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severe bulimia bloating!

by mandy
(wilson , nc)

I have been in recovery for about 3 weeks and the bloating is unbearable! Is this normal and how long will it last?? Is there anything I can do to help this??

Shaye Says

Hi Mandy!

Oh that bulimia bloat - yes I know all about it... I know how hard it is! I know how it makes you feel 9 months pregnant, I know how it bulges over the edge of your panths, I know how it hurts... BUT, good news is that it doesn't last forever...

My bloating was really severe for the first 4 weeks - and then it gradually began to improve. After about 3 months it had pretty much completely gone - but I did have it come back form time to time (for short periods) during my recovery.

There are a few things that cause bulimia bloating...

- Your tummy has become so used to having no solid food to digest that your bowels have become lazy and aren't quickly processing your food

- All the binging and purging has killed the healthy bacteria in your tummy - essential to digest food. When this bacteria isn't there food sits in your tummy and ferments causing gas and bloating.

There is no way to stop the bulimia bloat instantly, but there are things you can do to help make it more bearable - and improve it in time...

1) Buy some baggy clothes to hide the bloating and make you feel more comfortable with your healing body (don't stress out about buying some larger clothes - it will only be temporary - and recovery is far more important!) Baby doll dresses were my saving grace during recovery!

2) Start taking probiotics to build up your levels of healthy bacteria - you can buy these from a chemist - but make sure you keep them in your fridge or else they'll die.

3) Drink lots of herbal tea - especially before breakfast - this will help your 'bowel motions' to become more regular. I really enjoy peppermint tea.

4) Exercise! About 40 minutes of exercise a day will help increase your metabolism. I really like high intensity weights training as it increases your resting metabloic rate and makes you an overall more effective fat burning machine. Be careful not to exercise for more than about 40 mins to an hour as that can actually make your body eat your muscles for energy - which is bad for your metabolic rate.

5) Sleep for at least 8 hours a night! Your body has been through a lot with bulimia and needs the rest. Your body heals during sleep - and it will heal your stomach too.

I hope that these suggestions help Mandy! You are doing so amazingly well - don't let this little hurdle of bloating get you down. Embrace it - remind yourself that it is a sign your body is starting to heal. A sign that you are beating bulimia and well on your way to health and happiness!

Stay strong and I'd love it if you kept me updated on your recovery journey by posting stories/thoughts from time to time.

xox Shaye

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

The Bulimia Recovery Program