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Ulcerative Colitis and Eating Disorder

I am in my late forties and suffer from both Ulcerative Colitis and a lifelong Eating Disorder. I only realize I had an eating disorder 2 years ago. I got the help I need, but since I have suffered from this all of my life, I am still in therapy trying to rewire my thinking.

Is there anyone out there who suffers from both problems?

I feel like I am the only one in the world who is suffereing from both problems.

I am hoping this forum will help me meet some people with the same problems.



Super Moderator
Hi Betty and :welcome:

Good to see you here. I'm not sure about your question but I have a feeling that I have read on here of at least one other person with an eating disorder. OK I have found the thread I was thinking of...............................


How long have you had UC? Do you think the issues associated with that may have contributed to your eating disorder? Oh, if that's too personal don't answer!

This is a safe and friendly place with loads of info and support so please stay around. Good luck and welcome aboard!

All the best, :)


To save time...Ask Dusty!
Welcome Betty!! What meds are you on for the UC? Sorry, I really have no advice or insight for you. Best of luck to you!!!


Hi Betty
and welcome

Sorry I can't help with these issues, but just to say glad you found us, lots of friends here for you!
lotsa luv
Joan xxx
hi Betty - welcome to the forum.

when i read your description of "rewiring" your thinking, i thought that was a fantastic and spot-on way to describe it. i have Crohn's, and i've also had a self-inflicted starvation phase in my late teens/early 20s - because of the Crohn's. although i know why i did it (eating=pain) and eventually i had surgery to remove all that cause of pain & not being able to eat, the weird control issues regarding food, and my distorted body image thoughts remain with me to this day.

it was a personal mental battle following surgery - i wanted to be able to eat all the things i couldn't before, i wanted to get fit & strong & put the horrid past behind me, but as i put on healthy weight, i grieved for the feeling of being the skinniest person in the room, wherever i went. i KNEW it was crazy, and i made mysef put those thoughts on a back burner, and they still remain there to this day.

i know there are all kinds of 'wrong' messages people can get about food, some need it for comfort, depression, companionship, others use it as a self-punishment - and these ways of thinking are so hard to put aside once they've taken root. but you can do it - i guess it's like being an ex-smoker, taking one day at a time.

i also would be interested to know if you think there is a link between your eating disorder and the UC. i really don't think i would ever have anything other than a normal view of food if not for the Crohn's.
hi betty!

similar to what ding experienced, i have had eating disorder issues as a result of crohns.
i know an eating disorder due to body image (im thinking that is what you struggle with?) is a LOT different than one that is caused by physical reasons....but i think that trap of thoughts is the same.

i have always had issues with eating. i waz dx when i was 9, and i remember even as a little kid being sooooooo hungry, spending 15 minutes staring at things in the kitchen, and finally just sitting on the floor crying.
that same sort of thing has followed me all the way to this day. more so in the past year i have become more aware of things though. i realized that the process of physical hunger--thought 'i am hungry'--seek out food, that chain is broken for me. ive realized that SO often i am physically hungry, and i actually have to force myself to realize 'oh, that feeling means im hungry'. its not automatic. also instead of feeling driven to seek out food, i just feel like...repulsed by it. i can know that im really hungry but the actual thought of eating something, anything, triggers such a deep repulsion.
this isnt all the time, when i feel sick, thats the case. when im feeling allright, i have a relatively normal relationship with food. but of course, when youre sick is when you need to eat MORE lol.
its become like, feeling sick for any reason....whether i am crapping my brains out or just have a headache.....is cause to shut down that normal process of eating.

idk, it is very weird and obnoxious. but i think, like ding said, you body realizes that eating=pain, whether its right away or hours away in your digestion. food is what makes your digestive system have to work, and no matter how hard you want to mentally overcome that....its just so engrained you know?

one of my huge other blocks that i realized recently is that i will put farrrr too much thought into it when i know i need to eat something. ill be sitting there like "i know im hungry. i havent eaten anything since yesterday. i MUST eat something. but....this doesnt sound good, that doesnt sound good, im only gonna eat two bites of this....this isnt nutritious enough"....i would stress out so much about what would be 'successful' or unsuccessful to eat. so weird right? but i felt that if i made toast and only ate half of it....that i did a bad job.
thing is though, part of the rewiring for ME was to block out all of those thoughts, as they were only hindering me. i try to not judge what i should and should not eat and whats good enough or not....even if i eat 2 crackers. i try to tell myself that thats ok, thats 2 crackers more in my stomach than if i had judged it as not good enough and not eaten at all. and i will try again to eat something else shortly.
you know? instead of wasting the time feeling like crap for not eating 'enough' at dinner, look at what you did eat, and save that strength for later so that you can eat a bit more.

do you have foods that you do like? maybe it would help to come up with a list of the things you are most likely TO eat, and just have that for yourself. when you know you need to eat but just cant take the steps to, maybe it would help to look at the list and see what at that moment looks the least offensive?

ive also realized that i eat more when i cook for myself. if i make homemade soup vs. openeing a can....its easier for me to get down. dont know why really, but its good to know.

i hope some of that helped. like i said, even though eating disorders can be for vastly different reasons, the end result is the same you know? maybe yours is a combonation of triggers. for me, haha i dont even know what to call my problems. not anorexic...not bullimia....none of those already labeled disorders apply to me. yet my process of eating is abnormal, as i think is probably the case for many people with crohns and UC and things.

youre not alone =]
Welcome Betty!
I think Kello has pretty much covered everything I would say.
It's too easy for our minds to start rewiring itself to think "If I eat, I'm going to need to use the bathroom/get pain/feel terrible" and then avoid food.
I know during this particular flare I'm having at the moment, I have been incredibly cautious and not eating anywhere near as much as I would normally and while I'm still eating enough to stay healthy, it would be very easy for me to cross that line.
I hope you stick around. Everyone here is so supportive and always happy to listen and share their experiences :D
OMG Thanks everyone! I did not know people replied to my email as I did not know how to use this site. I need to leave my home now, but when I get back, I will reply to each and everyone of you.

It's a relief to know we are not alone!! I was starting to think I was a total freak of nature!! Thanks and reply to you all later,
Ok, I will try to answer to all your questions in one email, as I do not know how to reply individually. Ulcerative Colitis all my life, but only diagnosed 13 years ago. I just started humira.

As for the ED, I sort of understand Kello, but my portions are much bigger than yours. When I lose control of my mind, I overeat a huge portion of food in a short period of time.

In answer to weather or not my ED is linked to my UC, well, on a small part is related. Had I been raised to be self awareness about emotions etc, I would have not had food issues. Instead, we were raised to ignore our emtions and feelings, and get the hell out and moving and to be constructive; not a bad phylosophy, but certainly lacking in attention to emotions. Furthermore, so much attention to being thin was the norm in our home. I was in such emotional pain growing up; the physical pain increased with age.

I know I wrote a long thread in one of my emails, but do take the time to read to better understand my history,

Meanwhile, thanks for being there,