Eating disorders and UC?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 2/20/2008 6:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Other than a bout with glandular fever, I suffered from mild anorexia nervosa (as in, not to the point of hospital admission, but still serious) for a number of years during my childhood. Is there any link, or chance that this made my condition worse?

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 2/20/2008 8:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Not sure about the link but I was anorexic from my older teens to my young 20's. I didn't know I was anorexic though because I did eat but I guess not normal. If I ate a sandwich the whole day, I was lucky. But I wasn't diagnosed until I was 22 however I believe mine was heriditary since my mom had CD.
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Elite Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 30853
   Posted 2/20/2008 10:06 AM (GMT -6)   
I don't believe there's a connection at all....but I think the tendency for AN on an emotional level can interfere with the process of healing (if one believes food has a connection to symptoms in general...and stops eating...or...constantly is worried or distressed about symptoms).

You didn't cause your UC.
But in saying that....a weak digestive system can be prone to invaders that can set the autoimmune response into overdrive.  The tendency would have to be there initially....your own immune system does the rest.  We're all open to invaders up to a point...but not all get the autoimmune response as a nice bonus. 

*Heather*Status: mini flare Dec 28... tapered to every 3rd night
~diagnosed January 1989 UC (proctosigmoiditis)
~5ASA: Asacol (6 daily) + Salofalk enemas (increase for flares tapered to maintenance)
~Bentylol (dicyclomine) 20mg as needed
~Probiotic 3(Natural Factors Protec) bedtime + 1 (Primadophilus Reuteri) occasionally
~multi-digestive enzymes as needed ....bromelain 1 - 2x daily
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~URSO for PSC (or PBC) 500mg X 2 daily (LFTs back to NORMAL!!)
My doc's logic.. "TREAT (FROM)BOTH ENDS"  worth it !!!

Post Edited (quincy) : 2/20/2008 8:10:12 AM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 42
   Posted 2/20/2008 11:53 AM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed when I was 18. I then went to college and became bulimic for a few years. During that time I never took my meds and I never had any symptoms of my UC. Once I got help for my bulimia and started taking the meds again, I got sick. I always thought that there was some significance in the fact that when I didn't keep my food down, I never was sick.
lived with UC for 7 years
Colozal (12 pills a day)
Entocort (3 pills a day)

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 2/20/2008 2:24 PM (GMT -6)   
This is really interesting to me. I was anorexic for years in my teans and until i was about 26. Never hospitalized but lost a lot of weight. Anyway, i always wondered if there was a connection. Also i used to get bad migraine headahes (starting when i was about 7 or so). Went to a neurologist several times ... they put me on an asprin-based medicine (Fioricet) ... and i also wondered if there was any connection there to my UC.

I didn't really start with UC symptoms until i was a junior in college - about 19 years old or so ... it took a while for them to diagnose me. It got really bad over the past two years and nothing was helping - colazal, steroids, etc. Now i'm on remicade. Yesterday i had my 5th dose - i started right before halloween this year. I thought it was a god send at first because i was no longer running to the bathroom every 10 minutes (quite literally!) I can now go a few hours ... though when i do go i have all of the same symptoms. So its working on some level but i'm definitely not all that much better. I can go about 2-3 hours. (when i said that to my doctor yesterday his eyes nearly poped out of his head! And i had thought that was a GOOD amount of time to have in between.) I guess people, even doctors, can't fully relate unless they have this horrible diesase.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 124
   Posted 2/20/2008 10:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Ambrosia. It's funny that you say that your doc was surprised about the 2-3 hours inbetween bowel movements. I think those of us with UC sort of get used to a different baseline in terms of bowel movements. When I first went to see a GI after my mother kept nagging me I remember he asked me how many BMs and I said, "oh, only 3-5 times/day...not that much" He was like, "that's a lot!" It is a lot I guess compared to my preUC life when I'd go once every other day and not even think to check the toilet bowl. Life was good then.

The eating disorder theory is interesting. I think they say that the personality types of those with eating disorders are associated with IBD but I don't think there is a causal relationship. I, too, always wondered about this because i had my share of abnormal eating patterns in high school/college....

who knows...

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 2/21/2008 1:59 AM (GMT -6)   
There was a breif period of time in my life that I wasn't eating much or healthy enough for that matter, not because I was anorexic (at the time I didn't even know what that was, I was 19 going on 20 at the time) and I got sick with CD in my early 20's, 23 going on 24.

So who's to say there isn't a connection, there very well could be or not at all, bottom line is you can't go back and change it but it's easy to understand wanting to try and find out what exactly brings on IBD for your peice of mind...although since we're now living with the disease I don't think we can reverse it...that's why I'm keeping my fingers crossed for the stem cell therapy to be the cure for all types of IBD.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

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