Reversing the Physical Effects of Bulimia
Eating Disorder Recovery, Health and Wellness

Reversing the Physical Effects of Bulimia


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This post took me a while to write, but I feel it is an important topic. I have posted a little here and there before about living with eating disorders, but never really went into the aftermath and the negative physical side effects that I am still dealing with today from all of the damage I did to my body, and why it is not just mentally hard to recover from an eating disorder, but it is physically hard as well.  This post is to talk about some of the natural ways  I have found of reversing bulimia effects in the body.
When you spend 10+ years of your life throwing up all of your food, you will probably end up with some health issues. Bulimia is a vicious cycle of bingeing and purging, and can cause some serious damage to your throat, teeth, stomach, esophagus, heart, kidneys and gut. Not to mention the psychological damage it causes. Just reading this article about the dangerous health effects of bulimia is scary to me.  Sometimes I think I got off easy for all that I put my body through for so long, and sometimes I wonder if my digestive system will ever feel completely “normal” again.  Although I have been recovered for years now and it has gotten better, I do still have to pay for the damage that I did to my body throughout the years.


Read about my full history with eating disorders here

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor.   All I intend to describe is what I do and why I do it.  The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker.  Supplement at your own risk.

In some of my heavy bulimia days, I would go through a day bingeing on insane amounts of food, and purging multiple times a day… sometimes even up to 20 times in a day.  It wasn’t long until I no longer needed to stick my fingers down my throat.  It got to the point where I could simply bend over, push on my stomach and will my food to come up.. and I could do so quietly without making any sort of retching sounds.  It made it very easy to hide, and no one really suspected that I was still deep into my purging habits.  To this day I could still vomit without help from a finger if I really wanted to (which I don’t).  Doing it so frequently trained my stomach valve not to close completely, and it got to the point where I could sometimes feel the food coming back up without even willing it to.  It was like a natural reaction for my body at that point.  On top of that my throat constantly hurt, my hair was falling out, I was always dizzy, I had very low concentration, irritability, poor sleep, and social anxiety.  And my food just seemed like it would not digest.

It was mentioned when I saw my surgeon that my bulimia could have been the cause of my umbilical hernia.  Years of retching can cause your stomach muscles to weaken and give way.  I remember feeling that sharp belly button pain every time I binged, most likely because all of that food caused it to push through.  I ended up having surgery to correct it.

It makes recovery and reversing bulimia very difficult when you are trying to reintroduce food back into your system and your body’s natural reaction is to reject it.  It took a while to get to feeling how I do today, and it’s still not completely perfect, although it is much better.  I still get an unsettling feeling whenever I am really full, and I find that certain foods trigger the uncomfortable feelings in my gut. During the re-feeding process, it’s important to take it slow, and focus on getting in whole foods.

It was a slow process, and required some patience and faith.  One day at a time I had to introduce more food into my system and will it to stay down.  I had to try to ignore the terrifying feeling of gaining everything back if I kept food in my belly, which was difficult…  Because I did gain weight.  Of course I gained weight.  My metabolism was completely screwed up at this point, and my body was confused.  Reintroducing more food caused my body to store it for future fuel, since it didn’t know when I was going to eat again.  When you are not feeding your body the amount of fuel it needs, your body is trying to conserve energy, so your metabolic rate might go down.  My body was also re-hydrating.  I had to constantly tell myself that my body would eventually adjust, and that it was now getting the nutrients it needed, and that my metabolism would level out soon.

Which it did.  It took some time, but soon enough my metabolism did start to adjust to eating more.  My body started to realize that I was now feeding it on a regular basis and my metabolic rate started to shift back to normal.  It was a hard process to get through, and that fear of weight gain and the constant urges to resort back to purging were difficult to fight.  I had to keep reminding myself that my health mattered more than my weight, and that I didn’t want to continue a life of feeling miserable and sick all of the time.


But the process of reintroducing food wasn’t just mentally tough, it was physically tough.  Holding onto food was extremely uncomfortable.  My stomach was trained to reject food, so keeping that food in my body was unsettling.  I was constantly dealing with a myriad of uncomfortable feelings ranging from indigestion, gas, bloating, acid reflux, heartburn, stomach pain, nausea, and lazy bowel syndrome.  It was hard not to resort to throwing up just to make the uneasy feeling in my stomach go away.  I had to be careful of what I ate at first.  When I was in the hospital they gave me Boost and Pedialyte since my body was able to hold onto liquid nutrients a little more easily.  I was also prescribed drugs such as Reglan, and proton-pump inhibitors such as Nexium, Prevacid and Prolisec.  I didn’t want to be taking these forever though, since I don’t like taking medicine.  I tried chewing peppermint gum after eating meals to help lessen the feelings of acid reflux, which helped, but I sometimes would chew too much (like, at least a pack a day) and the excess sorbitol gave me other digestive problems.


I am one of those people that doesn’t like to take medicine unless I need to, and would rather use natural ways to heal my body. But with that being said, I think that first and foremost, you should consult a doctor.  It is always important to make sure there are no underlying issues contributing to your discomfort.  I found out that I had H. Pylori at one point, which I would not have known otherwise.  I worked with my physician and a Gastroenterologist (GI doctor) to get my body properly examined and get a professional opinion.  I had a barium swallow and an upper endoscopy (EGD) performed on me so that the GI doctor could get a proper look at my esophagus and stomach; this confirmed that I had gastritis.  I also had labwork done to see if my body was lacking something in particular.  If you have a real concern about how your body is feeling and reacting, please consult with a physician. 

I have tried various remedies to help combat all of the inner and outer health issues that I had acquired.  Here are some of the things that have helped me along the way.



Inner Health – Stomach and Digestive System


Eating whole foods and eliminating trigger foods – Once I started to reintroduce more food into my body, I tried to focus on real, whole foods.  When I first started eating a paleo diet, I noticed that my gut felt much better all around.  Transitioning to a paleo diet had me eliminate specific foods, and I eventually started to reintroduce foods one at a time to test my reactions.  In doing so, I noticed that certain foods seemed to trigger the unsettling feelings.  I can tolerate grains and legumes okay, but I found that when I avoid gluten, dairy, yeast and processed sugar altogether it helps keep the uncomfortable tummy feelings at bay.  I don’t know if that means I am intolerant, or if it is just a reaction trained in my body to reject it–since these were the types of foods that I would binge and purge the most.  But whatever the reason, my stomach just feels much better if I avoid them. My face also clears up a bit, so that’s a bonus!  But if I am attending some sort of event and want to have a slice of cake, I will sometimes take a Digestive Enzyme before eating.


Digestive Enzymes – Digestive enzymes are supplements that help to ensure that foods are fully digested. They help to make food easier to break down. Taking them really helped with the uncomfortable bloating after eating.  There are a variety of different enzymes that digest different things.  It’s best to talk with a healthcare professional to see if you would benefit from taking a digestive enzyme, and what kind would be best suited for you.  But if you’re interested to know which supplement I use, I found Zenwise Labs Digestive Enzymes helpful to me.   They also contain pre and probiotics..  These were my best friend for a while.  I don’t take them as much anymore, but I will carry some with me if I think I might eat something that could cause discomfort, or I want to eat any dairy, or on a cheat day when I want a cupcake. 


Taking Probiotics – Probiotics help to replenish the good bacteria in your stomach, which can help to keep the bad bacteria at bay.  It’s important to nourish your gut, and probiotics are one of the best ways to help with gut health.  Eating probiotic fermented foods like kefir and kombucha can be great.  The Greek yogurt I eat contains probiotics, and I take Nutrition Essentials’ Probiotics.  I also like to make my own kombucha and drink a bottle each day.


Tea – I keep some bags of tea around in my desk at work and at home for any time I might feel discomfort.  Did your mother ever give you some ginger-ale when you had a tummy ache? That’s because ginger can be a great tool for soothing the stomach and reducing nausea.  I drink ginger tea to settle my stomach when I am feeling nauseous.  Peppermint tea is also a great natural remedy for certain stomach ailments, including bloating, gas, and constipation.  Peppermint tea contains carminative elements, which helps gas move through the body as it forms instead of remaining in one place. Also, if you use essential oils, just inhaling peppermint oil might help reduce nausea and vomiting.


Outer Health – Skin & Hair

Dry-brushing – I have some loose skin in my stomach, a result of both losing a large amount of weight rapidly and the constant stretching of my stomach that I did while bingeing and purging.  I would sometimes binge on so much food that my stomach would stick way out, enough to look like I was 8 months pregnant, and then purge it.  As a result, my skin never completely bounced back when I did start to lose weight naturally.  It is not terrible and I don’t have any sagging, but even in the morning when my stomach is at it’s smallest I still have what looks like a small pot-belly.  When I was my thinnest I still had that pooch. Planks are not a flattering position since the extra skin hangs and is very evident, and when I push the skin around my belly-button together gently you can see the crepe-y skin (see photos below–sorry for the unflattering photos).

My stomach first thing in the morning. Not too bad and you can see some slight abs, but you can also still see the parentheses around my belly button, giving it the appearance of a pot-belly.
My stomach first thing in the morning (sorry for the lighting). Not too bad, and you can even see some slight abs forming, but you can also still see the parentheses around my belly button, giving it the appearance of a pot-belly. I also have a slight “frowny” belly button.


When I push the skin together, you can see the crepe-y loose skin. I am not pushing very hard at all in this photo.
When I push the skin together, you can see the crepe-y loose skin. I am not pushing very hard at all in this photo.


Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot you can do for loose skin.  Maybe time can heal it, but since I am getting older my skin does not bounce back as well as it used to.  I have learned to “embrace the squish” and it doesn’t bother me as much, but I do still try to take care of it. Dry brushing seems to be helping slightly.  But it still might never be perfect.  I may always have a small pot-belly and not feel comfortable enough to wear a bikini, or de-shirt during a WOD.  But the dry brushing has slightly improved the appearance and some people have claimed that doing it twice a day over time has improved their loose skin.  Read The Wellness Mama’s post about dry brushing to learn more about it.


Hair – When I was younger, I had a lot of thick, curly hair.   I hated it back then, but I would love to have my curls back now.  Years of being undernourished caused my hair to become very thin and break very easily.  It started falling out a lot, and I was pulling out fistfuls of hair every day.  Over the past few years it has regained some of its health back from eating enough protein and carbohydrates, but it no longer curls the way it used to.  I have been adding collagen to my diet, and that helps a bit (and it helps my skin too).  I try not to wash my hair everyday, and use shampoos that are free of sulfates, parabens and silicones.  I started using Monat and after a few months of transition hair, I found it did help fill in my hairline and it is growing much faster than it used to.  It’s not for everyone, but I personally like it and have had some good results. I also took a Biotin supplement. It seems to be slowly getting back to a healthy state, but it is a very long and slow process, and I might never have the spiral curls I had when I was younger.


I think it is important to talk about the physical healing process challenges of recovery.  The longer you have an eating disorder the worse the long-term effects will be.  While my symptoms are annoying, I know I could have had it much worse.  And with time they have been improving, although I do have to be mindful of how I am eating.  There is always hope for recovery.  It might be a tough process, but over time it gets better and it gets easier, and there are some good natural ways you can help repair your body.  It’s best to talk with a healthcare professional about your personal recovery because every body is different.  Remember that your health comes first.  Treat your body with love and it will love you!


DISCLOSURE: This post is not sponsored, but you will find affiliate links on this page. The price you pay as a consumer does not change, but I may make a small commission based on your purchase. Thank you for supporting Fit Happy Free!

<3 Jordan


  1. Hi I was wondering How long your symptoms lasted for, I’m recovering bulimic for 3 months now and binge and purge free for 2 weeks. At first it felt great I had so much energy and most of my recovery I was eating healthy meals and maybe purging once a day or once every 3 days but now I’ve hit a wall the last 2 weeks. I was so worried I went to the hospital and they did a EKG and blood tests and everything was perfect, the DR actually said it’s once of the healthiest blood tests she’s seen. Everyday I feel like I have a cold flu without the coughing and fever. My whole body is so sore, I have 0 energy, my muscles ache and I Know I just have to work past this but I’m just wondering how Long did it take you for your body to feel like it hasn’t been hit by a bus? …suprisingly digestive issues are not so bad and I can live with the bloating and stomach pain but my body feels so tired and sore.
    Thank you so much!

    • Great job for recovering!!I’m not a doctor,but it sounds like your body is still adjusting, and depending on how well you feed it it could take some time. I had the body aches and flu feeling for a few weeks but after eating whole foods and focusing on an anti-inflammatory diet and exercising regularly my body adjusted and then I felt loads better. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and getting in electrolytes (potassium, sodium and magnesium are important, taking supplements or adding a little more salt to your foods can help with those), and getting in some exercise, just going for a walk or just moving more. If you don’t feel better in a couple of weeks then maybe your body could be reacting to something you eat, foods can have different effects to our bodies (like some processed foods cause me to have joint pain) but I would definitely talk to a doctor if you’re still concerned–again I’m not a professional, I’m speaking from personal experience but I hope that helps, if you keep pursuing health it will get better! I hope you start to feel better soon and I’m happy that you are recovering!

    • Hi Jordan,
      May I ask how long did you have bulimia and do you have planned binges?

      • Hi Lia, I had bulimia/anorexia for around 12 years. I never really planned my binges because I always planned on just eating less, but I would spontaneously get hungry and go crazy. Once I started eating enough food and more regularly those urges started to diminish.

        • Hi Jordan!

          I actually stumbled onto your blog while searching for remedies to ease my bloating after eating breakfast this morning (haha). I developed bulimia as a coping mechanism in high school after experiencing severe trauma and ongoing abuse, to the point where I was sometimes purging 10 times a day. At my worst, I was doing track but couldn’t even keep an apple in my stomach without purging. I would just drink gatorade if I got dizzy while running.This lasted for 3 years until I went to college where my roommate helped me get clean. I started out my recovery by being vegan and slowly reintroducing foods to my body, but it’s been two years now and it still hurts to eat anything other than fruits and veggies. It feels like my stomach is incapable of digesting meat, dairy, or carbs. Recovery was made much more complicated after I was also diagnosed with ADHD. My medication forces me to eat twice a day, in the morning and at night, instead of being able to have small meals throughout the day. This has forced me to have two large meals that I can’t digest, leaving me distended for most of the day. I really don’t know what to do anymore without sacrificing my grades.

          • Oh man that doesn’t sound like fun, I’m sorry you’re experiencing that! Have you seen a GI doctor? If you haven’t, maybe they can do some imaging to make sure there isn’t something else that needs to be addressed. I take Pepcid AC for discomfort sometimes and a Probiotic that specifically targets the digestive system and it helps.

        • Very worried that my 5 years of severe bullimia caused esophageal cancer or will cause it but Im too afraid of getting a endoscopy. I really dont lime the idea of going under.

          • I understand the fear. An endoscopy is a pretty easy procedure. If you are afraid of something as serious as cancer I would advise getting it done before it leads to something worse. I hope you start feeling better soon! Your health is worth it.

    • Juanita Reynoso

      Hello It’s been 1 year Bulimia recovery and was bulimia for 2years. My question is I have bad body pain so bad can’t workout I feel miserable do u still have body pain?

  2. HI there,
    I was bulimic off and on for years. I’m now 52! Recently after a very high stress situation I went out drank and ate too much and purged! It landed me in hospital with severe GERD, and I’m very sick 2 months later. Can you tell me a little more about your recovery and how long it took? Not a day has gone by where I can eat without acid burning, I’m full and nauseous all day. I’m losing hope that this will ever improve. Please tell me it will in time.
    Best regards

    • Hi Julia, it will! It just takes persistence and time. For me it helped to pinpoint which foods made me feel the worse and try to avoid them. I find that when I avoid gluten, processed sugars, legumes, acidic food like tomatoes and oranges, and some grains it helps me. I also find avoiding alcohol and coffee helps too. Then it’s a matter or letting your esophagus and your stomach heal. When we purge all the stomach acid can tear away at our esophagus which can lead to all of those uncomfortable feelings, so letting it heal properly without purging is important. It took me a while to heal properly, and at first I relied on pepcid AC and digestive enzymes a lot. But after a while I got to a point where I didn’t need to take meds all the time, but I do like to keep probiotics around to help nourish my gut. You mainly just want your stomach and esophagus to heal, which takes time and patience, and maybe avoid some more acidic foods for a while. Hang in there and don’t give up hope!

      • Hi Jordan and thank you for sharing your story! Im 40yrs old and been throwing up since i was 14, nonstop (besides the 3times i was pregnant) but now i seem to gain weight anyway.Ive always been 115-122lbs & today im 150lbs ,even tho i throw up most of my food but im ready to lose weight the right way and feel better.I ,also chew a pack gum a day(lol) I started having seizures 9yrs ago ,have thin hair and unfortunately, ive had to replace all but 7 of my teeth! This was devastating to me (of course) but now im ready to make a change.I recently became a grandma & i adore my grandson and i want to live a long life. I suffer migraines &im lucky to have a bowel movement once a week.I suffer terrible heartburn& if i don’t throw up a meal, then it naturally tries to come up on its own.Im addicted to food ,all foods! I constantly want to eat & its a vicious cycle that i must break.This is the 1st time i have ever reached out about my disorder ,not even my dentist or neurologist knws but im ready to be honest with them and myself! I havent thrown up in 4days now & havent benged either but we both know that it’s probably not gonna last w/out professional help.I guess i just basically wanted to say thank u for sharing and tips you gave us and i think u look great and i hope to accomplish healthier eating habits & seeing it be possible has given me hope:) I wish u the best…Have a great day and happy New year;)

        • Thank you for your comment Somer. You’re right, it is a very difficult process of recovering. But in the end it’s so worth it. I’m glad that you’re ready to take the step of being honest with your professionals and I hope your doctors are able to help! I will say a prayer for you and I hope you get to feeling better!

        • Tambra L North

          Wow!!! I read these post now and I hurt reading these!! I am bulimia free now for 2 years. it was so hard to stop but I was very I’ll. I am so lucky to be here. I had zero help stopping and I had bulimia for over 20 years everyday of my life and also many enemas daily as well. I suffered with food withdrawls and my body rejected and reacted to food as an invader once I stopped. I went through every allergic reaction a person can go through. Gut problems and bloating take a while but remember your skin has been so stretched out. I had to stop because it started to hurt when the foos when come back up in my esophagus. i went to evey Dr. in the world to have everything checked and i am very lucky I have no permanent damage!! My teeth yes I do have a couple crowns but that’s ok because I dont have Bulimia. I cant have a perfect smile with bulimia but now I have something to smile about.. You can get through this.. I kno it’s so hard and it’s not easy to do or even easy to say but I know now because I did it and you can do this also!!! I’m here to help anyone anytime to get through this!!!❤

        • Hi Somer…I am 50 and have started at 28. Untill very recently I was without hope. The teeth….46.000 Euros up till now…and not done yet. The devastated family finances when you throw all your salary into the toilet. Oh and I thought I was the only person over 20 doing this on the planet. I know what I want to eat…plantbased high fruit makes me feel so amazing. But I just could not do it for years because the addiction to salt sugar fat and gluten (which my whole body absolutely despises) was too strong. Then I found Dr. Douglas Lisle on youtube talking about foid addiction and bulimia…..and it clicked. I decided to cut salt sugar oils….as he advises…and I decided to free myself from this. And it works. The important thing is to stop searching for any psychological cause or trauma for it….that keeps you trapped. We simply are hardcore foodaddicts….and so are millions of people…and we chose to counteract the consequences. Beat the addiction and the overeating with HEALTHY foods and the whole problem dissolves. Please look him up on youtube. Talking about food addiction….the pleasure trap…and bulimia. There is a lot. And look on his sit at the free resources…3part presentation. This guy saved my life.

  3. Hi again Jordan and thank you for your comments. Do you still suffer from Acid reflux and sore throat? I feel like all the food is just going to come tumbling out if I even bend over…and my throat is on fire every morning from reflux at night! Does it ever get better? Did you have surgery to fix that? Im feeling discouraged.

    • Hi Julia! I didn’t have surgery to correct it, although I think I might have a hiatal hernia which could contribute to the acid reflux, I haven’t really talked to my doctor about that as much, but I probably should. I still do get acid reflux every so often when I eat certain foods, so I try to avoid the foods that seem to aggravate it the most as much as I can. I’ve taken Nexium, Prevacid and Pepcid AC in the past as recommended by different doctors to help with the symptoms, although I don’t like to rely on medicine very much some of them did help a little. I think it’s a matter of training our bodies to accept the food again and get accustomed to it, and letting it heal. Throwing up will hinder the healing process. I did it for so long that my body was pretty much trained to reject foods, so I had to teach it to accept it again. I powered through the pain and took a few different meds as recommended by my doctors to help and after a while it got a lot better. I still do need to watch it with specific foods, I now have intolerances to gluten, dairy, and processed sugars. I also can’t tolerate raw fruits and veggies too much, I tend to stay away from too much fruit anyway because of the sugars, and I mainly eat cooked veggies. Don’t feel discouraged, a lot of us have been there! I would pay attention to what your eating and take note if any specific foods tend to trigger those symptoms more than others, and focus on nourishing your body with whole foods and proper nutrients.

      • Thank you Jordan
        I have lost close to 30 pounds and can’t seem to put the weight back on. I am waiting for a referral to a GI specialist to see if I have intolerances, malabsorption issues etc. Evening time I have an appointment with the dietician to see if I can get some help from her. Do you have any other suggestions for me?

        • Seeing a GI Specialist is the best thing to do, and that’s what I would have suggested. They are the ones that can really help diagnose and prescribe things that can help our GI tract. I would definitely voice all of your concerns to them and include everything. You can always try a naturopath doctor as well although I know a lot aren’t covered by insurance. Our bodies are amazing and will heal themselves, just as long as we let them. For me it took a while before I was able to see relief, but I would still purge maybe 1-2 times a month and that was hindering my process. Once I stopped completely and focused on making health my #1 priority I started to feel a difference within about a month. Then I did a whole30, and after those 30 days I felt amazing, no issues! Most days I feel fine, unless I eat specific foods that trigger the indigestion or gerd, but I feel like this is normal, almost everyone has some sort of food intolerance where they will feel some type of discomfort, be it gas, bloating, indigestion..etc. Pinpointing which foods trigger that is the tricky part. That’s why I loved whole30, it helped me find those. I know it’s difficult but patience is key, and seeking out your doctor’s advice.
          Keep treating your body with the love it deserves and it will love you back!

  4. Hello again Jordan
    So sorry to keep pressing you with questions I’m just very anxious. I am still losing weight because the burning in my gut after meals is indescribable. So much pain I have developed a fear of food. Did you go through that? We’re you ever constipated? I am at the 2 1/2 month mark since stopping (purging), yet I feel weaker and worse. I am currently in hospital to see if the damage is permanent and/or if this is all in my head I desperately need another message of encouragement. Did you lose weight at first and how did you ever get to the point where you started healthily putting muscle back on?? Please respond, thank you so much,

    • Hi Julia. You said it has been 2 1/2 months, how long were you purging before-hand? What kind of foods do you eat now? I would definitely direct all questions to a doctor, but I did experience all of those uncomfortable feelings. I didn’t lose weight, I gained it at first, but I was a mixture of anorexic and bulimic and my metabolism was severely messed up at that point, since it wasn’t used to me feeding it on a regular basis it stored everything as fat so my body would have some sort of fuel. Regularly eating protein and complex carbs helped my metabolism level out and helped me gain muscle back. I would say it probably took me a good few months to feel completely normal again, because I spent a lot of time doing elimination diets and whatnot to try to pinpoint my exact food sensitivities and intolerances. Have you tried consuming any probiotics or digestive enzymes? Does any type of medicine help alleviate some of the pain? I would definitely recommend talking to a doctor, specialist or nutritionist so you might better know the extent of the damage and how to effectively handle it, all I can say is I did personally experience acid reflux, gerd, heartburn, constipation, lazy bowel syndrome, indigestion, cramping and bloating… and I feel great nowadays most days. It took me several months to fully heal, but I also think that could be due to the fact that I was still eating some foods that my body doesn’t like. I still get uncomfortableness sometimes but I think I have a hiatal hernia that contributes to my indigestion, which I hope to see a doctor for soon. I definitely understand the anxiousness, I was there too, and many times just wanted to give up and give in to old habits, but I also wanted to be healthy and happy again and hated how I felt before. Hang in there and keep treating your body well, and definitely ask your doctors for help.

      • Thank you Jordan
        To answer your questions…I was not a regular purger, but have always had high anxiety, so if I felt anxious after a meal I would purge. I did this for about 10 -20 years periodically. Leading up to this whole mess I was drinking quite heavy and purging at least once/day a few days a week. My final purge I had to really thrust on my stomach to bring the food up as it was stuck. It was excruciatingly painful and that is why I fear I have done some irreversible damage.
        I have been tolerating mostly soups and high calorie drinks like ensure. Everything else causes BURNING chest pain

  5. Hello Jordan, thank you for your post! I was a mixture of anorexic and bulimic as well – for about 6 years. The last time I threw up was actually in August 2016 (wow, I can’t believe it that I made it) but I’m still extremely constipated and I’m just desperate. I’m at uni so I have never had anyone to help me so it’s highly likely that I made many nutritional mistakes during my recovery – I was extremely overeating, unable to find the right portion size… just a mess. The last year I fell for the magic of magnesium that I took for about 3-4 months as it was the only laxative that worked more than once – I got mentally addicted to it until I had to stop taking it as I felt I was at a point of dying when I combined it with wrong food. But that was in July 2017! And I’m still here, constipated and just desperate. I eat clean – paleo (lots of veggies&water), I gained around 10 kilos (which bothers me but I try not to think about that as I exercise almost daily)… and nothing works (although I still have a tendency to overeat). Am I just being impatient? Do you think that overeating can be the problem (&is it really bad for recovery)? I hate it because my belly is big all the time and it makes me (and feels) uncomfortable and I’m just miserable (no social life, nothing). Doctors don’t know anything. I still hope it’s just a very long road to recovery, but I’m losing even that hope.:( thank you, yvette

    • It’s hard to find a balance between undereating and overeating, and it can get pretty frustrating. I still struggle from time to time to know if I’m overeating, especially since that little voice can still creep up from time to time and make me think that I look too pudgy. I’m not a nutritionist, but I found that oo many veggies made me feel that way. I can’t do a lot of raw veggies and fruits because it makes me feel uncomfortable and bloated and doesn’t seem to digest well, I have to stick to cooked veggies, but I think that is a fairly common problem. I also no longer eat strict paleo, I stay away from too many nuts and eggs because they make my belly feel bloated and big, and I try to keep my fat lower than the typical paleo diet that seems to have lots of bacon, eggs and meats, and get some complex carbs in the form of rice, sweet potatoes, and sometimes quinoa and oats (I find my body can tolerate them and it helps with constipation). Although a lot has improved since I’ve been recovered for years, my body still has a few problems with foods. I’m actual seeing a GI doctor at them moment for some lingering issues. Have you tried going to see a nutritionist? Maybe one that specializes in eating disorders? They might be able to give you more insight, I know it can be hard to find one though. Hang in there and keep working to find what works for you

    • Tiffany Lau

      Hey! Thank you for sharing your journey. Ive struggled with bulimia for 3 years. Im 18 now and I’ve been doing everything it takes to change before I bring it with me to university. Im 3 days purge free and I honestly havent felt happier. The one thing that is killing me is the amount of stomach bloating and I keep reminding myself that I need to be patient with myself and let my metabolism and digestion recover. I just ordered the digestive enzymes you linked above and hopefully it’ll help boost the recovery a bit. How long did it take you to recover from the bloating and slow digestion?

  6. megan seftas

    Hi Julia,
    I’ve been bulimic for years and been free from it for a year but I constantly have anxiety that I damaged my esophagus. My teeth were awful bc of the acid exposure and I implanted my entire upper arch!! So I keep thinking about what condition my esophagus is in. Thoughts? I’m terrified to get an endoscopy



    • I was recently in the same boat. I’ve been having some digestive issues lately and pain in my chest, and I figured that since I hadn’t ever really seen a gastro doctor that it was time I went and had things looked at, to make sure that I didn’t cause any real damage. My GI doctor first had me perform a barium swallow test, which is not difficult but the barium that you have to drink is quite thick and milky. That test usually can let the doctor know if there are any leaks in your esophagus or if you have GERD. When that test came back normal they performed an endoscopy, and honestly that was probably the easiest procedure I have ever had performed on me, much easier than the barium swallow. I felt a little bit of gas-like pain the next day in my chest but other than that no pain or discomfort or recovery time, if anything it was fun because of the medicine they gave me to knock me out for the procedure (my husband enjoyed my ramblings when I woke up from it). My EGD ended up showing that everything was fine except some gastritis in my stomach. I’d definitely recommend seeing a GI doctor, if just to get a peace of mind that there is no lasting damage, and if there is then they can come up with a treatment plan to help.

  7. Hello.. very informed and greatly written article on this site. I also sent you a message through Twitter. Well let’s see I had bulimia for 24 years give or take and I stopped cold Turkey only because I started having many pains and sickness. I have now been sick for over 2 years and symptoms come and go. I have been back and forth the drs.. since Nov 2017 I cant tolerate food. I have major allergic reactions and autoimmune issues. I dont know if this is caused from bulimia or not. I found what you said interesting about throwing gluten up and I never thought about it reacting this way once it stays in the system. I have alot going on and at this point its everything I eat …even GLUTEN FREE.. I’m very worried very concerned. I dont even think about bulimia anymore. It’s like I forgot I ever had it but the reality is what it is. I will never have it in my life again. I do have food that is slow to digest and also regurgitation/reflux.. I hope to hear from you. Thanks again for being so open with your story…Tambra

    • Hi Tambra. I’m sorry to hear that you’re having these issues. I am not a doctor so I can’t tell you what to do, what I can say is that what helped me was pinpointing the foods that made me feel worse. Gluten was one of them, but also some acidic foods, some grains and dairy. You can keep a food diary and take notice of the days you felt uneasy and see what you ate on that day. Try eliminating something from that group and see how you feel, and just keep using the process of elimination. This method takes time but can be beneficial. Doing a Whole 30 really helped me with this, following it strictly and using their protocol in their book and website for reintroducing specific foods helped a lot to find my intolerances. Seeing a GI doctor is also a good idea, they could do some tests and see if there are any underlying issues or maybe give you something that might help ease your discomfort. Sometimes our bodies need a little more time and help to repair themselves. I hope you start feeling better soon!

    • Hi Tambra, I was a bulimic for 30 years, ages 20-50. i am 61 now and don’t binge but I have reprecussions from throwing up. First of all my gums have receeded and my teeth are pitted and cracking. I have thyroid issues and I think that they have had to have come from messing up my body with throwing up. I have been eating good for 11 years now and I have to take digestive enzymes because my bloodwork shows I don’t digest food. I workout everyday and since I was diagnosed with hypothyroid, I don’t have the energy like I used to and I am exhausted a lot of the time after working out. I feel malnourished even though I take a million supplements and eat enough calories. I am taking probiotics and drink Kombucha everyday. Wish I knew how to help myself absorb the nutrients better. Also I have given up gluten because it is a big trigger for feeling awful. I also have so much diarrhea when I run.

      • Hi Linda
        Well done for recovering after suffering so long! What an achievement! Your story resonated because I am currently increasing my calories in an attempt to recover my metabolism from the stress of 20 years of chronic calorie deficit (Overcoming bulimia is an additional stressor) and I wonder if you are still in calorie deficit. To recover properly from chronic under fuelling from EDs and over exercise you need to completely stop exercising in addition to increasing your calorie intake. It’s why your thyroid is affected. When in deficit your body suppresses its metabolism (via your thyroid) to conserve energy to maintain functions like vital organs and the result is feeling fatigued, digestive problems etc. You need at least 2500 a day without exercise and this will give your metabolism a chance to recover properly. A body recovering from this is vulnerable and the normal rules of calorie intake do not apply…you need more. You won’t put on any more weight than your body needs as your metabolism will eventually stabilise it. I bet that your digestive issues would lessen too. You’re doing the right thing with the probiotics etc so stick with it. And the foods that Jordan mentions are perfect to support your recovery.
        This is a great article thank you Jordan it takes a brave soul to share ❤️

  8. Isabel Grossman

    Hi Jordan!!!

    Sending you so much love and graditude for creating a site like this for us! We need it. We need a community. This is something so so so many of us deal with in the dark, the enormous shadow of shame that looms of the eating disordered community so making a blog about it and especially on a topic about reversing its bodily damage is brave and speaks volumes of Who You Are.

    Love, love, love!


  9. Jana Pretorius

    Hi Jordan! You mentioned in a comment above that your gastroscopy revealed gasgrjrig at one stage. What were your symptoms at the time, and how did you resolve the gastritis?

    • Jana Pretorius

      Sorry, I meant gastritis!

      • Hi Jana! Sorry for the delayed response! When I had my EGD and it showed gastritis the main symptom that I was having was kind of like an indigestion feeling, like a discomfort in my chest below my sternum. Kind of like a feeling like I was either hungry or full at the same time. I also was having a little bit of acid reflux. A month ago I started eating more keto and I haven’t had any tummy issues anymore (unless I overdo it on the dairy), so I don’t know if it is eliminating sugar (including fruits) or gluten or grains or all of the above, but not eating those foods has made me feel a lot better. I’m going to reintroduce a couple one at a time again to pinpoint what exactly I need to stay away from. I think eating an anti-inflammatory diet really helps, but I’m not a doctor. 🙂

  10. Hi. I’m so glad I found your article, I really related to it and it’s given me hope that I can make a full recovery too. I just wondered if you had any me menstrual issues due to all the purging?

    • Hi Sarah, I was irregular for a while when I started recovery. And every other month the pain would be so bad I had to take a sick day. I went to a GYN and was prescribed on a birth control which helps to keep me regular, but I think it could have something to do with hormones as well. I don’t know much about that, but I do know that hormonal imbalances can cause problems in your body. I am probably going to get mine tested with my GYN soon but I would definitely ask a GYN what their professional opinion is.

  11. Hoping to find my way to recovery, I was looking at some self-help materials for bulimic persons and started applying some of the principles of normal eating including small but regular meals and was feeling better, not purging for 1 week and then tonight I got alone in the kitchen and had a sugar craving. For me bulimia “helps” me to have all the sweet treats I want without gaining weight. I am addicted to the sweet taste and this is since my childhood. I would hide and eat candies and would eat all my chocolates and ask my sister to share hers with me. Will this ever stop? Did someone have a similar problem?
    I have tried different strategies not to keep sweet foods at home, but just the fact that I cannot stop buying sugar as my husband needs it for his coffee and that I am very creative when I decide that I need to get my “fix”, gets me in that vicious circle I cannot get out of as it seems 🙁
    May be therapy could help, but noone knows about my “condition” and I prefer that my kids don’t find out about it…
    Any suggestions?

  12. I’m grateful I came across this. I’ve been purging for about 9-10 years now. It was dormant for a while but the last few years I can’t seem to get on top of it. In the last year I’ve been experiencing the bloating, gas, indigestion, uneasiness of eating almost anything. A single hard cider now makes me feel like I need to go to the bathroom… I struggled psychologically for so long because I get severe anxiety if I don’t purge and now having a physical feeling that I need to purge on top of that… I’m getting a little freaked out that I’ll never recover. I don’t really know what to do. Only two people in my life really know, and they don’t even really understand how bad it is… nobody in my family knows… I’m a chubby girl so it’s easy to hide. I’m glad I saw some of the natural solutions to help that physical feeling because maybe that will help me to stop so I can start psychological recovery.

  13. I was wondering if you had any stomach pains when recovering from bulimia, I’m not sure if I was bulimic or not sense I purged once/day for a whole year but I did end up having chest pains and stomach pains by my belly button when I stopped purging. Do you have any thought on why I would be feeling that way. I get concerned that it might be my esophagus but they did an X-ray of my chest and everything I was apparently having costochondritis but other then that I was fine and my stomach pain was from the constipation I had. What do you think it could be? What would it feel like if I had esophagus cancer, or tearing?

    • Hi Maleny. Again, I have to reiterate that I’m not a doctor or a medical professional so I can’t give any medical advice on what you should do, I am just a girl who has suffered through eating disorders and sharing what personally helped for me. I have had costochondritis so I know how painful that can be on your chest, it still flares up from time to time. If you’re concerned about esophagus then I would see a gastroenterologist as they can do some better imaging like the EGD scope to get a better picture of the stomach and esophagus to see if there is any other damage. Once a day for a year could do some damage, but the body will heal itself if you nourish it and avoid foods that upset it, but I would recommend a specialist if you’re concerned to see if there are any other underlying issues.

    • Hi Jordan,

      I was bulimic for 14 years and now on day 6 of my recovery! I’m committed – no going back. I’m feeling quite bloated and have gained 4.5 pounds so far and working out daily. How long did you feel bloated and how much weight did you gain before it levelled off? Would love to hear other people’s experience as well. Thanks in advance!

  14. Hi. I really appreciate your post. I am 52 years old and struggled with bulimia and anorexia from the age of 12 to the age of 33. At 33 I started to work on recovery, but still had episodes for 18 years. Do the math…. I’m just now really getting into recovery.

    I’d like all those who are younger and suffering to understand, the outcome of ED’s is horrible. You don’t really get how the vomiting and self-starvation affects your body until it you have been in it for a while. You’re lucky if you find recovery early into the disease.

    Right now, I am seeing a variety of doctors based on a battery of tests that I took recently. These tests are follow-ups from a colonoscopy that I had a year ago. GERD, Grade A esophagitis, hiatal hernia, diverticulitis, gastritis, precancerous polyp …. So many issues. A medication that I took last week for GERD cause intestinal bleeding. Blood in the poop. TMI. I know. But please understand, it’s just not worth it.

    What I have come to understand, at this age, is that bulimia was my way of coping. I am also a sexual abuse survivor. I grew up in a family of perfectionists and narcissist. Being neither, I did what I needed to do to cope with the pressures of growing up in the home that I was in. But once I moved away to college, I was already on the path. I went through years and years of self destruction. Today, I pray that I am here to see my 7 year old grow into adulthood. (I am a mom through adoption because I had far too many issues to marry and conceive).

    We are all given one body and one life. Protect and guard both. For those recovering and having issues with digestion, this is normal. I fell in and out of recovery for years. Take the periods of recovery seriously and do everything you can to make it permanent. That anxiety you feel with trigger foods or bloating can be overcome. Find a distraction.

    Life and health are gifts easily destroyed. Cherish your journey on this earth and love your body – regardless of what size it is.

    Sending everyone best wishes for recovery!

    • Hi! I have had bulimia now for 10 years and out of those 10 years I could probably count on 2 hands the days I have not been sick. Its every day and I need help, unfortunately the doctors and psychologist I once had did not work for me. It would be great to talk in more detail to someone who is also trying to recover. I cut my throat a few months ago binging and I threw up immediately (out of my control) and threw up blood in the kitchen, I honestly thought I was dying and shouted my boyfriend immediately, I was so scared I really hurt myself and even this didn’t stop me throwing up until my boyfriend asked me a couple of days later “do you still throw up’ and I said ‘no’ and he told me ‘well its a good job as you probably wouldn’t be here now’ having cut my throat, it knocked me for sick and stopped binging and purging for a good few weeks, I was so vey proud, but weight was creeping upon me and I felt depressed again and yes it came back, everyday. Im not sure if it is psychological but I feel my heart aches constantly and do wonder if I will wake up. It would be so lovely to talk to someone.

      Thank you!

      • Hi Jenny. I’m so sorry that you are struggling and I completely understand as I have been there. Unfortunately our bodies can take a bit of time to heal, but with some patience and TLC our bodies can recover. If you treat your body with love it will love you in return. I know how hard that can be, it was a difficult journey for me, but once I learned to love and accept my body and treat it with love things started to get much better. The initial weight gain can be difficult and frustrating but our metabolism needs time to adjust to getting enough fuel, and it does and will. Also, unfortunately therapists are not one size fits all and you might have to search around to find one that works for you. Maybe see if there are any that specialize in eating disorders around you. I am currently working with my primary care doctor and a therapist to keep me in track. Support groups can be really helpful too. With some digging in Google you might be able to find some eating disorder support groups that are low cost or even free, can even start your own on Meetup. It can be really helpful to be able to get support from others who have been through the same thing and know what you are feeling. I hope you start feeling better very soon and I completely understand what you are going through! Hang in there!

  15. Hi Jordan,
    I’m so happy that I came through your article. I’m in recovery now after roughly 8 years of bulimia, but I’m so scared to go to an GP/ GI or do any tests but I wanted to ask you If felt pressure in your chest or felt dizzy all the time after recovery even after eating normally?

    • Hi Amina, great job on recovery! I did have some of those feelings. Your body could still be adjusting, but I don’t know for certain. I understand you’re scared to see a doctor, but try to look at it as a way of embracing recovery and committing to heal your body. Sometimes the body takes a little time to heal, but seeing a doctor is always a good idea if just to ensure that you are on the right track and there isn’t any issue that you’re overlooking. When I choose a doctor, I always find doctors in my area and google their reviews to help make sure that I will be seeing someone who is thorough and caring, and not just rushing me out the door. I like for a doctor to be able to listen and address all of my concerns. Sometimes I find that I am just overreacting and my body is just doing what it is supposed to do, but I would rather be safe than sorry. I hope you start feeling better soon!

  16. Hello, I know I’m late to this post but was wondering how long your lazy bowel lasted?
    I was bulimic as a teen and then stopped after a couple of years… perhaps every 7 or so years it comes back… and I was v sad when it did in my late 30s… I restarted for about 9 months and for the first time ever I have permanent bloat. I need laxatives to have a bowel movement – that has lasted 18 months (recovered period). Constipation seems to be my biggest side effect and I am keen to know if that rectified itself with you?
    Loved the post. Best recovery post I’ve come across yet. Thank you

    • Hi Emma, thank you for your comment and for reading! It did, but it took some time and patience and I had to watch my diet and make sure I was getting in enough fiber and water. You can always ask you primary care doctor what they recommend, they may be able to help and also order imaging to make sure your organs are healthy. But mostly is was patience and staying consistent with recovery. I hope you find relief soon!

  17. Hi Jordan,

    Thank you for sharing your story, I too have been purging everyday for almost 12 years. In the past 2 years, I’ve gone about a week maybe 2 that I can remember without purging but Ive always succumbed to that “uncomfortable feeling” you are talking about. And once I fail I just get so discouraged and say screw it I can never recover. I always have had no issue throwing up which is such a curse and so often when I try not to purge the food just wants to come up and it’s soo hard to keep it down.

    However, I came across your post today because I was researching others who have had similar situations. I don’t feel so alone and after reading your story I feel hopeful. My daughter is 7 and I am haunted at the fact that’s she could see me suffer with this or I am not going to be the best mom for her because I’m always week, dizzy, tired and irritable and I know that I MUST make a change, I have no choice in the matter. I no longer want to be selfish or live in this hell. So thank you for sharing your story it’s been a huge blessing to me and I can’t wait to start this journey to healing. Day 1 for me.


    • Thank you so much for your comment Lea, I struggled a bit with putting my story out there but it’s encouraging to hear that it may have helped someone in some way. You are definitely not alone! There were quite a few times that I thought I just couldn’t do it, but while recovery is not easy, it is so worth it! I’ll be thinking and praying for you and your recovery and am here if I can help in any way 🙂

    • Aliya shaikh

      Hi Jordan good to hear Ur story I’m 34 mother of two single mother I’m praying since 12 years too even if I dunt wanna purge something forces me to do it I have developed IBS acid reflux gastritis I have food allergies but I can’t keep myself away from foods and end up binging and purging what’s the first thing do I say to myself to break this crap I regret this big time thank u..

  18. Hi Jordan,

    Just wondering if you ever had any symptoms of blood stained phlegm whilst trying to recover?

    I’m also finding certain foods trigger extreme stomach pain that radiates around my back, followed by blood in my phlegm the following day.

    Ive had low iron, low vitamin d, high cholesterol which have all come back within normal now.

    However the pain after eating followed by bloody phlegm still continues.

  19. A good article – it’s hard to find recovery stories from other adults. I have anorexia with purging tendencies, and I self-harm. I’m almost 5 years from purging (I never binged but I did overexercise early in my recovery), and 3 months from self-harm. I’ve had a number of different therapists, worked with 3 dietitians, and did an IOP (intensive outpatient) at an eating disorder center about an hour away, 3x/week while working full-time and caring for my (then) young kids. After IOP, I worked with a psychologist who specializes in adult eating disorders for a year, then transitioned to another psychologist and wrapped up with the dietician then. I also work with a shrink who handles my meds for depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

    I’m almost 50, and I was diagnosed initially in my 30’s when I was trying to get pregnant. I thought because I didn’t meet the DSM criteria, and since I didn’t let myself purge more than 3x/week, I was fine. I was far from fine. I flipped anorexic about 8 years ago after losing weight and tracking food, then found it was a tremendous release from stress of caring for dying parent and little kids. It wasn’t. It was just a rabbit hole, just another addiction to the myth of control. I stumbled across this posting because I was in the ER yesterday with a gastritis attack, absolutely horrid, and of course am looking for a way to blame myself and my ED for something that in all likelihood is a result of pain meds from a spinal fusion after a car accident three years ago.

    Psychologically, recovery is really hard. I work a 12-step program and go to meetings (and call into meetings too – Eating Disorders Anonymous has good phone meetings). I have a sponsor although she never really had an ED, she understands addiction and numbing out. I’ve found a good therapist for where I am in my recovery. It’s taken me almost 36 years to get here – I can’t change that overnight. IOP was okay – it was necessary for me to break the cycle, and the support while I was re-feeding helped a bit.

    The bloating, nausea, aversion to certain foods, etc. fades away. Working with a psychologist (I don’t recommend anyone less than a PhD) with ED experience if not expertise is important. Groups help. A specialized dietician makes all the difference – she helped me expand my “safe foods,” and taught me how to plan ahead and stop tracking what I ate.

    I have to be super-careful to not be… super-careful. I can’t track my food or calories. Anything with rigidity I have to avoid. Exercise has to be fun and not punishment. When I think about punishing myself, that’s a clear sign I need to call my sponsor, a recovery buddy, meditate, do yoga, journal, pray, whatever. This bout of gastritis is pretty awful and I’m hoping I can see my own GI doc this week. I suspect it’s an ulcer.

    The pain I’ve inflicted on myself is one thing – the pain I’ve caused my husband and kids is quite another. I’ll always have that guilt, but I’m learning to accept it, and to embrace the imperfections of my body (even though I’m in serious pain right now!). A bad day in recovery is 1000 times better than my best day when I was active. The guilt I feel now is nothing like the shame I felt once the high from purging wore off. I move forward one day at a time because that’s all any of us can handle. It’s not forever. It’s just today.

    Thanks for sharing – I’m going to stop reading ED stuff (another trigger for me!) and get my butt moving to do some work.

    • Thank you for sharing Illya! I definitely know what you mean about being too careful, I actually blogged somewhat to that extent in my Reverse Dieting article. I will never track calories again!

  20. The article was great but reading the posts from other people who have been through this makes me want to cry!!! I’m 40 and have been in this cycle in and off for over 22 years!!! Unless you have walked this path it is hard for people to understand. Thank you all for being open and transparent. I am currently on day 2 of not purging and it is a struggle, but taking it one day at a time.

  21. Hi Jordan,
    Thanks for your story, it’s so helpful For me.
    I am recovering from 10 years of bulimia. It’s third month now. I saw a lot of articles and everyone is mentioning that body goes back to its weight. I was 15 when it happened to me and I even don’t know what is my normal weight. Once body is healed can I loose weight?
    How long does it take to recover body from ED?

  22. Hi Jordan

    Thank you so much for this post. I have been struggling with this cycle on and off for the past 6 years. Recently I have found spirituality and the practice of meditation has allowed me to be purge free for the last month. I’m very proud of myself. Initially I felt great but the last week or so I have had constant heartburn which gets worse after I eat. I was so worried about it so coming across this post really helped. It made me feel like i wasn’t alone but also that my body needs time and love to fully recover. I am afraid I’ve done irreparable damage to my body and that makes me incredibly sad.
    Our bodies are truly amazing things and I have no doubt mine will heal itself over time. I hope all is well with you.

  23. Emilie Durand Grenier

    Hey Jordan, I just read your article and im also recovering from Bulimia and its been like a year now and im still gaining weight, slowly but still. I was wondering, how long did it you throughout recovery to stabilised your weight? I know your body is scared that you will start again so it keep the weight just to make sure but I feel weird that after a year my body is still keeping the food that much. thank you

  24. Cassandra A/P Irathiaraj @ PETER

    Hi,if someone was bulimic for the past 5 years , and if they are following nutritious meal plans and workouts , how long will it take to recover and to be healthy again ?

    • That’s hard to say. Every person’s body is different and everyone reacts differently and heals differently. The body is amazing and can have a quick turnaround if we treat it with the love and kindness it needs. As we get older we may not bounce back as quickly but the important thing is to be patient and give it time, and be kind to our bodies. They are working hard to take care of us, we need to take care of them.

  25. Hello Jordan,

    Thank you for your educational post! I am also experiencing from bulimia but none of the people around me know about. I’ve doing this 1 or twice a day for 3 years (some days I don’t). And I feel really ashamed to do this but I find it hard to control my eating habit. Recently I started to have abdominal pain which I think it is gastritis. I’m feeling really guilty about it and I started to control myself more. Now Im still feeling the pain everyday, I wonder if my stomach has been damaged or not? 🙁


  26. Hi…I just came across your story….I hope you are well…I am a 44 year old man and have been suffering from bulimia for 20 years or so……I finally told my doctor about my struggles as I have been getting a dull pain when swallowing food just under my Adam’s apple I did a quick google search and found a link between bulimia and oesophageal cancer so that has Made me incredibly scared… doctor said he would be astounded if it was and has gave me pills for acid reflux….but that has not eased my anxiety…I did a google search of this type of cancer which made thing s a hundred time s worse….I was wondering if you have heard of or were worried about this during your recovery

    Thank you Gordon

    • Hi Gordon, sorry that you’re experiencing that. I personally was not worried about that because I know my mind and that I have a slippery slope thinking, and that thinking like that is usually my anxiety getting the better of me. If you are still worried, I would advise maybe seeing a different GI doctor and getting a second opinion and maybe some imaging. But definitely ask a professional, and remember most doctors know their stuff and are there to help you. I hope you find some answers and peace soon!

    • Hi Gordon,
      I’ve been struggling with bulimia for over 6 years. And I’m worried sick about the possible damage I have caused myself. I too did research and came across esophageal cancer and now I’m worried sick too. I have heartburn sometimes but aside from that I have a horrible cough that just don’t go away and I’m not a smoker.. like all day everyday for months on end and sore throat always I’m afraid that it can be related… i hate myself for what I’ve done to myself… having two young children. It’s been 3 days since my last episode and I will try my best to steer free from another episode. I love my children way to much and don’t want to hurt my body anymore. So my question is aside from the dull feeling when u swallow do u have any other symptoms? Have u got a second opinion? I’m terrified and find comfort hearing from others in my same situation.

  27. Hello Jordan,

    I don´t even know, if you are still reading these comments but I wanted to tell you, I feel a lot of hope reading your article.
    However, I am concerned (as many of your readers are) that my symptoms are not revearsable.
    I had anorexia for a short time then bulimia for about 7 years and I just stopped from one day to another because the anxiety about irreversible health issues was too big. And I just want my normal life back (ED started when I was 21) So I KNOW what it´s like to eat “normally”.
    And I have to believe that my body will get back to that stage eventually.

    My main symtom (fairly early after stopping to purge) is the feeling in my throat, as if the food is stuck and won´t go down easily. Is that because my stomach has gotten slower in digesting food? Will this feeling get better? I do have acid reflux too. I am scared that my stomach will never be able to hold in the food. That I will always have the feeling, that the food is coming out straight away.

    I could really need some encouragement here.

    Thank you so much,

  28. HELLO! Wow. What a great blog you have! May I jump in? 🙂
    Just turned 25 in Nov. Said 25 was too old to be bulimic after dealing with it since I was 16. Sometimes doing it 10-20 times a day and sometimes going weeks without ‍♀️. Then kept pushing it to the end of the year. But I officially HAVE to stop because well… I just got my wisdom teeth and I literally cannot puke with open holes in my mouth. Plus, they only did one side so I’ll have to go back under which is double the time. Honestly I wanted this for the beginning of the year because I know there would be no other way to stop.
    For the most part I bp to get rid of the bloat and full feeling. I became a runner last year and need fuel for that.
    I guess i would like to ask you for help or resources specifically about refeeding and dealing with this bloat. I have digestive enzymes and was looking into pre/probiotics. This is a huge change in my life and I’m really looking forward to the new person I can become. I just know these next few weeks months are crucial and I want to go through them without gaining all my weight back (I know, but can you blame me?).
    Thanks so much!!!!! Just subscribed 🙂

    • Hi Gab! Sorry for the late response. The process is so difficult but so worth it! I actually saw my GI a few months ago about bloating and she recommended Magnesium Oxide, and it has been pretty helpful. I had to start with a small dosage then worked up to a larger. Also, I sometimes take cranberry pills for urinary tract health and they also help with the bloating. And drinking lots of water! That’s all of the things my doctor recommended to me, maybe give it a try? I also have done elimination diets to pinpoint my food intolerances and have a good idea of which foods make me feel more bloated. Hope that helps somewhat!

  29. Hi Jordan,

    Thank you so much for all this information. It has been so helpful to hear your story, which on many levels is quite similar to mine. I am embarking on an attempt to recover again. I am trying the strategy with more of an autoimmune focus with food choices as I’ve really noticed that my body is going into full-blown inflammation mode as I age. I am really coming to see that I can’t do this anymore. I’m developing rosacea and I feel like I am mentally slow all the time. My hairline keeps receding. I know I need to try to heal myself. I’m interested in how you knew about the h pylori thing? I’ve read a lot about rosacea and that being linked to h pylori infections. I haven’t been able to get my physician to see the link between my gut damage and skin and potential SIBO/h pylori.

    Thanks for your help and candidness,


  30. Valerie Corbin

    Did you take the probiotics as well as the digestive enzymes that contain pre & probiotics?

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