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05-17-2013, 08:37 AM   #1
Ki3
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Crohns and anorexia?

About a month ago I went to see my doctor( I cant remember what about) and she said as I am thin and dont eat much she needs to keep an eye on me, as anorexia is a symptom of crohns. This kind of made sence, as a few years ago before I was diagnosed, I told my mum I might be anorexic, but she didnt believe me and we never spoke of it again. Anyway, I just finished a liquid diet and as you may know, you gain weight. I asked when my bloated stomach would go down, but I was told it wasnt bloated and that it was normal. I kinda became worried. Nobody else can see how huge my stomach is... Im starting to think..its in my head..am I anorexic? I dont want to have to bring it up again as last time when I told my mum there was so much awkwardness I just gave up and said 'forget it' but now that I was told I may get it from having crohns..well it all falls into place. Does anyone have any advice? Thanks xx
05-17-2013, 08:39 AM   #2
SarahBear
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I've never heard that anorexia is a symptom of Crohn's... just that Crohn's is often mistaken for anorexia.

Why don't you eat much? Is it because it hurts? How long have you been at the weight you are? It's normal to feel as if you're huge when you gain weight after being so thin. For example, I stayed at 98lbs throughout high school. That was normal for me. Now that I'm in remission, I weigh between 103lbs and 105lbs. I feel like I'm huge.
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05-17-2013, 08:43 AM   #3
Ki3
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I have never really eaten much since I was tiny. To be honest I dont know why... I guess I easily get full... its always been a bit of a mystery but like when I eat spaghetti I count ten strands as I Cant eat any more than that. I keep on putting on weight because of these stupid supplements. Ive gained about a stone
05-17-2013, 08:50 AM   #4
SarahBear
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Ten spaghetti noodles definitely isn't enough to keep anyone going.

If you're concerned about anorexia, it wouldn't hurt to talk to a counselor or someone about that. They can at least help you sort out whether or not that's what's going on.

Are you consciously trying to avoid gaining weight?
05-17-2013, 08:50 AM   #5
ForeverCrohns
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Hi Ki3
When I first developed symptoms for Crohn's I was beginning to become anorexic but I was too young and was afraid to tell anybody about it and after feeling that I started becoming anorexic I tried to distract myself from all the thoughts .. I remember looking in the mirror everyday and not seing how thin I were .. I think one of the reasons is also that I were a bit chubby before I got Crohn's so the major change in my look maybe affected how I saw myself. I am thankful that with time I stopped being this way ( this was 13 years ago).

About Anorexia being a symptom of Crohn's my aunt is a dr and she told me that it does that.
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05-17-2013, 08:58 AM   #6
Ki3
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Im glad im not the only one.. I really want to stop putting on weight as it affects my confidence in dancing as you dont exactly get fat dancers. I am going to start counselling as it helped my sister and I think its a good idea. Until then im not sure what to do...
05-17-2013, 09:02 AM   #7
ForeverCrohns
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Definitely counseling is the best thing if you think that it is affecting your life and you cannot control it.. Also try to distract yourself with other things whenever you start thinking about your body image it helps.
R u in a flare up now?
05-17-2013, 09:13 AM   #8
Ki3
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Its hard to say.. when I was on the liquid diet I had no pains, now its over I get a littlempain occasionally but nothing really bad. I guess im kinda in remission?
05-17-2013, 09:41 AM   #9
xmdmom
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Just to clarify here, there are two medical terms anorexia and anorexia nervosa.

Anorexia - is a lack or loss of an appetite. It is common in people with Crohn's.

Anorexia Nervosa- is an eating disorder usually occurring in adolescent females, characterized by refusal to maintain a normal minimal body weight, fear of gaining weight or becoming obese, disturbance of body image, undue reliance on body weight or shape for self-evaluation, and amenorrhea. The two subtypes include one characterized by dieting and exercise alone and one also characterized by binge eating and purging.
Sometimes people with Crohn's are misdiagnosed with AN; it may rarely coexist with Crohn's.

Unfortunately, many people call anorexia nervosa, anorexia for short so it can be confusing.

I'm wondering if your doctor meant anorexia is common in Crohn's (rather than anorexia nervosa).

Here are the DSM diagnostic criteria for anorexia nervosa are:

Refusal to maintain a body weight that is at or above the minimum normal weight for your age and height

Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though you're underweight

Denying the seriousness of having a low body weight, or having a distorted image of your appearance or shape

In women who've started having periods, the absence of a period for at least three consecutive menstrual cycles


Many women have body image issues and concerns about weight without having a full blown eating disorder.
05-17-2013, 09:48 AM   #10
ForeverCrohns
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Hi xmdmom

Thank you for the information
I have never been diagnosed with AN or anorexia at that time but I felt that I were having the symptoms you mentioned..I don't know if it was Anorexia as I did not speak to anyone about it.
05-17-2013, 09:50 AM   #11
Ki3
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Oh ok thank you for that. I dont know which one she meant but im assuming just plain anorexia. I do not want to gain weight... but I dont exactly think I have a really serious eating dissorder? Im just confused
05-18-2013, 06:16 AM   #12
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I was going to say what xmdmom said - two different types of anorexia. There are also atypical eating disorders. For example, when I first got sick in my teens, I developed a fear of eating, because it was associated with the pain and diarrhoea I was getting. Whilst it's normal for people with digestive symptoms to dislike eating, I became overly phobic and avoided eating because of my fear of food and its effects on my digestion, not just because I was physically too sick to eat.

Because I had no body image issues, and knew I was too thin, I did not have anorexia nervosa, but the extent of my fear of food and the illogical way in which I dealt with it could be said to approach a disorder. I put my fear ahead of the risks that came from being underweight, and became a bit obsessive about eliminating foods if I had diarrhoea after eating them, when actually it was just coincidence that I'd had diarrhoea that day.

Now I don't have that phobia any more, but I still have no appetite, so I have anorexia (the loss of appetite kind), but no longer have disordered thoughts and behaviours about eating.

So the crucial things to figure out regarding anorexia nervosa are do you have a body image issue? (do you think you look fat when you're actually thin?) And do you want to lose so much weight than it would be detrimental to your health?

It's also worth considering that eating disorders may be on a scale, with clear disorders on one end, and healthy, normal eating on the other. For example, you may have some traits of an eating disorder, but not so many that you would meet official diagnostic criteria.

And the last thing I thought reading your post is I very much relate to having a bloated stomach. I'm underweight but my stomach looks out of proportion compared to the rest of me. Other people can see that my stomach is bloated, so for me my self image is not distorted. But if your bloating is something you feel rather than see - if you feel full and uncomfortable but it isn't obviously swollen - then you may see what others can't because the full feeling influences your self image. But if you don't feel bloated, and others tell you you don't look bloated, but you still see your stomach is swollen, then you may have a distorted self-image. Do you see the bloating as fat, or as something that makes you look unattractive? If so, that would probably be a trait of an eating disorder.

If it makes you feel any better, I really do have a bloated stomach, and am honestly not bothered by how it looks. Having Crohn's can make it hard to like your body, when it causes so much pain. So try not to get too hung up on what you look like - appreciate the things your body does well, and the resilience it puts up against this illness.
05-18-2013, 07:32 AM   #13
Ki3
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I dont exactly feel bloated (unless I eat too much lol) but my stomach just looks so big compared to everything else. If I got big boobs too I wouldn't care lol but its just my stomach that's big. But nobody else thinks so...
05-18-2013, 09:08 AM   #14
lizbeth
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Hi there, If it helps after I got Crohns I developed a fear of eating too cos of the unbearable pain, I was also really worried about gaining the weight I had lost in hospital, then came ten weeks of steroids and double insulin which gave me an insatiable appetite, I just couldn't stop eating!! I gained all the weight back again and have a big belly, I look 5 months pregnant at times!! , it had been nice and flat before . I could really understand that there could be a fine line between having an eating disorder or not......I often wonder if I do? I feel fat and think I look fat, but others say I'm not, just don't know what to believe. It would be my thought based on my experience, that you are going through the process of change and learning about how this disease effects your body and how your body is telling you what foods you can and can't eat? I do hope you get some peace of mind very soon. Take care.
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05-24-2013, 01:34 PM   #15
nogutsnoglory
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It's important to maintain a healthy weight and eat the appropriate amount of calories per your height. I understand you want to be thin as a dancer but things can spiral out of control quickly with inadequate nutrition. You can have no energy, damage your bones and more. I'm not trying to scare you but ten spaghetti noodles are not nearly enough to sustain someone. Have you seen a nutritionist?
05-24-2013, 03:08 PM   #16
Ki3
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Yeah I see lots of dieticians and stuff but nobody knows i miss being thin. I would normally would just shrug this stuff off and get over it but my family are pissing me off. Earlier today my mum wouldn't let me go to my tap lesson because i hadn't taken my tablet yet. Not because i didn't want to, i just hadn't had time yet. Just because i hadn't had time to take a pill i wasn't allowed to do what i love...
05-25-2013, 06:14 AM   #17
nogutsnoglory
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I'm sure it's just out of her care for you. She wants to see you healthy.
08-06-2013, 02:03 PM   #18
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I dont exactly feel bloated (unless I eat too much lol) but my stomach just looks so big compared to everything else. If I got big boobs too I wouldn't care lol but its just my stomach that's big. But nobody else thinks so...
This was the same for me at the start I thought my stomachs looked quite big, which I now realise was bloating, but no one saw it but my even when I lost so much weight because of the crohns my stomach would stay big, some days bigger than others. I was wrongly diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, because of my complete loss of appetite through the crohns and abdominal pain. But when they would ask me if I was fat I would say no I'm not fat but my stomachs is a little big. They would mistake this with me thinking I thought I was fat which I didn't as I knew I was too thin and wanted to put on weight but wasn't able to.
Even though I'm on all the right meds now my stomache is still bigger than everywhere else but just try and ignore it as I know it can't be helped and don't try and loose weight as I know it's not going to help.
So just don't worry try not to think about it I know it will be hard but there is nothing you can do and if you try to loose weight you will just make yourself more ill. Try and eat healthy and do regular excersize. I hope this helps and you know you're not alone.
08-06-2013, 03:33 PM   #19
valleysangel92
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This is just a thought but maybe its partly because you've gotten used to being tiny from being unwell, so now that your getting back to health and putting on weight, you feel like you're bigger than you actually are.

I was really skinny for years, at first I actually hated how skinny I looked. After a while, though, I got used to it and accepted it, it became normal, so when I started to get better and my weight stabilized, my stomach felt pretty big to me for a while, simply because I'd gotten used to being so small.

Once you get used to something, such as being a certain body shape, it can be really hard to get used to that changing again. Give yourself some time to adjust to the way your body is changing, as you get better and better you may get your appetite back a little, and you may find that you get used to your new figure. As long as your a nice, healthy weight then you dont have anything to be concerned about, we're all here for you and will help you through all this.
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08-06-2013, 05:53 PM   #20
Ki3
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Thanks for all the amazing answers, its been a while since I posted this. It turns out I was not seeing anything differently, its just my doctor is not the best doctor in the world and denies everything I say, my mum tries to convice me that I look perfect, and even denied my squint I have when I clearly have one and my nan did realised I was bloated. I am still bloating today and it is not just my stomach, sometimes its so big I look pregnant!!! I havnt worked out how to control this and it annoys me but at least anorexia is kinda out the question
08-06-2013, 06:08 PM   #21
valleysangel92
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Well at least you know it wasnt anything too serious hopefully as you recover the bloating will reduce a lot and you'll see a big difference.
08-06-2013, 06:11 PM   #22
Ki3
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Well I've kinda been in remission for about 3 months but im getting symptoms again and it has never really left... thanks though
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