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Why Does Eating Make Me Feel Sick?

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 12 Dec 2019 | comments*Discuss
 
Eating Food Pain Health Upset Stomach

Q.

I am a 15 year old female. Since about 6 months ago, I didn't eat as much and it slowly got worse, to the point where I would only have one or two small snacks or nothing at all to eat a day.

Then whenever I ate I threw up. I didn't make myself throw up but after I did throw up it felt better and I occasionally made myself sick. I don't have any issues with my weight. I am very sporty anyway and I don't usually think about whether I'm fat or not. I just really don't like the feel of food in my stomach and I don't like the feel of it going down my throat.

I spoke to a teacher at school and we have tried something that includes me having breakfast every day. I have done this for the last two weeks. I have researched Bulimia and anorexia and I don't think that the amount I eat and the way I feel about food has much to do with my opinion on my weight. If you could give me any hint in the right direction that would be great.

(E.W, 27 October 2009)

A.

Your description of what you eat, small snacks or going full days without food, combined with the sporty lifestyle you describe is worrying because it is very likely that you are not feeding your body enough fuel to keep going through all of the activities you ask of it. You say that your diet is not related to trying to lose weight but rather down to the way that you feel after eating, or the way that food feels as you chew and swallow. It is great that you discussed the situation with a teacher, but it doesn't sound as though these sensations have lessened in the time that you have forced yourself to eat breakfast every day. It is now imperative that you see a doctor about your physical complaints.

There could be any number of underlying health reasons that you do not feel well after eating. For example, a food allergy could be the culprit for an upset stomach after eating certain foods, or an excess of junk food and fizzy drinks may have made you feel lethargic after eating. An upset stomach after eating could also be linked to heartburn, a digestive disorder, Irritable Bowel Syndrome or even an ulcer. Explaining the kind of pain you have in your stomach after eating will help your doctor narrow down if there might be a physical cause of this pain and if further testing is required.

Your description of not liking the sensation of swallowing food should also be shared with your doctor. It might be that you have an underlying health concern here, or it could be that you have aversions to certain foods or textures of foods. However, your strong reaction to the feeling of swallowing food - to avoid eating it all together - is neither healthy nor sustainable. Your body requires fuel to grow and remain strong so you must find a way to feed your body the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that it requires to flourish.

Seeing a teacher about your food and eating concerns was a great first step. Now continue on towards finding the right answer by discussing your situation with a medical professional. Your parents or the teacher you originally trusted would be great starting points for contacting a GP.

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im a 29 year old woman who has difficulties eating food.. to clarify; i have always been a picky eater ever since early childhood.. however as i got older it got worse.. now im 29 and there's alot of food that makes me gag as soon as it hits my tongue.. even sometimes food that i actually like make me wanna gag after eating it for a while and cant get myself to swallow the food and I have to drink something to get it down.. it has lead to me living an unhealthy lifestyle as pizza, burgers and such dont seem to trigger this. now its at a point where im at 350 pounds and i am so ashamed of my body, it made me depressed.. i dont want to live like this and when i can eat regularly i do, but it only last for a month or so and then food starts to make me wanna gag again. i want to be able to eat normally and lose weight but this problem with food makes it very difficult. anyone knows what this is?
DarthPikachu - 12-Dec-19 @ 6:17 PM
I am 23 years old female I have 3 children when I got pregnant with my 3 year old I could eat anything cooked one bite and I felt nauseous so I only ate oranges and cereal I thought it would go away after I had him but it didn't its not that food disgusts me or I don't want to eat its just hot cooked meal especially meat make me nauseous I'm not sure if I have an eating disorder or somethings wrong with me Somedays I can eat a home cooked meal then others I feed my kids and get into my snack stash after they go to bed usually consisting of chips or fruits. If anyone knows or can help please do.
Shayanne - 9-Dec-19 @ 4:53 AM
I experience something very similar to this; normally I’m a healthy eater but I will get stuck in these ‘pits’ where everything I eat tastes disgusting, the action of chewing makes me nauseous, and I can’t swallow without water. A large part of the swallowing issue for me is because during these times I get a very dry ‘tacky’ feeling mouth and I don’t produce saliva while chewing. I usually try to power through it with a lot of smoothies, Gatorade, etc, and making myself swallow three spoons of peanut butter with every meal. Sometimes the peanut butter makes me throw up but at least I know I tried. What usually helps me through is eating small things like sunflower seeds and the time period of opening the shell to get to the seed will let the nausea ease up. Other things I will do are get plain dry Cheerios, because they are the most ‘tasteless’ food you’re going to find and eat those dry one at a time over a long period of time. Hope this helps- good luck!
Flyingso - 13-Jun-19 @ 5:40 AM
Recently I havnt been eating a lot but when I look at food or eat food I feel very sick and want to throw up . I don’t want to think I have an eating disorder but many of my friends think I do
Littlestttt - 19-May-19 @ 11:36 PM
Alright so, I'm only 12 years old. For the past month or so I haven't really been eating the best. I don't eat breakfast, lunch, and barely dinner. I don't know why, I just don't. My family is concerned but like I said I just don't eat. It's gotten to the point where just thinking of food makes me want to throw up. Nothing sounds appealing anymore, not even my favorite food. Anyways, any idea of what's wrong or what I should do???
Alyssa - 15-Oct-18 @ 4:22 AM
i’m 13 about to term 14 and i’m fine eating except recently when i see dinner i start to feel sick and not hungry i can’t even look at my food i am active but not strongly. sometimes i wonder if i am fat. i don’t consider myself fat but i would like to loose weighti have breakfast a few snacks and then a sandwich biscuit and fruit for day i eat my 5 a day it’s just dinner that makes me feel sick if it was smaller it might make me fell better but overall it just makes me feel really sick
baboon - 12-Sep-18 @ 8:02 PM
@Monse - you really need to see a doctor. You have to be careful as the less you eat the more difficult it becomes. The help you need is medical and counselling in order to stop the anxiety you are feeling. It is the anxiety that is the root cause :(
MissyF - 10-Jul-18 @ 3:32 PM
I need help but I can’t find anything that I have on the internet. I’m afraid to eat because I have emetophobia (the fear of throwing up) and I’m afraid if I eat then I’ll throw up . It hit so bad one time that I didn’t eat for 1 week straight . I only drank water . Now it’s getting a lot better and I’m eating more but since my body is not used to having food in my stomach I get scared it will make me throw up . So Everytime I’m done eating I start to think about throwing up and I get scared I’m going to throw up even though I know I’m not and it eventulkay causes me to feel sick but the thing is , I don’t even feel nauseated I juts think I’m going to vomit . I can’t find anyone here who relates to me or anything on google . But I need help . It making me think that after every meal I’m going to feel nauseated so it makes me not want to eat even more . But i know I have to so I just eat . I try to eat small meals so I won’t be afraid but it doesn’t really work . I don’t know what to do . PLEASE HELP ME !!
Monse - 10-Jul-18 @ 1:54 AM
I am a 14 going on 15 year old female. It seems here recently I am disgusted by food. Like I look at it and juat want to vomit. I have never made myself throw up because honestly I hate it (throwing up). It gets worse when I have an depression episode. I have days where I can't look at food without feeling the need to throw up then there are day I essentially binge. I hate being this way and it's not like I can just go on hunger strikes without my family noticing. They are aware of my depression and I don't need another label put on me. I hate doctors so I refrain from telling my doctor. I just don't need to give them more reasons to worry.
Dan - 16-Jan-18 @ 4:49 PM
I've been struggling with bulemia since I was 17. Lately it had gotten really bad, but I really didn't want to go into the hospital. About two weeks ago there was an abrupt switch where instead of craving food and binging, I started hating food and being incredibly adverse to eating almost anything for fear of binging and purging. I had to force myself to eat anything and that slowly. And I especially can't stand the thought of eating if I feel hungry or eating things i like because i'm afraid of binging. I've been waking up in the middle of the night and morning starving but still can't make myself eat more than a few nuts. Plus every time I eat anything now I feel I'll though without the urge to throw up. I'm overweight and not focused on my weight or counting calories(though the fact i'm loosing weight makes me feel reluctant to stop) so my therapist says I'm not becoming anorexic. Besides that I can't seem to find anything about this online. Wtf is going on with me? And what do I do about it? I'm kind of confused.
Rsf - 13-Sep-17 @ 6:04 PM
I've been struggling with bulemia since I was 17. Lately it had gotten really bad, but I really didn't want to go into the hospital. About two weeks ago there was an abrupt switch where instead of craving food and binging, I started hating food and being incredibly adverse to eating almost anything for fear of binging and purging. I had to force myself to eat anything and that slowly. And I especially can't stand the thought of eating if I feel hungry or eating things i like because i'm afraid of binging. I've been waking up in the middle of the night and morning starving but still can't make myself eat more than a few nuts. Plus every time I eat anything now I feel I'll though without the urge to throw up. I'm overweight and not focused on my weight or counting calories(though the fact i'm loosing weight makes me feel reluctant to stop) so my therapist says I'm not becoming anorexic. Besides that I can't seem to find anything about this online. Wtf is going on with me? And what do I do about it? I'm kind of confused.
Rsf - 13-Sep-17 @ 2:58 PM
John - Your Question:
My girlfriend (16) has been making herself throw up after meals, she told me this about 3 months ago and said it had been going on for about 5 months (8 now). she says it's because she feels like she just has to get the food out of her body, and she cant feel okay again until she throws it up. she eats an average amount at mealtimes, she doesnt diet, or exercise excessively. Im unsure of how often it happens, from my understanding most days after dinner and some days after lunch. she doesnt want to go and get help and I dont want to force her to, what should I do?

Our Response:
If your friend or relative has an eating problem, they will eventually have to get professional help from a doctor, practice nurse, or a school or college nurse. Please see link here which will tell you further how you can help.
EatingDisorderExpert - 21-Apr-17 @ 2:36 PM
My girlfriend (16) has been making herself throw up after meals, she told me this about 3 months ago and said it had been going on for about 5 months (8 now). she says it's because she feels like she just has to get the food out of her body, and she cant feel okay again until she throws it up. she eats an average amount at mealtimes, she doesnt diet, or exercise excessively. Im unsure of how often it happens, from my understanding most days after dinner and some days after lunch. she doesnt want to go and get help and i dont want to force her to, what should i do?
John - 21-Apr-17 @ 10:22 AM
I'm 13 years old and for some reason, for the past couple weeks each time I've eaten something, I've felt extremely nauseous after. I haven't thrown up from it and I'm still eating, but I don't like the feeling I have after I eat. I'm worried to tell my mom because I don't want her to worry, but I'm starting to have second thoughts.
ali - 6-Mar-17 @ 8:10 PM
Sophie- Your Question:
I am 13 years old and for the past 2 weeks anytime I have eaten I feel sick. I feel like I'm going to throw up but I've never thrown up from it. I've been starving myself for about 4 days now and have been refusing to eat. The only thing I have eaten is a little part of biscuit. which also made me feel sick. My friends try to make me eat but I just hate doing it. One of my friends have told me I might be anorexic. So I looked up some symptoms and I have a lot of them. I don't want to tell my family because I don't want them to be worried. I can't go to the doctors without my mum knowing so I'm completely stuck. I have been feeling quite down lately and just feeling like crap. I think I'm going to go to a counselling thing they do at my school. But. should I go to a doctor?

Our Response:
Yes, you should go to a doctor, as you do not want the situation to get out of hand. Starving yourself is not healthy, therefore you need to act quickly and speak to someone in the first instance that you can trust. A school counsellor will be able to give you guidance and advice for both this and your feelings.
EatingDisorderExpert - 11-Jan-17 @ 12:52 PM
I am 13 years old and for the past 2 weeks anytime I have eaten I feel sick. I feel like I'm going to throw up but I've never thrown up from it. I've been starving myself for about 4 days now and have been refusing to eat. The only thing i have eaten is a little part of biscuit... which also made me feel sick. My friends try to make me eat but I just hate doing it. One of my friends have told me I might be anorexic. So I looked up some symptoms and I have a lot of them. I don't want to tell my family because I don't want them to be worried. I can't go to the doctors without my mum knowing so I'm completely stuck. I have been feeling quite down lately and just feeling like crap. I think I'm going to go to a counselling thing they do at my school. But... should I go to a doctor?
Sophie - 10-Jan-17 @ 10:58 PM
I am 13 years old and I usually do eat a lot during the day and I'm pretty average sized for a 13 year old girl and for about a week now I haven't been as hungry lately and I have mainly just been eating a couple of fruits and I ate yesterday an actual meal and I wasn't hungry or craved the food but I ate it anyway because at night for this whole week That I haven't been hungry my stomach growls and it hurts me (not in a stomach ache type of way) so I ate the food because I forced myself to. Today I made a samwhich and I usually love these samwhiches and finish one and I'm still hungry and I took about two whole bites and loved it but then midway through the samwhich I started getting disgusted by the food and It hurt to eat the samwhich, my stomach was hurting just like the way it was at night the whole week when my stomach growled, so I stopped eating the samwhich and just trashed it. Then later on in the day I went to go eat sushi which I love and I ordered the same thing I always do and I couldn't eat it I just took one bite and loved it but then as I was trying to eat the next sushi roll I got disgusted and started gagging but I didn't throw anything up but this time my stomach didn't hurt. I have thought about anorexia before and wanted to starve myself but I still ended up eating well and I never have become anorexic and when I thought about it I would still eat a lot just not as much but I was depressed at the time but I never was diagnosed with anorexia or ever saw a doctor because it wasn't anything, that was about one and a half years ago, my parents didn't know because I never actually become anorexic I just thought about it. I have been really happy lately and haven't thought about anorexia and I don't know why I'm not hungry and why every time I try to eat a meal I start to gag and my stomach begins to hurt. I, getting kinda worried and don't think I'm anorexic because I'm not trying to be or anything because I'm happy the way I look, and the way my body looks
s - 6-Jan-17 @ 7:21 AM
Diana - Your Question:
I have a similar issue as this individual above. I am 18 years old and do not like the feeling of food in my stomach and just generally in body. However, I do not vomit from it, but if the feeling of disgust remains for a while I will throw up the food by purging. I do not hate the general taste of food, I only hate it after swallowing it. It is strange as I do not currently have any self-esteem issues regarding my weight. Yet, I did for a couple years between the ages of 12 and 16. During those years I was on and of on starving, binging and purging behaviour. I do not have the same views about my body and food I used to, and have been recovering (alone as I did not see a professional regarding these habits to help with), but recently I have been increasingly feeling disgusted with food inside me as I feel like it weighs me down or I tend to feel suffocated and disgusted from it.

Our Response:
If you have been feeling these sensations for a while and involved previously in vomiting and purging then I really do suggest your GP. This is not standard behaviour and feelings, therefore you need help to address this problem before it gets out of hand.
EatingDisorderExpert - 20-May-16 @ 1:54 PM
I have a similar issue as this individual above. I am 18 years old and do not like the feeling of food in my stomach and just generally in body. However, I do not vomit from it, but if the feeling of disgust remains for a while I will throw up the food by purging. I do not hate the general taste offood, I only hate it after swallowing it. It is strange as I do not currently have any self-esteem issues regarding my weight. Yet, I did for a couple years between the ages of 12 and 16. During those years I was on and of on starving, binging and purging behaviour. I do not have the same views about my body and food I used to, and have been recovering (alone as I did not see a professional regarding these habits to help with), but recently I have been increasingly feeling disgusted with food inside me as I feel like it weighs me down or I tend to feel suffocated and disgusted from it.
Diana - 19-May-16 @ 10:19 PM
I am twenty, and I have been called fussy all my life, but some foods actually make nauseous or actually gag/throw up. Melted cheese and milk, pasta, most sauces, spicy food, some fruits, most green veg. I can taste and smell way more than the average person. Bland food is very tasteful to me. I only really drink water but can taste the difference from tap to tap. The closest I've found to my symptoms are hypergeusia or HSPS (Highly sensitive person syndrome) but they don't quite fit. It's really effecting my life and I just wanna know what it is?
Airam - 28-Mar-16 @ 10:34 AM
mads - Your Question:
I am 24 years old and I suffered from eating disorders in high school. Now that I am older, I love the taste of food, but due to my anxieties, the thought of chewing and swallowing food completely grosses me out and I have a very weak stomach, so digestion is a sore subject for me too. I just want to know what it is called to be repulsed by chewing and digestion(others chewing/digestion and my own chewing/digestion). No one seems to know how to categorize me, making it harder for my doctors to help me. Please help.

Our Response:
It depends on what the cause of your dislike for swallowing is - it could be an anxiety disorder, or if it is the fear of the act of swallowing, then this would be categorised as a different condition. Likewise if your eating food stems from fears about physically digesting food, it makes it more difficult to diagnose your condition and where that condition stems from. Therefore, it really is something you should continue to talk to your GP about directly as he/she will be able to refer you to the appropriate specialist to help you overcome this condition.
EatingDisorderExpert - 19-Jan-16 @ 2:00 PM
I am 24 years old and I suffered from eating disorders in high school. Now that I am older, I love the taste of food, but due to my anxieties, the thought of chewing and swallowing food completely grosses me out and I have a very weak stomach, so digestion is a sore subject for me too. I just want to know what it is called to be repulsed by chewing and digestion(others chewing/digestion and my own chewing/digestion). No one seems to know how to categorize me, making it harder for my doctors to help me. Please help.
mads - 18-Jan-16 @ 6:18 PM
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