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Why Does Eating Make Me Feel Sick?

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 21 Apr 2017 | 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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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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