Constipation in Recovery

Constipation in Recovery


lol yep you read that right. hahaha.


I received a question on my recovery instagram that stated " How did you deal with constipation - if you suffered". Before I begin I want to state that I am no professional in any terms. I am discussing what I have learned from my experience, my team, and my research. I would also like to say everyone's body and recovery is different.


To start off with answering this question I did suffer. I would also say that all the girls I was in residential with also suffered with constipation. Constipation in recovery is normal as well as unfortunate and really uncomfortable. Before I went to residential and I was in the state of "refeeding" my body I also experienced constipation.


Constipation in recovery happens because your body hasn't been fed properly. When you were in your eating disorder and not fully nourishing your body, it couldn't function properly. Your body is smart and it starts to shift things, slow down processes, and stop processes in order to survive.


One of the many things that happens in your eating disorder is your stomach shrinks, your metabolic rate drops, and your digestion slows down. Your stomach is slow in emptying and that causes the constipation, trapped gas, bloating, and abdominal pain you may experience.


Constipation needs are having enough fluids and eating enough fiber. This can be hard to do if you're at a residential treatment facility or if you don't have the ability to adjust your meal plan. If you're constipated I recommend talking to your doctor, nutritionist, or dietitian to help you with your meal plan or give you some supplements to help you digest more efficiently.


When I was in residential we spoke about our bowl movements a lot because all of us clients were in the same boat. Honestly speaking about it helped me because I didn't feel alone. Unfortunately the constipation in recovery is something that kind of just takes time but it will go away. You need to remember that your body is fixing itself from inside out and is learning to trust you again.


Once your body knows you're going to keep nourishing it properly it will be able to work properly again. Recommendations I have heard of or have been told throughout my processes are having adequate fluids, enough fiber in my diet (such as variety of grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables), eat meals and snacks 2-3 hours apart. If your diet isn't helping you can talk to your doctor and see about medications such as fiber supplements or stool softeners.


This is my story on the constipation and I hope it helps some of you! If you have any more questions on this feel free to message me. Also if you ever need to speak to someone or just bitch about your contraption i'm your girl. I know the pain.... literally.



No Retreat No Surrender. JR



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Jackie Rafferty

Jackie Rafferty