What to do about Bloating






Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change.

 ~ Jim Rohn

A bloated stomach is not a fatter stomach, it’s a healing stomach. Food in your stomach is not fat. Bloating will not turn to fat. In time the bloating will pass.



Dear Readers,


Another insightful post into bloating by Ali Kerr. She sheds much needed light on how a person should deal with a challenge of bloating in recovery. Eating Disorder recovery is a process and if we take small steps outside the comfort zone, we learn what we need for our peace of mind. That is where we find our strength. While medications help, cognitive behavioral therapy, art journaling, meditation, dhikr and re-framing situations are also the larger part of recovery.






Let’s talk about bloating.

“Oh dreaded bloat! How I loath thee!”









Bloating holds so many back from recovery that it drives me a little nuts.

It goes like this.

You start recovery, you experience some bloating, you become afraid, you quit recovery.

So let’s gets this clear now.

Just about everyone experiences bloating at the start of recovery and it’s absolutely 100% perfectly natural, normal and to be expected.

When you’ve suffered with ED for a very long time your body stops digesting food properly, your basic metabolic rate lowers and everything really just slows down.

On top of this the food that you eat can sit in your digestive tract for longer than normal at first, adding to that initial bloating, gas and discomfort.

You should expect your bloating to last anywhere between 2-6 weeks, although a small number of people may experience bloating for a little longer than this. Sometimes you may also notice an increase in the swelling of your parotid glands, but this is very temporary.

The truth is bloating isn’t that bad.

Yes it’s uncomfortable and annoying but these problems are magnified tenfold because of the FEAR it induces.

Let’s be honest, if you’re not ready for it, bloating can be very scary. Just about everyone can deal with a little discomfort but most people find it difficult to deal with any fear.

Fear is an extremely powerful force and this is why bloating causes so many people to quit recovery.

Here are some of the fear thoughts you may experience:

  • You may have fear that it’s not bloating but fat.
    You may fear that what you’re experiencing is abnormal.
    You may fear that your bloating is too extreme.
    You may fear that you have developed food intolerances.
    You may fear that your bloating will never go away and that your body will never be able to adjust.
    You may fear that you there is something seriously wrong with you and you can never recover.

These fear thoughts can run through your mind all day long. This is to be expected. It is okay to be a scared here. You are facing your fears, of course you are going to be a little paranoid and worried.

Understand that this is all part of the recovery process. Being scared and worried about bloating is a normal, expected, typical step in the recovery process. So please don’t let it force you to give up on your recovery.

Anyway, the truth is there is no need to panic at all. Keep in mind that most of these fear thoughts have no basis in reality because they are fears, not facts. Your body can handle the food.

A bloated stomach is not a fatter stomach, it’s a healing stomach. Food in your stomach is not fat. Bloating will not turn to fat. In time the bloating will pass.

Please, please, please be patient with your body and give it time to heal. A lifetime free from bulimia far outweighs a couple of weeks worth of bloating.

If you need extra support you can always work with one of our HealED coaches during this challenging phase.

Here are some great tips to help with bloating:

  • Sip water throughout the day to prevent excess water retention.
  • Try eating 6 small meals rather than 3 large meals and snacks.
  • Try eating foods with fat present. You need to eat fewer of them to feel satisfied
  • Wear looser clothing so that you are not so conscious of the food in your stomach.
  • Try herbal teas such as peppermint tea, dandelion tea, ginger tea, but please avoid ‘laxative’ teas.


Fenugreek Tea pic


  • Avoid excess salt
  • Walking and light exercise can help to get your intestinal muscles working again and it will generate bowel movement.

Walk to garden

  • Try to avoid taking diuretics or ‘water pills’ as they can make bloating worse in the long run.

It’s important to understand that while this bloating may feel uncomfortable or even painful it’s not dangerous because all you are doing is re-learning how to do something that is completely natural and safe, which is eating and digesting food. However if you do experience intense, prolonged pain, discomfort or bloating that becomes worrying you should always consult your doctor.

To your health,



Ali Kerr with daughter


About Author

Islam and Eating Disorders founded in 2012 – run by Maha Khan, the blog creates awareness of Eating Disorders in the Muslim world, offers information and support for sufferers and their loved ones.

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