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Anorexia/Eating Disorders/Skin soreness when binge eating


Lauren wrote at 2008-02-29 04:04:26
I don't have an answer to your question, but I've definitely experienced a similar sensation after binge eating the night before. The ache seems underneath the skin, it almost makes me wonder if my body has quickly added a layer of fat from all the food I consumed, and the rapid change causes the uncomfortable soreness.

Sorry I don't have any answers, but you're not alone in your experience

Rachel wrote at 2008-05-19 17:56:14
Yes, I have the same problem.  I've gone to several doctors and none of them have ever heard of this, so it's so good to know that I'm not alone!  Have you had any luck figuring out what it is?  If you've made any progress I'd love to know about it because it's really getting to me that I can't figure out what's going on.

Sarah wrote at 2008-08-30 15:35:00
I, too, experience the same problem. This began 5 years ago after a vicious cycle of severely restricting my diet in an attempt to lose weight and then binge eating after "going without" for too long. Although I am happy to report that I no longer binge eat because I have improved my diet and have reached a healthy weight, I still experience horrible skin soreness after eating anything of substance. The only formula that holds true is the more food I eat, the more sore I get. The less food, the less sore. No food = no soreness. I have been on a search for the diagnosis - BUT NOTHING. Countless doctors (allergists, neurologists, rheumatologists, gastroenterologists), countless tests - But NOTHING. And no, it is not an allergy. I have worked with a nutritionist and allergist to isolate and remove different foods (glutens, processed foods, dairy, carbs, proteins, animal biproducts, you name it...) I have been on countless vitamin and herbal regimens...and nothing. I have turned to naturopathic options (acupunture, homeopathy, massage, detox)...and nothing. I have spent countless hours searching the internet to no avail. Now that I haven't suffered from an eating disorder in more than 3 years, I am left with a horrible side effect that I don't think will ever go away. I would love to hear from someone who may know what's going on.

Suz wrote at 2008-10-01 02:48:54
Hi there,

I posted an answer to the other question similar to yours about skin soreness, but I am not sure if they will publish that answer, or this one for that matter!

As a past compulsive under- and over-eater of 13 years, I have experienced the same thing (and am experiencing it right now because I ate two bowls of cereal after days of eating carb-less). Anyway, I have figured out my body pretty well and have come to this conclusion:

Water retention. The reason I am almost sure of this is for this reason: one pound of carb intake equals 500 calories while one pound of fat equals 3500 calories- so for every 500 calories of carbs you eat extra when you binge, you gain one pound of weight but...

One pound of carb weight/intake is 3 parts water to one part glucose. So when you "crash diet" or binge, you are changing your water ratio in your body very rapidy. And this causes the cells of the body to become sore with the extra water retention which occurred very rapidly after a binge.

So simply, one extra big bowl of cereal or bag of chips or box of doughuts (an increase of maybe 1000 calories) will result in 2 pounds of weight increase, but most of it is water. And that extra water goes straight to our poor little cells all the sudden, and causes soreness.

This, by the way, is also why crash dieters appear to lose pounds rapidly- but the pounds are really mostly water-weight. I guess that's okay to many of us eating-disordered people who just want to weigh what we want to weigh!

I hope that helps, and I hope they publish my answer so that you can see it. In the meantime, I am going to research ways to get rid of this sore water retention... perhaps a dieuretic or something.


tender touch wrote at 2009-06-29 01:45:56
This happens to me too.  I think it is from high levels of sugar and or salt taht cause water retention, thus the sensitivity.

sickofbeingsick wrote at 2009-09-06 02:09:20
i have been searching for years for an answer to this.... and along the way i have seen some great doctors who don't have a scientific answer for this but believe me when i say something is wrong. my immunologist, who has been on countless talk shows for immunologic and allergy issues said that since i restricted sugar/ refine carbs (white bread, cakes, flour, etc.) for so long that my body recognizes it as a poison and my immune systems starts going haywire when i eat it - thus my glands swell and my skin feels bruised all over and i feel like i have the flu. my reaction has become very acute over the years. five years ago it only used to happen when i would have a huge binge (after restricting for a few weeks or months) and i would then eat several desserts, chips, fried food, etc. the day before. in fact, i noticed it mostly after thanksgiving and christmas. then i started to really restrict and exercise a lot; losing 10 lbs. i lived this way w/ out sugar and refined carbs for 3-4 years aside from the occasional binge day that left my body feeling like a bruise and even my glands in my neck and underarms swollen. it got to a point in the last year that if i ate over 1100-1200 calories of ANYTHING the day before i would have the soreness so i was eating about 800 calories a day. so it is dangerous. the more you restrict the more you mess everything up. it makes sense that after we "cleanse" ourselves of sugar and refined carbs and then reintroducing it in mass quantities in one sitting by binging that we would get sick. if you look up sugar & poison on google you will see that we absolutely do not need it (it is a poison) and in fact we become exposed to it when we are young and build up a tolerance to it and that is the ONLY reason as humans we tolerate sugar. refined carbs turn into sugar too FYI. so take sugar away as we have and then try to introduce it again and bam. we react. for some reasons our body forgets how to metabolise it. i don't think this is the only answer as my stomach swells too after a binge and i literally gain 10 lbs of water for about 4 days. in the last 2 months i started eating steadily 1200 calories a day and stopped exercising due to a fractures on both heels, which i found out are as a result of osteoporosis. my endochrinologist is making me eat 1200 cals a day which i should be anyway, but wasn't because i would sick. unfortunately i likely got the osteoporosis by restricting food and over- exercising for too long. as a result of this behavior i lost my period, became malnutritioned, got osteoporosis AND this weird skin/ glands reaction. it's sad i did this to myself and i am only 33 years old. i never believed that i would do severe damage to myself with my disordered eating and compulsive exercising. but i was very wrong. so now not only does my skin feel like a bruise and i feel flu like the next day after eating even just pizza, i have severe osteoporosis, can't exercise and i'm gaining weight. i got up to 1200 calories a day by eating 800 cals of food and then eating the other 400 cals in glucerna and atkins bars (low sugar) to help build my body back up to eating this many calories without adding sugar so i wouldn't get the bruising feeling. then i slowly started replacing the bars with real food and now i am eating 1200 cals of real food. i went to a buffet dinner at an incredible restaurant and ate a lot of "bad" food and didn't have my reaction. i think it is possible to get over it. you just have to start slow. on occasion i still get it if i eat "bad" food, but it isn't as bad. plus the binges are less since i allow some "bad" food on occasion. i have gain 15 lbs, which i hate and i can't exercise, but at least the reaction is lessening. in any event, if you can find it in you to stop the disordered eating, suck up some weight gain and increase your caloric intake and slowly reintroduce carbs and sugar back in, you may lessen your reaction. by best to everyone!

Sarah wrote at 2010-04-04 16:48:03
Oh my gosh!! I've been suffering from this, it's horrible. I suffered from anorexia and got down to a dangerous low weight and after being taken to the doctors and my family keeping an eye on me, i rediscovered food again. It's such a terrible struggle as now i have regained weight and am in the healthy BMI range but the binging won't stop. What makes it worse is that i suffer from said side effects such as bad wind, smelly (sulphur) burps and painful flesh when i wake up the next morning. Its mostly in my stomach and in my back and neck and chest. It's HORRIBLE! Its good to hear about the water retention thing, and i agree that the less i eat the less it hurts, but i just want it to go away. I feel too ashamed of my problem to seek help from a doctor, so any advice people can give to relieve this pain would be very welcome (obviously i am makign all the efforts in the world to STOP myself from binging in the first place by the way).

Gaaah. wrote at 2011-04-26 00:16:31
I am searching for the answer to the same problem you all are. After I binge, or have day of 3 full meals, I begin to feel this tenderness start on my lower stomach, back, and love handles :( It makes me think that I am just getting fatter every moment. It can be so sensitive that is bothers me when I work out or even keeps me from doing it. I would love to find out why this happens, but I am glad I am not the only one who has this.

Laina wrote at 2012-02-15 19:25:48
Wow.  I've been searching for information on this topic for years, but never really found anything about it.  18 years ago I was on a very restrictive diet and lost about 40lbs.  Ever since then, I've developed this "soreness" that comes after binging, or eating super fattening foods.  The pain is mainly over my stomach, love handles and sides of my torso and lasts about a day or two.  Occasionally, when I've really eaten a ton, I'll feel it around my neck and shoulders.  The only way for me NOT to have this pain is to limit my calories and avoid carby things.

mcdee wrote at 2012-06-14 14:08:40
Its water retention.  Our fat cells store water when we eat carbs..that's why it hurts first in the areas with most fat..and the more we binge it starts to "overflow" into areas that have less fat cells.   Nice to know I'm not alone.  

Grace wrote at 2012-07-03 19:14:21
It is amazing to hear that there are other people out there experiencing the same thing!  I have struggled with eating issues in one form or another for many years- however for the past several years I have actually found some peace (relative peace, that is) keeping to a severely carb restricted diet, usually around 20-25 g of carbs per day.  When I binge once or twice a month, I wake up the next day feeling incredibly sore, swollen, and disgusting.  It's as if I can't even think straight, my mind seems hazy and dull. My body feels bruised all over, particularly my upper body, chest, arms, and back- sometimes the soreness even extends to the back of my head and neck.  I decided a while ago that this sensation is likely akin to a "water bruise" - the sudden onslaught of salt, sugar, and fat causes my body to retain so much fluid that my weight sometimes registers as 5-10 lbs. greater on the scale after 1 day of binging!  Eating any more than a trace amount of carbohydrates can produce this effect to some degree - it doesn't even have to be a "binge".  It is awful and I feel that I have pretty much screwed my body up beyond any hope of repair with my crazy eating!  I try to refrain from binging as much as possible (obviously) and luckily I am successful, most of the time - that is what allows me to carry on a fairly functional existence.  When I do loose control and binge however, it severely interferes with my life - I feel I cannot function the next day due to the terrible "hang over" I experience!

Hulaschmula wrote at 2012-07-22 12:54:06
I too suffer from this and could not believe the amount of people who endure the same sensation. Post sugar soreness...such a relief to know. Thank you for the enlightenment on the retention if water. Totally makes sense.

Ang wrote at 2012-08-13 03:10:58
It is like a weight has been lifted knowing that Im not the only one who experiences this, and that it's not incredibly rapid fat gain, as I had previously thought!

Sarah wrote at 2012-10-28 03:33:04
I had previously posted to this thread back in 2008. I truly wish that this condition is due to water retention, however, it is not the case for me. I have been living without an eating disorder for more than 5 years now. Haven't binged in just as long. I actually now eat very consistently and fairly healthy. Unfortunately, my soreness never goes away now.  It's with me always, regardless of how little or much I eat. Back 4 years ago when I posted on this thread, I was feeling incredibly helpless. At least now I know that I am not alone. I just wanted to thank all of you who posted here. Hopefully there will be a cure for this soon.  

rozypozylala wrote at 2012-12-09 23:43:18
Gosh, I typed this symptom into google thinking that I wouldn't have a hope in hell finding out was this weird 'post-binge' feeling was. Once I described it to my friend, confiding that once I'd had a massive binge, I could literally 'feel' my body getting fatter and that it hurt. She put it down to a psychological effect but I was sure it wasn't. Today I binged, really badly and basically started to feel my glands and shoulders hurt, my love handles and my arms ache so I thought to do some research. Thank you for your answers, it's great to read these things and I feel like it's really going to help me in the future. Needless to say I am trying.

LorettaMae wrote at 2013-01-21 18:03:38
I am glad I checked on here today.  I was agreeing out loud with so many of you!  I eat low cal, low carb, low sugar....however, if I have a "pig out" day, I know I will pay for it the next day.  I went home to my parents and ate desserts at a buffet, pizza, and more ice cream last night, because I wanted to get in every little bit of terrible food while I was allowing myself.  When I do this, I feel like I've been beat with a bag of oranges the next day.  My bra on my flesh was killer.  I also have a feeling of being sluggish and hungover!  I hate it, but have so much fun eating!  How can you just have a little sugar and carbs if you're going all out?  I can't.  I'm sure it's the sugar, and am pretty convinced it's the water overload in our cells.  That answer made a ton of sense.

Footprints wrote at 2013-02-07 13:01:17
Wow - I have been searching for a couple years on information about this but had come up with nothing. As you all said, it's nice to know you aren't alone. I have been dealing with binge eating for going on 10 years. Being a dietitian (ironic right?) who is supposed to "know better," it's been quite a struggle. I'm sure most of you have that Type-A perfectionist personality that fuels the fire. It is MUCH better now than it used to be, and my binges are a lot less destructive. However, I still get the urge and still get the feeling afterwords. I have told my husband about my sore skin the morning after a binge. It usually appears on me in the areas that women tend to store fat...backs of my arms, abdomen, thighs, and oddly enough, the back of my neck. I also have "cloudy pee." Even if I'm drinking enough water, my urine will be opaque. All of this stuff is evidence of the binging episode, so even if I am doing better the day after, I still have those subtle reminders. I have never thought about the water retention theory presented very thoroughly in an ealier post. It makes perfect sense. Regardless of the reason, I'm glad I could read about it on here. Best of luck to all of you - it's a long, tough road, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Angie wrote at 2013-03-01 16:38:50
It's called non-specific edema. And it comes from water retention due to high sodium intake.  

browneyes87 wrote at 2013-05-04 00:16:00
Hi everyone,

I had been searching for the answer to this for 4 years, during which I was restricting my calories and experiencing what everyone has described after a day of binge eating - soreness, extreme bloating, headaches, a hangover-like feeling. During my most restrictive days, I'd experience this even after a day of eating like a normal person, like 1500+ calories for the entire day (I was averaging about 900/day - I know, so awful.) No doctors could help me. After searching online for so long, I finally found the answer on the Your Eatopia website:

As a poster above said, it's called edema. But is isn't necessarily related to high sodium intake. It's actually your body trying restore itself. You know how if you twist your ankle, it becomes sore and swells up? That's your body's way of making you stay off it while it heals. This is what happens when you restrict your calories for too long - your body is "injured" from the restriction of much needed calories, and wants to use those extra calories you "binged" on to heal itself. The swelling is water, and the soreness is your body wanting you to lay off exercise and activity while it heals. The website explains it much better, but that's a very short summary of it.

PLEASE read the website that I posted above if you are experiencing this. It's a wonderful explanation and I believe it saved my life. I've started increasing my daily calorie intake and no longer experience edema after a very large meal. The edema will never stop happening if you continue to restrict. And "restrict" can mean anything under 2,000 calories per day. Also search "Minnesota Starvation Experiment" if you're looking for a full study on this.

Note: I have no affiliation with Your Eatopia, I just truly believe in the studies and information on the website and it saved me a from being miserable for the rest of my life.  

Erika wrote at 2013-05-24 17:50:02
Oh my gosh, I went out of town with family and friends and I ate three or four normal sized meals. I have been really restrictive for the past few years, eatingmostly fruits and vegetables, adding to around 500 calories per day, give or take. The morning after I ate, which was yesterday, I developed this huge uncolored skin bruise! It made me want to cry because it hurt so much. I feel so sorry for all you people who have had this same problem, though I am glad I am not alone! This thread was sooo informative, thank you all so much for the answers I was looking for!

Rede wrote at 2013-06-08 12:36:13
I found this thread by searching for neck pain associated with over eating, but I do not think I have the same problem as anyone else really. I have been on and off ( mostly on) restrictive diets for years now but because I get too anxious counting calories, I don't exactly know how much I eat sometimes and I tend to over eat too almost knowingly but with reproach and distance to what I'm doing. Lately though, these spurts of bingeing have lead to a strange pain in the back-right area of my neck. They could easily be diagnosed as from sleeping in an uncomfortable position, but I have found this startling correlation with eating too much the day/night before and having this pain in the morning. They feel exactly like some strange pinching sensation that seem to be caused by sleeping in a strange way possibly because I was already uncomfortable from eating too much or from exercising more excessively the night before trying to somehow compensate but then, when I don't do much strenuous work prior to bed and don't even feel that uncomfortable, it still happens to the point that I can predict the night before that when I wake up, it will be with this pinching sensation in my neck and it has become a sign for me that I defiantly have gone over. It started over a year or so ago from what I can remember or at least has gained prevalence over that time( though I have had soreness like this associated with simply sleeping strangely) and just today, even though I don't think I over ate yesterday but defiantly had a lot of diet soda, including diet rite which advertises how it does not use any aspartame and is not usually on my palette, I have this feeling again. I can't say it's from how I slept because I did not feel uncomfortable when I went to bed at all and don't think I slept any differently, and the pain ( not that it is anything more than annoying) is too concentrated and prevelent to be unprovoked I feel, but it seems so strane and i want to know why it is happening, or why I am sleeping strangely when I have too much sugar or something yet can't even tell the night before.

Mia wrote at 2013-06-23 21:13:16

Thank you so much for all the posted information. I have been struggling with soarness for 3 years now and was unable to find a proper explanation and everyone thought it was just my imagination. After episodes of a "healthy" calorie intake of low fat, low sugar, i binge twice a month leaving me with inablity to handle normal daily stuff and work. Soarness is so intense that apart from all the simptoms which were already described above, there are incredible gases as well as urine color change and smell. I am 29 and also cannot believe what have i done to my body (being bulimic for 7 years and eating "healthy" for the last 2 years) and am really happy to realize i am not alone although i do not wish this condition to anyone. Water retention makes a lot of sense but am still not sure how to restrict from binge eating once in a while and how to start eating regulary and proper food to minimise the soarness. Could those of you who succeeded to aleviate it please post your experiences ?

Thank you so much

AE wrote at 2013-07-31 15:02:09
It is such a relief hearing that this happens to so many other people.  I know rationally that the problem that causes subQ tenderness I feel in my stomach and sides the morning after m&m binges (yes, it's almost invariably m&m's when I need them...) is not the binges but the eating disorder calorie restriction that I make my body suffer through the rest of the time.  When I followed the link above and read "no, your metabolism is not broken; it's doing what it's supposed to do to keep you alive" I started to cry.  I'm sure many of you know, like I do, that it's good to feed your body with the calories it needs to avoid turning to breaking substrates like heart muscle to function, but it's so hard when you're rewarded for your efforts to be bigger than your eating disorder with the sensation that you can _feel yourself getting fatter_ each time you fill a day with the calories your body is asking for.  I try to feel good about that sensation, like my body is feeding on the nutrients it's starving for and becoming heartier and stronger, but it's such a difficult battle sometimes!

Thank you, everyone, for sharing your stories and making me a little bit stronger.

NPaige wrote at 2013-11-20 06:09:22
Hi everyone!  I attempt to balance my diet and stay fit like everyone else here, eating 1200-2000 calories per day (depending on my mood, schedule, and cravings, of course) and try to work out every day... Okay maybe more like 4 days/week if I'm lucky.  I've been experiencing this same skin soreness after, say, drinking 5 beers in a night or eating a half container ice cream or not working out for a few days.  I've asked doctors and friends about this and everyone looks at me like I'm crazy. I'm not, because it is real and it actually does hurt and it makes me wonder if it's an indicator of a deeper health problem.   Anyway, I'm a statistician by profession, so if anyone experiencing these symptoms would be interested in participating in a clinical study, I would be interested in leading one.  

browneyes87 wrote at 2013-11-20 22:39:28
In response to Mia above, the only way I was able to get rid of the soreness was to start eating 2000+ calories a day EVERY day until my body was at a happy weight and realized I was going to feed it enough. You will feel the soreness for a while - the time frame is different for everyone, but it was a few weeks for me until it went away.

Yes, I gained weight, but I no longer have to worry about those debilitating symptoms after overeating. Being super skinny isn't worth the damage that dieting does to your body. Hope this helps.

CuriousChild89 wrote at 2014-04-23 14:19:15

The water retention makes so much sense, I have been struggling with this for about a decade now, on and off severity because I have bouts of binge eating.  It only happens to me when I heavily outdo myself with overeating, and I feel sore/swollen in places I gain weight faster.  It is definitely a relief to know that others experience this, I thought I was a loner for so long!  

NPaige, I would be interested in doing a study if you are still interested as well!  I know this post is kind of late but I am very intrigued by how bodies handle this type of symptom!

JMo wrote at 2014-09-23 13:03:47
I too suffer from the same problem. I have eaten a paleo lifestyle, and when I "pig out" I ALWAYS suffer from the pain. It is mostly under my arms and on my stomach, and it takes about a day to not be sore. The scale is usually off the charts, which is why I threw it out with the garbage. I've never had a BMI lower than 18, but I still struggle when I have these sugar or carb overload days. The depression and brain fog are the worst, but I really like this excerpt below:

When you twist your ankle badly it swells up and it hurts. These are symptoms of healing. The swelling is water retention and the pain is the reaction of the tissues to that swelling that signals you to stay off the ankle and rest.

The water retention in recovery is fluid being retained in areas where a whole mess of damage is being cleaned up and removed by all those fabulous cells dedicated to the task. The fluid actually speeds up the process because things travel faster in and out that way.

Think of it as your own personal City of Venice and all the damaged, overworked, cells that have been on shift for months (because restriction means no back-up cells are available to takeover) are now hopping on the gondola and heading out for retirement (finally).

And the sore is the body's way of trying to keep you immobileóitís a bit harder for the gondolas to do their job if you either flush all the water away with diuretics or you decide to ignore the pain and slosh everything all over the place instead.

Sore is the signal to rest.

That swelling is a badge of healing honor.

You do not want to try to make the water retention go away because with it will go the healing process as well.


mesh wrote at 2014-10-01 21:13:03
Everyone....GO VEGAN! High-carb, low-fat VEGAN! Saves your life! Please, I beg you all who suffer from distorted eating to look into it! My anorexia feels cured because of this lifestyle! Read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell as well as The 80/10/10 Diet by Douglas N. Graham. Also check out this amazing woman's Youtube channel:

Kat wrote at 2014-11-21 17:11:54
For the first time in my life I talked to someone about this. I tell my husband everything and I forced myself to tell him about the pain. I told him my flesh hurt and I could feel the calories and fat I ingested depositing on the fattiest parts of my body.I told him I was scared it was diabetes.

I have been ashamed and embarrassed about weight/bingeing/dieting since I got into this miserable cycle 18 years ago. Finding this forum and reading what you all have said is like finding the family you have been searching for your whole life.  

April wrote at 2014-11-23 20:10:20
I have had an eating disorder ever since I can remember, and I am currently 65 yrs old....I have been wanting to ask someone about the soreness that I feel after a night of eating/drinking more than I usually 'allow' myself...I have never asked anyone about this condition and today is the first time that I have tried to find out any answers. So much to my surprise I am not alone, and I cried when I read some of your remarks....this is something that I live with every day of my life and I am so very tired of struggling with food. And especially when I eat like a 'normal' person would eat I know that the next day I am going to be 'sore' all over. It gets me in my sides, breasts, and sides of thighs...thank you all for your responses and knowing that it is real and I am not crazy.

ene wrote at 2015-01-06 15:02:35
Found my way here by searching bodyaches after food binges. My pain is not a bloated feeling or my skin. It feel deep in my bones or muscles, like the flu. Mine is mostly after waking up the next day. My back pain is the worst and I usually have none. Just wondered what it was =/

ABird wrote at 2015-01-19 20:36:17
Oh my goodness! I have been trying to find out why I felt 'bruised' all over for years! It is so reassuring to know that I was not the only one who has this! It makes complete sense with the water retention explanation! :-)  

Lee Bloom wrote at 2015-04-08 11:08:20
I have also experienced this on a few occasions. I believe it is caused by the diminished production of stomach acid caused by long term undereating, along with under stimulated digestive enzymes. This combination results in delayed and laboured digestion of the food you've consumed. The body gets used to managing food relative to your usual intake, so a rapid increase in the calories and mass of your food stresses the system momentarily. This aggravation also results in gastritis (inflammation/irritation of the stomach lining) which should dissipate after either you return to normal eating habits or your food intake normalises at a higher calorie/food variety intake.

It is like system shock in my understanding. Your system is starving and wants the food but has diminished ability to digest it due to being abused previously...

These are just my thoughts... I've had an ED now for almost 20 years and done a great deal of personal expiration and research, but am no professor or doctor so this is plainly and simply my voiced opinion. ☺️

Hope you are doing well with recovery.


Rally wrote at 2015-05-21 03:09:57
I am so glad I found this thread. It makes me so sad to read everyone's comments because I can relate 100% to how a lot of you are feeling. I am unfortunately suffering from this soreness today... I binged last night; chips, chocolate, lollies. And now I am paying for it. My skin feels very tender, especially in my lower back, inner thighs and stomach. My face is very swollen and it almost seems like I can't fully open my eyes. Hopefully the next time I get the urge to binge I remember this terrible feeling and can resist the urge!

Jori Marie wrote at 2015-07-07 02:29:03
Hi everyone I also suffered from anorexia and many years of binge eating. I found out that I don't have an allergy but an intolerance to vaso- active amine rich foods. These foods effect your pancreas. Since I have cut out these foods I have not had a problem since. I did attempt to eat a few foods twice now and both times had body aches for almost 48hrs. If you do go out and eat these foods and want to avoid the hangover there is a natural tablet called borage oil. Apparently when you have problems with your pancreas it is usually caused from trust issues. I also suffer from anxiety but am still working on that problem. I hope this helps some of you! You can find a list of vaso-active amines online. I found that the three worst foods for me are tomato, vinegar and cheese.

Kai wrote at 2015-08-10 10:52:24
I have food sensitivities and some Auto-Immune issues. When eating the "wrong things" I can accumulate up to 12 pounds of extra water in my body over 24 hours and at times even got bleeding stretch marks on my belly!

So my advice would be:

1. Food sensitivity test (not allergies but the combination of foods)

2. No red meat and for sure no pork


Lindsey wrote at 2016-05-21 19:22:15
I get this as well. I have looked into what causes it; sugar, salt, glucose, lactose etc. I was tested for glucose and lactose intolerance and was free from those so it isn't that. I have been keeping track of when this happens and what I have eaten for that to happen. As a bodybuilder/bikini competitor, I have gone through minor edema which is terrible swelling and water retention under the skin which I like to call "post competition edema". A lot of the time we go without sugar and sodium for days and stick to clean foods (non-processed). As soon as we add processed foods that are loaded in sodium and sugar, our body holds onto water causing water retention and this is what hurts our skin and joints. So when you are going for days eating very little, nothing or just very clean then add a bunch of crap food your body holds onto water making your skin hurt. If you wake up with prints of your sheets on your body or if you press your skin and it more of less has a quick vibrating motion, this could be water retention. Try drinking dandelion root tea or taking the pills (I would take 2 pills 3 times a day), asparagus is a natural diuretic so eat it, drink tones of water to flush your system, do activity to sweat (even run wearing sweat pants and a hoodie to sweat as much as possible), sit in a sauna or very hot bath, Epsom Salt in the bath will help. I even will turn to fat burners and black coffee as long as you drink tones of water. I hope this helps!

Katie wrote at 2016-11-18 16:48:06
I have been dealing with something similar for the past 4/5 years.

Having been diagnosed with anorexia in my mid teens and struggling on and off (with periods of relapse and periods of normal eating - over eating) for more than a decade now, this edema response to food consumption has been one of the worst possible things that I've had to face.

In the beginning, if I ate a little more than expected, my hands would get a little puffy and my face would swell along with a temperature spike (night sweats). It then progressed to the pain beneath the skin, extreme exhaustion (I'm at work now and it's taking all my energy to focus on typing so that I don't fall asleep), swelling throughout my entire body (face, legs, hands, stomach, torso, chest, back, gums etc), nausea etc. It seems to be in response to higher carb intakes and foods that are overly processed and/ore high i sugar.

I've seen specialist after specialist and have been tested for everything imaginable. Everything always comes up clear. Bloodwork always comes up clear (aside for some protein deficiencies and mineral/vitamin deficiencies). I have been up front and honest about my eating disorder at all times throughout this.

What frustrates me to no end is that I've read about these symptoms time and time again, especially within the context of eating disorders (and not just during re-feeding/when the patient is drastically underweight), but often during the weight restored phase, usually female and usually 19+...despite anecdotes about this symptom list being everywhere, there hasn't been one doctor who has heard of what I (we) experience. Most looked at me like I had grown a third eye or was crying wolf. And when I mention my eating disorder, they ask if I'm within the healthy range for my height, gender and age, I tell them yes and they say then it can't be because of my eating disorder....I'm weight restored.

I've seen 2 Gastroenterologists, A Gastro-Surgeon, 2 Allergists, 2 Internists, An Endocrinologist, 1 Immunologist, 2 Naturopaths, 2 different GP's, Doctor who specializes in Nephrology, Psychiatrist (one that I was seeing at the time was informed of the symptoms and aware of my eating disorder), Cardiologist, Reumatologist, as well as my therapist.

Right now I'm waiting to see another allergist in December and trying to get an appointment to see a Hematologist as well.

Still nothing has been found really except for lingering deficiencies. But everything else is perfect....electrolytes are always normal (despite laxative abuse), thyroid is normal.

I don't know what to do at this point. I'm so tired of dealing with this and I'm fed up. I don't want to live the rest of my life hiding myself away because I can't trust my body, I feel exhausted and either in pain or extremely uncomfortable 90% of the time.

I don't know if my experience is a little different than others on here, but, not only do I get the under the skin pain and water retention, I also get the fully body swelling where I can seriously gain upwards of 15+ pounds in a mere 24 hours.

Anyway....I just wanted to share. I think I'm going to start researching and saving threads like this to present to my GP so that she understands that this isn't something that's unheard of.

I guess what frusrtates me the most is that I am always 100% honest with the doctors and health practitioners I see. I never hide anything...and being able to do that has been extremely difficult and has taken a lot of support. The callousness with which many of the people that I've seen treat mental health and eating disorders astounds me......

Jeannette wrote at 2017-02-20 12:34:41
I am so grateful to have found this! I've suffered for years with this inexplicable pain! I know this is an old thread, but I'm hoping that we're all still poking around here.

I wanted to mention, and see if anyone else has experienced this too, that the pain seems more concentrated in my "fat spots", like where I used to carry the weight- thighs, buttocks, backs of the arms; and really BAD flare ups hurt the skin of the abdomen, back, love handles and twice actually hurt up to my jaw.

I'm hoping to find a cure for this; to restore our quality of life; any responses are appreciated!

healingheart wrote at 2017-02-22 11:53:39
Hi all,

I just about want to cry with relief because I thought I was having freak symptoms. I just had a bout of binging and feel so bloated and get marks on my skin from anything pressed up even lightly against it. Realizing this has to do with water retention and the imbalance of sugar and salt is a game changer. Right now I have such a strong ache in my shoulders I couldn't sleep. I always experience cold/flu like symptoms of aches and zero energy after a heavy binge. I realize now the hell that my body must be going through internally. :/ it's not just throwing in the towel for a minute and accepting to gain a few pounds at the price of a binge, i am really straining my normal healthy functioning body that I take for granted until I experience these symptoms.

Rooting for us all! I hope studies are made about this because I wish I had understood the side affects more, it's not just a simple calorie game.  

Anorexia/Eating Disorders

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I am a medical student and have suffered from anorexia and bulimia myself, I am willing to answer questions based on my own experiences. My advice, however, should not be used as a substitute for that of a qualified medical professional.


I suffered from anorexia from the age of about 10. By the age of 13 I was suffering from bulimia. Now after 10 years of suffering from an eating disorder, I feel that I can say that I'm well on my way with recovery and would just like to be able to share what I have learned with those in similar situations!

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