have 2, but becuz I enjoy it & it makes me feel strong & love how healthy I have become!! Good luck! Don't give up!! 1 minute @ a time & FIGhT!!! BELIEVE in urself becuz God is giving u & me the chance 2 do so!!! ❤

15 years is a long time to struggle NEW
by: Anonymous

I've been a bulimic/anorexic for over half my life, I'm 30, do the math, I went into recovery last year and found the bloating to be un-bearable, I am now trying to regain control once again, I currently have the dreaded "moon face", my body is slim, my face is not, but we have to stay strong and let our bodies heal, I fear I have done more damage than most...

over come bulimia NEW
by: Anonymous

i just confessed to my mom about bulimia im bearly 15 & after reading all of these comments, it helped me realilze i still have a chance to over come this its not to late for me yet. an for the ppl that are going thru bulimia stay strong, dont let bulimia take over you believe in your self no matter what keep your head up even if your going thru the worst,
your body just needs healing thats why your body is bloating it needs awhile to heal, because i was tired of doin hard work outs then over eating so i started making my self thro it back up, i caught my self an i knew it was wrong what i was doing, ima start off new. put god first and you'll never be last (:

starting the recovery NEW
by: Love

Hi there my lovely virtual friends!!
My English is not that well, so i hope you still understand me.
I am on my 2nd week of recovery after 22years of hell.
i don't even remember how i was feeling before i became bulimic. Reading all those comments, helps me a lot to go further and not to fall back into it but it is scary to know that for the next couple of month my weight will be increasing more and more no matter what i will do to stop it.

in two weeks, two or three times my body,itself, rejected some foods, i didn't need to help:-) and i had to throw up two times as well but got back on truck and eat normal again. but i feel full all the time time no matter what i eat or drink and i am getting big every day and feel fat at disgusting. there is no way i will reveal this problem to my close friends or a family as i am the one who is supporting them in their struggles of everybody's life and they think that i am just a gorgeous, most healthy and fit person they have known, but it is so not real. they don't know what is really going on "there" inside. Well, i guess , after all these years, i learned how to leave with it and only started to question this illness this year seriously. it was never a big issue for me. now, my teeth are getting bad, i used 50% of it during all this time. my hands and feet are always cold and skin is dry. I am thinking about the fact that having a baby will not be possible for me before i quit doing this to myself and many other reasons just came up the surface. i am lucky as my cheeks fit me well, as people love me for them, they look good on me but i hate them, because i know exactly what causes this artificial beauty! I am working every day on trying to love myself and not getting love from others to make me feel better and feel loved. if you understand what i mean.

I am happy to continue this recovery, but i really need to know more about how to much time will this bloating period last?? 1 month, 6 month. more or less then that? what to do to prevent it?

Please , share with me and let me know about your tips a bit more.

i am sure we will get through this no matter what and i am so happy to see all these comments and stories shared by us, brave people, who goes through so much pain, guilt and disgust!

Bloating and Depression NEW
by: Clori

I've been Bulimic/Anorexic for about 4 and a half years or so. I've done everything one with an eating disorder might do.. Not eating, eating and purging, Abusing laxatives.. I've had problems with bloating before due to all of this, but never this severe. My stomach, face, legs, everything looks huge as if I were pregnant or something. Weight gain will happen when you eat, but I don't understand how I could be this big. And it's started to depress me like crazy.. to the point the only relief is going back to it.. I'm hoping it's just water retention. Seeing it says I've gained about 18 pounds in the matter of two weeks.. Will this go away? I'm still underweight, but I look as if I'm overweight, and it's not just me who can see it.. Any feedback/opinions/thoughts/advice/anything?

Ana/mia/ednos NEW
by: Alice

Hi. I am 31 years old and I have suffered from ED since I was 13. Longer than I didn't :( drug abuse was thrown in there too for quite a while, but I have been clean from that for about 6 years. Anyway, I started out anorexic, but now go back and forth between anorexia and bulimia, but I have pretty bad lax abuse and and currently in a horrible binging phase in which I have gained 20 pounds THIS MONTH. I'm only writing because I saw posts on bloating and swelling and mine is so severe right now that my dr recommended I go to the ER. I have an idea of what the treatment will be, if any, but has anyone actually gone thru this? I'd appreciate any heads up I can get. Believe it or not in almost 20 years, I have never been hospitalized for my ED. Thanks again light love and better days to come...


Maybe this helps NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi everyone! I've done some research and I assumed that the main cause of being bloated, fluid retention could be due to fatty liver. Once you have an eating disorder you are at risk of developing a fatty liver...it causes electrolyte imbalances due to hormonal procedures. Otherwise I think it would be easier and faster to replenish electrolytes. Try taking Milk Thistle! It cleanses the liver. Eat enough fiber ( inulin iy a good suplement and appetite surpressant combined with beta-glucans)good quality protein, fats and complex carbs ( try to avoid refined ones as much as possible, it okay though occasionalky). Take vitamins and minerals ( vitamin C, Iron, Folate...). Drink plenty of water. 1-2 good quality protein shake dayly ( I recommend a mixed protein shake with a bit of carbs and fiber, as they are much creamier and tastier than the carb free ones- just like a desert!). Digesting enzymes as a supplement, they really can relieve bloating. Been b/p free for 2 weeks now after 10 years of bulimia. No bloating and water retention this time ( i've been into recovery many times, but relapsed bcause of bloating and water retention and the pain...).Hope this helps you too!:)))

Swollen NEW
by: Anonymous

Ugh- I am 35 & in treatment for the 4th time. I've battled bulimia/anorexia for 20+ years- it has completely destroyed my life (along with my cross-addiction with drugs). I have so many consequences, it is overwhelming. My body function is all messed up, & I've had to have all my teeth restored (along with many other consequences). Thousands & THOUSANDS of dollars have been spent in my mouth. Also, I had a massive stroke in '05 from drug use. Anyways, I am sober & abstinent now. I have gained SO MUCH weight & am so swollen! It just makes it so easy to lose sight of the reason(s) I am even continuing all of this. Sometimes I just feel SO hopeless. The weight comes so fast, the water retention comes immediately along with the eating/not purging/no drug use. Immediately & so severe! I'm just so afraid of food because I keep swelling with anything I eat. Anything. I am getting so discouraged. When will this end?!?! I'm backsliding.

by: Anonymous

Hi there! I hear you… Don't back slide! You can do this. What makes you feel good? workouts? keep them up! Watch documentaries! SING OUT LOUD? I'll be hear to comment back anytime you need help :) Don't give up.

by: Anonymous

Hi there! I hear you… Don't back slide! You can do this. What makes you feel good? workouts? keep them up! Watch documentaries! SING OUT LOUD? I'll be hear to comment back anytime you need help :) Don't give up. I'm recovering with you. Lets laugh at the bloat and or be proud of it because it means we are WINNING! WE ARE WINNING!!!

by: Anonymous

Hi there! I hear you… Don't back slide! You can do this. What makes you feel good? workouts? keep them up! Watch documentaries! SING OUT LOUD? I'll be hear to comment back anytime you need help :) Don't give up. I'm recovering with you. Lets laugh at the bloat and or be proud of it because it means we are WINNING! WE ARE WINNING!!!

Apple Cider Vinager NEW
by: Anonymous

Apple cider Vinager with the mother is very good to help with the bloating. Drink two table spoons in a cup of water and you will pee like crazy lol. I want to tell you ladies that I am three weeks in and had only one slip up. I am doing Paleo and taking Herbal suppliments to help get my hormones levels back to normal. Dong qui and Red clover are really good for leveling out your moods and hormones. I developed thyroid problems from bulimia and also heart palpataions. The herbs and the apple cider helps so much with that as well as liquid iodine or kelp. I hope this helps you guys! I pray that you all have favor with this in Jesus name!

Apple Cider Vinager NEW
by: Anonymous

Apple cider Vinager with the mother is very good to help with the bloating. Drink two table spoons in a cup of water and you will pee like crazy lol. I want to tell you ladies that I am three weeks in and had only one slip up. I am doing Paleo and taking Herbal suppliments to help get my hormones levels back to normal. Dong qui and Red clover are really good for leveling out your moods and hormones. I developed thyroid problems from bulimia and also heart palpataions. The herbs and the apple cider helps so much with that as well as liquid iodine or kelp. I hope this helps you guys! I pray that you all have favor with this in Jesus name!

help with bloating and water retention NEW
by: Anonymous

When I first stopped throwing up every day which was like 15 times a day for about 6 years I thought that I would jus start eating and everything would b ok....then after day one of eating I felt so fat and felt like my stomach was huge so I started to look up bulimia recovery and found this site and read about the water retention and bloating.... one the third day of my bulimia recovery I felt so fat and had gained 6 pounds...so i went to gnc got the best probitics which were ultra probitics 100 and after a couple days my stomach felt so much better but i was still gaining weight and then after about 5 days I gained about 13 pounds.I was so upset but I knew it was all water weight because I was eating super healthy and excersing.... so after about a week and a half my stomach stopped feeling bloating and was no long puffy from the water...the puffyness of the body is from water retention the only way to get that to go away fast is to drink more water I know its hard but it worked for me..
All this bulimia recovery was the hardest thing to do the feeling fat, water retention, the pregnant looking belly but it doesnt last....my lasted for about a week in a half and now I feel normal again but now I have so much more energy and my self esteem is much better...I hope this helps the best thing is the probitics vitamin and the yogurt with probitics...good luck u can do this.

Help and support NEW
by: Anonymous

I have suffered from bulimia for 2 years, I went to see my doctor last years to ask for help and I'm still waiting!! I have a husband and 3 children who are oblivious to my illness and I am too ashamed to tell any of my friends and family. 10 days ago I decided enough was enough and I cannot continue letting this illness control my life. 10 days without binging or purging is a huge achievement for me, the feeling that I have some control back over my life is amazing, I am sleeping better at night, have more energy during the day and my moods swings have virtually disappeared. I weighed myself today (which was probably not the best idea I've ever had) and I have already put on several pounds which is now really worrying me, I have eaten really well over the past 10 days lots of fresh fruit, veg and lean meats and increased my fluid intake. I have read a few posts about 'bulimia bloat ' but they appear to be from people who have suffered this illness for a very long time. Some days I would binge/ purge once a day, over the last few months this could be up to 6-7 times a day. Do you think bulimia bloat could be the cause for this weight gain? If so how long does this normally last and is there any self help tips on how to beat this bloat? Thank you x

The dreaded bloat NEW
by: Ha2bulimia

Please please please don't give up!!!!! I am 2 years in to recovery in April and as hard as it's been, it's the best thing I have ever done! And I will ensure I never have to go through this again. I gained size/weight at the beginning of recovery, of which I thought was the bloat. Unfortunately after seeing a specialist I had to come to terms with the fact 2/3s of my 3 stone weight gain was in fact fat! My life stopped! It stopped for 6 months as I pushed to cope everyday and nothing would budge! But nearly 2 years down the line and I have lost 2 stone and starting to live again! I wanted to give up so many times! But there is no other option! Do not rely on the Nhs for help, if you can afford to, find an amazing Counsilor, and see a nutrionist who can understand your wellbeing xx always here x

Road to recovery NEW
by: Anonymous

Thank you. So far so good, I have not had any thoughts or urges to binge so far. For 2 years I have been obsessed with my weight and would weigh myself daily, at the moment I'm in the mindset that I'm happy to put on a bit of weight if it gives me back some control over my life, I'm taking each day as it comes and I've now taken the battery out of the scales and given it to the children to hide! Can I ask what kind of things you did to help your recovery? I think I may look into a counsellor as I am adamant I do not want to go back through this again, I have only ever briefly spoken to my GP about this who was not at all helpful. He sent off a referral ( I don't even know who he referred me to) and that was the last I heard! Can I ask what kind of things the counsellor helped you with? Any other advice/ tips on what people found helpful on their road to recovery would be greatly appreciated xx

Road to recovery NEW
by: Ha2bulimia

That's truly fantastic! Unfortunately we rely so much on scales however they are truly not an accurate representation! There are a number of factors that can distort the readings and then send us into a downward spiral! Measurements is a good way and also photographs! However I couldn't bare to do that, I only wish I had now!
Recovery is incredibly difficult, I could not lie and say it isn't. I gained a lot of weight, and there was nothing I could do! Some days you feel strong others you don't want to leave the house! There is no right or wrong! Take each day as it comes!
I think there are two really important "musts" to recovery. Find a great Counsilor, would help if they specialise in eating disorders/body dysmorphia! They allow you to tackle your past and address any issues that may have caused your eating disorder. By recognising the cause it's eliminating that trait!
Secondly see a nutritionist! This was essential in my recovery! You need to learn, properly about food. What's good, what's bad, what's healthy! Everything in moderation is the only truth! However the "diet" "keep slim" market is huge and very well executed however often incredibly wrong! For example "low fat" products are not healthier! They always taste the same, probably coz they take the food fat out( that our body needs) and replace with sugar!(and normally alot of it).
I promise you can do this! It's hard but life is so much more amazing and beautiful when you don't have to find a toilet every 5 minutes! ;)

Safety Aspects NEW
by: Peterallen

You are right about fluid retention with swimming pool. We can easily observe this at a swimming pool. Here we can found sufficient water in a specific area to feel this. Beside this we can enjoy the swimming at a well-managed and safety swimming pool. Before we go for a swimming pool it is essential to know whether it is registered or not. If yes, then check whether it is following all safety rules or not. Then we can get a better swimming.

help NEW
by: Anonymous

in 2 weeks i have gained 12 pounds....im freaking out, why is this?

by: Guarded Angel

Parsley and ginger root tea helps bloating.
Dandelion Tea or Dandelion Leaves tea if the bloating is caused by water retention. For constipation take a few pills of aloe vera gels and prunes it helps move things along. Also potassium and magnesium supplements along with salt free/low-non sodium meals, and lots of fiber/leaves. Battleting this thing for a little over a year now.. After a huge scare a couple of months ago I spoke to my Dr. About it.. I am commited to take my life back...I have done lots of research and continue to do so to help me cope and I will be sharing on here so hopefully it helps someone else as well..we can do this!!!

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