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Food and gut functioning - January 31st 2022, 12:56 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of eating disorders, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

I've been open about the fact I have an eating disorder over the years, and I've noticed that for a long time, it's affected the functioning of my gut bacteria, presumably, as it really has a significant influence on my bathroom habits.

My diet has changed significantly in the last few months. For me, there is a very difficult pattern with "safe" foods. It's not so much about weight control as it is I just get to where I can't eat certain foods without feeling sick. I was doing better for a while, and had more regular bathroom habits, but now that I am back to mostly blander foods it's starting to upset things again.

I am planning to work with a dietitian as soon as my insurance allows, and I am also going to get a prescription from my PCP that might help me be able to stomach more varied foods again, since that helped a little in the past. But it's also very inconvenient, and I'd like to know if there is a way to make it better on my own.

I don't want to necessarily take medication, and it's also complicated by the fact my gallbladder was removed five years ago, too. Does anyone have any suggestions that have worked for them?

Last edited by DeletedAccount71; February 2nd 2022 at 05:32 PM.
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Re: Food and gut functioning - January 31st 2022, 10:52 PM

Hi Eli,
This is very common. While I do not have personal experience with an ED, I have had IBS since I was 6 so I completely understand everything you're saying about "safe foods."

One of the main things that is impacted by any sort of dysfunction of our gut is the microbiome, which is why probiotics are such a common recommendation. If you aren't already doing so, they are a very safe, effective, over-the-counter supplement that many people find beneficial. You can ask the pharmacist at your local drug store for a recommendation on brand/type. Alternatively, you can add more pro/pre-biotic foods to your diet so fermented foods like kimchi, sourdough, and kombucha, but also oats, bananas, berries, legumes/beans/peas, garlic, yogurt/kefir.

You may want to also pay attention to the foods that end up triggering you, so keep a "diet diary" and see if you're just reacting to the same or similar foods over time. Many people with ED-related gut issues end up with IBS or IBS-like conditions and seeing if you're reacting to common triggers can be helpful. There are classifications of common triggers for IBS called FODMAPs but especially as someone with a history of EDs, I would not recommend going down that road without the support of a dietician/PCP - for now just seeing of you react to the same/similar types of foods may be beneficial.

Those things aside, I think you need to be careful of many of the other common "remedies" for gut-related issues as many involve dietary changes that may be triggering for you and should only be done with the support of your healthcare team.

Oh, and LOTS of water.

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