Did you know that eating disorders and gut health have been proven to be intricately linked?
In addition to other mental health issues, poor digestion is a predictor for anorexia and bulimia. Poor eating habits also lead to disrupted gut flora and long-term digestive issues. Without proper care, this can be a self-perpetuating cycle of disorder.
Recovery is not just about changing your mindset and your relationship with food. It's also about healing the damage caused by these incredibly taxing disorders.
Achieving a physical, mental, and spiritual recovery is a long process, but it's not without hope or help. Below, you'll find a simple but complete guide to restoring gut and digestive health as you recover. Read on to learn more!
The Connection Between Eating Disorders and Digestion
Restricting and purging behaviors both contribute to a disorder called gastroparesis. Gastroparesis is a condition where the stomach has difficulty emptying and contracting normally.
You might experience feeling full immediately when eating. In addition, you might experience nausea, bloating, loss of appetite, or even vomiting.
Poor eating habits can also throw off your gut bacteria. These bacteria influence not only your digestion but also your hormone production. They regulate the brain and its production of serotonin.
The result of unbalanced gut bacteria is increased anxiety and depression, both or either of which can lead to a relapse of the eating disorder.
How to Restore Gut Health After an Eating Disorder
Luckily, with the guidance of a nutrition expert in eating disorders, you can restore gut health through your diet.
Fermented foods like yogurt and probiotics can help stimulate your gut bacteria. On the other hand, sugary foods and artificial sweeteners harm your gut health.
Many doctors suggest an elimination diet to counteract the IBS-like symptoms of a damaged gut. This can actually do more harm than good when in eating disorder recovery.
A balanced diet is better in the long term. Focus on whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, and dark chocolate.
A complete diet will help treat the source of the gut dysfunction: the eating disorder. On the other hand, an elimination diet will manage the symptoms without treating the cause. Only after recovery should an elimination diet be considered.
If you've engaged in purging behavior, ulcers are a risk in recovery. Easy-to-digest foods like soups, stews, rice, eggs, and chicken can help promote ulcer healing.
In addition, make sure to hydrate more than you think you need. Keeping your gut moist improves nutrient absorption.
Take Steps Toward Your Recovery Today
The effects of an eating disorder can be severe and long-lasting. However, your digestion and gut health can bounce back with a bit of care and professional advice. Improving digestion is an achievable goal, and you can experience a happy and healthy life after recovery!
Keep in mind that your symptoms may vary, and an expert can give the best advice for your specific case. If you're looking for help online, look no further than the coaching provided here at RecoverED Now.
RecoverED Now offers one-on-one coaching and support for both mental and physical health. Check out my programs and find one that works for you!