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Does the body really repair after bulimia?

by Nicola

I wanted to know if bowel function and the ability to eat all food types ever be a reality for me again...

I have had an eating disorder for 16 years and am afraid I'll always have to live a restricted diet due to feared food intolerance's (gluten, dairy, fructose)

Also with structured eating if you're still hungry after meals do u eat more fruit or just wait till next meal and retrain the body...

Thank You SO MUCH xx

Shaye Says

Hi Nicola!

Thanks for getting in touch and asking such a great question - I know hundreds of other people who visit my site will be wondering the same thing...

Yes, chances are you will get your natural bowel function back again... After 10 years of bulimia - 5 of those extreme (where I tried to throw up absolutely everything I ate) my bowels have now completely returned to normal... In fact, I think they are better than normal because for the first time I in my life (that I can remember) I am not dieting...

If before you started your eating disorders (bulimia or anorexia) you had food intolerance's... Then chances are - they will still be there... But, if you have never had a problem with them, there is no reason why they should now be an issue...

Keep in mind though that in the early stages of bulimia recovery it might feel like you have intolerance's due to slowed stomach emptying and bloating... both of these can feel quite similar to Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or food sensitivities at times.

Onto structured eating...

If you are still hungry after your meals, you need to ask yourself a few questions...

- Are your meals big enough? How do they compare to a normal eaters meals? A normal eater is somebody who generally doesn't diet or overeat. If your meals are too small, this could be why you still feel hungry.

- After eating, try focus on your hunger and see if it is 'taste hunger' 'emotional hunger' or 'physical hunger'... Taste hunger is when your meal wasn't satisfying and you want something else that is tasty... Emotional hunger is when you want to eat to blank out emotions... Physical hunger is when you actually do need more food as you are truly 'hungry'

- If you decide that it is physical hunger, there are a few things you can do...

If you feel like you genuinely ate enough to not be hungry, then you are possibly thirsty. Approx 30% of Western society eat rather than drink when they are thirsty... So, grab a water bottle and have a drink. Wait 10 minutes...

If you still feel hungry, then allow yourself to eat. Never deny your body of food if you are genuinely hungry... This is dangerous and could set you up to binge...

Get together a snack and eat it slowly while paying attention to your hunger levels. Nuts and raisins or some avocado on toast could be a good snack to try. The fats help to make you feel satisfied. Fruit might not do the trick if you are genuinely quite hungry.

I hope this info helps Nicola! It sounds like you are taking lots of positive steps towards recovery - asking questions and trying intuitive eating... Remember that you can beat this... I promise you can!

Keep in touch!

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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community

The Bulimia Recovery Program