National Eating Disorders Association

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Eating disorders connection to Gastroparesis

Hello, I am desparately seeking advice to help my sister-in-law. In the past she has told us that she has suffered from an ED since her teens and that she had gone to treatment centers before, but never having completed the treatment. Due to recently developing and being diagnosed with Gastroparesis she has stopped treatment again.

I'm trying to find out if an ED can cause Gastroparesis or if it is the other way around. I'm worried that she hasn't told her doctor how long shes had an ED for because no one seems to be concerned about her, despite being underweight and having gone to the hospital twice now for dehydration, the hospitals even discharge her only several hours after being admitted.

Please help! Any advice is appreciated.

Hi Muggins, I applaud you for

Hi Muggins, I applaud you for reaching out for more information. Eating disorders can cause multiple health problems including gastroparesis. However, gastroparesis, in a person who is also currently struggling with an eating disorder might contribute to more disordered behavior because of the symptoms it causes. This is just a general statement and certainly doesn’t apply to everyone with an eating disorder. Since we are not medical professionals here, we can’t comment specifically on your sister in law’s diagnosis. Have you been able to express your concerns to her in a non-confrontational, non judgmental, and supportive manner? Maybe her knowing that you care and want to help and support her regardless of her struggle can give her the courage to ask for help if she is indeed still struggling with an eating disorder. You can also find information about the health consequences of eating disorders here:
The NEDA Helpline is also a valuable tool for information and support, both for you and your sister in law. They can be reached at 1-800-931-2237 M-TH 9-9 EST and F 9-5 ES.