Ask An Expert Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders and Food Intolerance?

Eating Disorders and Food Intolerance? | Libero Magazine 1
The topic of eating disorders and food intolerance seems to be coming up more and more with my clients, so I am sure your question will benefit many people!

Before you start reading...

Support us for #GivingTuesday!

$2,105 of $2,500 raised

Giving Tuesday is an international day of giving, it is also our biggest fundraiser of the year. Support our nonprofit magazine by donating -- every little bit helps!

$2,105 of $2,500 raised
$
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Terms

Donation Total: $25 One Time


Question:

I have been recovered from an eating disorder for 9 years. A few years ago I stopped eating gluten and dairy. It was completely for health reasons and filtering it out of my diet was incredibly difficult, but it was done from and with a completely healthy mindset. However, it has slowly become increasingly more difficult to maintain that lifestyle. At some point, my mind labeled all gluten and dairy foods as “bad” since I’m “not supposed to eat them.” So the more time that goes by in which I can’t eat these foods, the more I want them. Sometimes I give in and then I can’t stop eating them and it’s followed up with my head tearing me apart for having these foods I shouldn’t eat. Listing to myself all the terrible physical repercussions of eating these foods is no longer effective and it seems impossible to separate food choices made for healthy reasons from the disordered thoughts that my mind remembers too well. I tried planning out meals in advance, but that wasn’t helpful either. How do I continue to cut out the foods that I’m intolerant to, yet maintain a healthy relationship with those foods?

Hi, K,

Thanks for reaching out and asking your question. This topic of eating disorders and digestive health seems to be coming up more and more with my clients, so I am sure your question will benefit a lot of other people!

There are a few different ways to go about this. I do recommend you talk about these options with a primary care physician or a dietitian so you can decide what is best for you.

1) Get tested: If you haven’t been already, it’s really important to be tested for sensitivities and intolerance.

They have genetic testing available, which can be important to see if you have the gene for gluten sensitivity. Also, you can get hydrogen breath testing for lactose intolerance. Having the evidence for the intolerance will assure that ED is not running the show. Remember, unlike a food allergy a food sensitivity is not life threatening and depends on the dose. Your dietitian can help you determine how much you can tolerate. Variety plays an important role so you are not having a large amount of any one food.


Are you enjoying this article? We are a nonprofit and depend on donations to keep running. If you are enjoying this article, would you consider making a $2 donation?
$
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Terms

Donation Total: $2


2) Eating mindfully: This idea of mindful eating is important when also struggling with intolerance and sensitivities.

Depending on where you are in recovery, mindful eating can support you in further building that healthy relationship with food, especially when dealing with food sensitivities. Part of mindful eating is asking yourself how you are going to feel after having a certain meal/snack. Before each meal and snack, practice asking yourself how you will feel emotionally and physically before/after eating the food item(s).

It is important to note many of these questions may be difficult to answer depending on where you are in your recovery journey. I encourage you to work through these with a dietitian.

Here are the questions: Will it fill you up to your desired fullness? How long will the item fill your for? Will you make it to your next meal/snack? How might your digestion feel after eating it? Is there another option that might make you feel better and will have a similar taste?

Again, I recommend working through this exercise with a dietitian who is experienced in mindful and intuitive eating a few times before trying it on your own.

3) Does your intolerance have a threshold? This tip is especially important for dairy products.

For some people, it is possible to eat dairy up to a certain point. I have some clients with lactose intolerance. They can have a small serving of ice cream, but anything more might set off their digestive symptoms. So, we talk about how to enjoy that small serving of ice cream.

It can be similar to other types of foods you are sensitive to, so definitely get a dietitian who specialises in food sensitivities and eating disorders on board.

4) Medications: Taking certain medications or over the counter supplements can relieve some GI upset, depending on the intolerance you have.

For many people, Lactaid pills work wonders for lactose intolerance. I have also had clients who have had success by taking digestive enzymes, probiotics or certain vitamin/mineral supplements to relieve digestive issues.

Of course, it’s important for you to discuss with a physician or a dietitian to assure you are taking the correct dosage.

Sincerely,

Alex Raymond, RD, LD
Share: 

Disclaimer: This column is meant to serve as a safe place to ask questions and get opinions from educated professionals; but please always consult your own team before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Although our Experts are certified professionals in their area, their advice may not be suitable for your situation, and thus is not to be taken in place of that given by your recovery team and/or family doctor or personal therapist. Please use your own good judgment, and consult a licensed mental health practitioner for specific treatment. In the case of a crisis, please do not rely on this column, as answers may take several weeks to be published, and not all questions will be addressed. Please contact one of the Helplines listed in our Resources section if you feel you are a harm to yourself or in need of emergency support.

Have a Question for our Experts?

Our Ask an Expert Column is a way for our Community to reach out to professionals in the mental health and medical field related to recovery and overall wellness. All questions are submitted anonymously and answered publicly to offer tips, information, and advice related to mental health and recovery.

If you have a question you wish to submit, visit: liberomagazine.com/ask

You can read our archives of answered submitted questions HERE.

Alex is a Registered Dietitian at the private practices of Rebecca Bitzer and Associates and Empowered Eating. Alex’s goal is to assist her clients in discovering a life-long healthy relationship with food and their bodies. She is a firm believer in intuitive and mindful eating as well as health at any size. Outside of counselling clients, Alex enjoys cooking (especially Italian foods), journaling, hiking and exploring Washington, DC.

If you enjoyed this article, please donate $2

As a nonprofit, we rely on donations to keep our magazine and community running. If you enjoyed this article, please consider donating:

$
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Terms

Donation Total: $25 One Time


Report ad as harmful | Ad Policy
Don't Like Seeing Ads? We are a nonprofit and ads are one way we raise money to keep our site and projects going. If you don't like to see ads on our site, signup for monthly donations and help us fully fund ourselves through donations!

Subscribe


Support Libero for #GivingTuesday and help us raise $5,000!

Giving Tuesday 2018

We are a nonprofit. Support our magazine through our #GivingTuesday campaign!

$2,105 of $2,500 raised
$2,105 of $2,500 raised

We will be accepting donations for this campaign until the end of the year, but we hope to reach our goal by Giving Tuesday! Learn more

If you have any troubles donating, please email donations@liberonetwork.com
$
Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Terms

Donation Total: $25 One Time

What are you ‘Free from’?

Micaela: Free from Shame | Libero Magazine 1

Report ad as harmful | Ad Policy


Support Libero Monthly

We are a nonprofit. Support our magazine by signing up for monthly donations!

0% funded
0% funded

Though other online publications are starting to charge monthly subscriptions for their content, as a nonprofit, we want our articles to be available free of charge. This means we rely on ongoing donations to keep our magazine running and our website growing.

If you enjoy our content, please sign up to support us monthly! (you can change your mind at any time)

$

You have chosen to donate $5 monthly.

Select Payment Method
Personal Info

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Terms

Donation Total: $5 Monthly

Do you blog about mental health?


Report ad as harmful | Ad Policy


Don’t Like Seeing Ads? We are a nonprofit and ads are one way we raise money to keep our site and projects going. If you don’t like to see ads on our site, signup for monthly donations and help us fully fund ourselves through donations!
Micaela: Free from Shame | Libero Magazine 1 Send us your story! [click here] or post your “Free from___” photo on Instagram and tag us: @liberomagazine!