National Eating Disorders Association

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physical pain

I am really suffering from what a doctor said is a stomach ulcer and I am concerned for my overall health, when I should be feeling great because I have 7 months free from restrictive ED behaviors. I have had several "flare ups" causing me extreme nausea, feeling excessively full after small amounts of food, throwing up acid, stomach pains, dizziness, and this morning I passed out twice trying to get to the bathroom, scaring my mom who thought I was having a seizure. I only remember standing up the first time I passed out and then sitting on the toilet, I have no recollection of the second time I passed out at all. I do suffer from low blood pressure, which has caused me to pass out from standing up too fast in the past, and could of gotten up out of bed to abruptly I suppose. But today I am again suffering a flare up, and now have pain on my left side like a side ache from exercising, every time I breath. My concern is this issue has caused too much of a weight loss, and this passing out was a result of my body being too weak. I don't own a scale so I don't know what I weigh, and I have been thinner in my disorder, but I can tell I am lower than I should be to be healthy. I ate a solid and healthy dinner in spite of the nausea and pain it creates, but that was all I managed to get down all day. I am very disappointed because I am truly in recovery finally, and yet I feel worse now than I ever felt in my disorder days. I have a follow up appointment next week to try and get to the bottom of this ulcer with tests, and finally get the correct medication to manage it. I was at first triggered by the sudden weight loss with thoughts of trying to maintain this lower weight, but I have used the many tools I've learned to just acknowledge such thoughts, and let them pass with no acting out on them so far. Before this ulcer I was at the gym again finally, starting to feel strong and fit again. Now I can barely get through my shift at work, needing to sit down to catch my breath several times from standing too long. So that's my problem now and I wonder if anyone out there has ever dealt with an ulcer before, and got through it somehow better then I am so far? I at least passed my state exam and am officially re-certified as a Drug and Alcohol Counselor again. Sorry for such a long post to ask a simple question, but I needed someplace to express my disappointment and concern for my health. Thanks

You need

To go to the ER. Something is wrong and your symptoms are extremely concerning. Congratulations on passing the test.


Thanks for the concern, I am waiting it out until I see my primary care physician on Tuesday. I'm a little better today, bur overall weak and low energy. I was able to hold down three healthy, but bland, meals. I'll post again after I see the doctor.

Doctor's appointment

I finally have my doctor's appointment for this ulcer, if that's what it is. I am very happy because I am tired of feeling nauseous all day, everyday. It has impacted my weight so that I am at a low weight again, and I am having a hard time connecting with clients at work because I'm so focused on not throwing up. This has been a rough month physically and I am bummed because mentally I am so much healthier, and it would be nice to actually enjoy feeling stable and recovered from ED. I can't think of food to eat with everything causing sickness shortly after I finish eating whatever I try. So maybe the doctor will have a plan, and be kind enough to prescribe nausea medication to alleviate that symptom. I am only writing here to vent my frustrations, but thanks to anyone who reads this, and I will write tomorrow after I see my doctor.


I saw a doctor today and was finally given medication for nausea, so I am so happy and not feeling sick. I have to do a bunch of tests to rule out any cancer but it is 99% an ulcer based on my symptoms. The weight loss concerned the doctor a lot, and me too. Hopefully I heal up from this flare up and get back to my healthy, restored weight again by eating regular meals from now on. It was a little triggering to see the low number, and I had to brush off the ED thoughts telling me to stay at this weight and skip lunch, I did not. I know better than to do more than acknowledge those thoughts these days, but they did surface so I am using this forum to help process them. I have to get an endoscopy to see if it is really an ulcer, if not, it could be a number of gastroenteritis issues that could be from many years of off and on laxative abuse or restricting. Whatever it is, it just needs to repair itself so I can function enough to enjoy being ED free. Thanks for helping so many times with feedback.

S. Boewer

Hi S.Boewer-
I'm glad you were able to see a doctor and get a medication for the nausea. Hopefully this will allow some relief for you to be able to be engaged at work and just not feeling constantly ill. I can totally understand your frustrations around wanting to enjoy recovery without all of this physical health distress. And it sounds like things are on the right track. That's amazing that you were able to acknowledge ED thoughts trying to creep in and decide not to act on it-- truly shows how far you have come in your journey. I'm so proud of you-- thank you for sharing your wisdom, insight and victory over ED on this forum! <3


Hi and thanks for the supportive feedback. I am finally not nauseated at all and I can enjoy food again. I had a moment of, "oh no, don't put back the weight you lost being sick", when I was eating breakfast yesterday, but it passed and I ate. I'm hoping that my rib cage heals quickly (I really injured it when I passed out cold and fell straight backwards onto my side and back) so that I can start exercising again. I would like to feel fit, healthy, and strong again. Patience has never been my strongest attribute, but I'm working on it:) Thanks again for the encouragment, it means a lot.

Concerning Symptoms

s.boewer, although you are under the care of a physician, the symptoms you mentioned are very concerning.Because your post mentions health concerns, the following are just some of the signs of a serious problem that demands immediate medical attention:• accidentally or deliberately caused themselves a physical injury• become suicidal• confused thinking and is not making any sense• delusions (false beliefs) or hallucinations (experiencing things that aren’t there)• disoriented; doesn’t know what day it is, where they are or who they are• vomiting several times a day or has uncontrollable vomiting or diarrhea• experiencing dizziness or fainting spells• too weak to walk or collapses• painful muscle spasms• complaining of chest pain or having trouble breathing• blood in their bowel movements, urine or vomit• a body mass index (BMI) of less than 16• an irregular heartbeat, and fast heartbeat, or very low heart beat (less than 50 beats per minute)• cold or clammy skin indicating a low body temperature or has a body temperature of less than 35 degrees Celsius/95 degrees Fahrenheit or any other serious medical concerns.If you experience anything above, we highly recommend seeking medical attention as soon as possible. Another option is 911.Thank you, take care.  - NEDA moderators