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Thread: Help with Bulemic 16yo page

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    peril's Avatar
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    Help with Bulemic 16yo

    Primal Fuel
    Really good news this evening - my 16yo daughter has told me that she's sick of being sick and that as I don't seem to get ill she wants to try my diet. However, she does have an unresolved eating disorder involving bingeing and purging.

    So I'm looking for any help I can get to help her succeed. Ideas?

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    Mainer's Avatar
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    I had someone very special to me who struggled with the same issue. Best thing you can do for her is get her to a good counselor if she isn't already to help her through this and offer your support. If she's receptive, give her the book and answer any questions she may have. Sorry, nothing earth shattering, but just my opinion.
    You'll never see the light if you're in someone else's shadow, or said another way, life is like a dog sled team, if you're not the lead dog, the scenery never changes

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    She'll need some therapy to get at the issues that are causing the ED. But in the meantime, WRT food, a planned, structured meal plan with her input of what she's eating is good (e.g. 3 set meals and 3 set snacks, but it can start with just 3 set meals). If she doesn't eat everything, don't freak. Give her encouragement that it's something she needs to slowly recover from. Don't keep snack foods in the house. If she confesses to binging and/or purging episodes, encourage her honesty because she'll have setbacks and will need to hear that it's not the end of the world and she can beat this one meal at a time. Encourage her to keep a journal to write out all the impulsive thoughts of binging/purging/laxatives/exercise. If there are certain times in the day that are worst, spend that time doing something with her, like a easy walk, movie or boardgame. I hope this helps and I wish you and your daughter the best in overcoming this.

    edit: spelling and clarification

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    Question - does she ever binge on things that don't involve sugar and/or grains?

    I would bet that if you start her on three solid meals a day, each consisting of a good serving of meat/eggs and some good natural fats, that over time, her purging will slow. I strongly suspect, and see more and more evidence, that bulimia is a symptom of carb addiction combined with the distorted body image of anorexia. Others can give you good leads on the latter issue, but I think the big missing in most bulimia treatment programs (a dear friend just sent her daughter to one and they literally forced her to eat pancakes and syrup, or a similar equivalent, each morning to get to a certain calorie count) is grain/sugar addiction.

    It seems terribly cruel to me to force bulimics to eat in limited amounts the very foods that, once eaten, shout at you constantly to eat more more more. I've long thought that bulimia is just another way to cope with the constant cravings that come with sugar/grain addiction. For me, I coped by skipping meals b/c, as I put it, I "didn't have the guts" to purge.
    5'4" 36yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
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    Wow mamagrok--fascinating. This (bulimia) is something I've struggled w/ _a lot_ in the past. I was also a TOTAL carb/sugar 'junkie' b/4 changing my diet. I'd love to read more on this--it makes a lot of sense to me.

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    Lewis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MamaGrok View Post
    Question - does she ever binge on things that don't involve sugar and/or grains?

    I would bet that if you start her on three solid meals a day, each consisting of a good serving of meat/eggs and some good natural fats, that over time, her purging will slow. I strongly suspect, and see more and more evidence, that bulimia is a symptom of carb addiction combined with the distorted body image of anorexia. Others can give you good leads on the latter issue, but I think the big missing in most bulimia treatment programs (a dear friend just sent her daughter to one and they literally forced her to eat pancakes and syrup, or a similar equivalent, each morning to get to a certain calorie count) is grain/sugar addiction.
    Superb post.

    The thought at the beginning is highly suggestive. The force-feeding bit is enlightening, too. There's often a thought that "psychological" problems need medical help just as "physical" ones would. However, first, it's not always clear what's mental and what's physical, or even if there is a useful distinction to be drawn much of the time. Secondly, psychology is by no means a hard science - and far less so than medicine. When it comes to, say, depression what's been on offer but Freud or Prozac? Neither works. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is better, but really you don't know what you're getting with psychologists, still less "therapists". What they do to people in response to whatever theory they've currently got in mind might help, might not, or might be counter-productive.

    I tried following up your thought by googling "paleo diet bulimia". I ended up bouncing around some forums, and in the end got back to something that sounds quite interesting:

    The causes are as yet unknown, but are likely to vary from person to person.

    However, research carried out in Sweden and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that in some cases an autoimmune disorder may be partly to blame.

    Autoimmune disorders occur when the body's immune system turns against itself. It is responsible for diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and multiple sclerosis, and if the Swedish research is confirmed, anorexia and bulimia could join them.

    Serguei Fetissov and colleagues, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, analyzed blood serum from female patients diagnosed with anorexia, bulimia or both (individuals often suffer from both disorders at the same time). The blood of many of the patients contained antibodies that disrupt the body's regulation of food intake and body weight.
    http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-b...0021219rh.html

    That news story dates back to 2002. I wonder if anything's been done since.

    If a "psychological" approach doesn't mean some kind of (perhaps ethically questionable) accustoming therapy, then it might well mean cross-questioning some poor girl, trying to get her to dig through her life and find emotional conflicts and problems. And at the end of that she might well end up convinced that someone or something is a problem even if she'd never thought that before just through the power of suggestion - the insistence that something must be there. And perhaps all the time it's carbs - or even an autoimmune problem. There may be some emotional element there even if there is a physical cause at the bottom, but why not at least begin with a Primal diet and see how it goes. If there's a possibility of autoimmunity problems maybe go really strict with it at first - not just no grains and legumes, but no dairy and possibly no nightshades and even no nuts.
    Last edited by Lewis; 08-11-2010 at 11:02 AM.

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    mayness's Avatar
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    Cillakat has posted replies to threads here in which she talks about EDs being exacerbated by nutritional deficiencies, in particular zinc deficiency. Here's one of those posts. I don't know anything about this subject myself, but I figured it may be useful for you.
    "mayness, you need to have a siggy line that says "Paleo Information Desk" or something!" -FMN <3

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    i also agree that eating disorders stem from nut. deficiencies. i had some issues when i was younger and could absolutely not stand breakfast(or any other meals really) which is a symptom of zinc deficiency. i got better when i quit being vegetarian and went low carb. when she is being fed properly and is getting enough fat she should be a-ok. i am sorry to hear this about your daughter but i am happy that she came to you for help. definitely a good sign;-)
    Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, that's bad for you! ~Tommy Smothers

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    If she isn't receiving professional help, I'd advise you to get that for her ASAP. EDs are not something to play around with.

    However, I also agree that nutrition is a key factor. I'm on a low carb board, and many bulimics have reported fewer episodes if they remain low carb. But many people with ED also report being unable to control their problem with diet alone. In fact, the 'restriction' that's perceived in limiting certain foods often causes problems for people with a history of ED who had thought they'd overcome the problem.

    If I were in your situation, I would look for a professional who is open to exploring nutritional options as part of the process.

  10. #10
    Lewis's Avatar
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    Primal Blueprint Expert Certification
    Why not ask the "Paleo" team if they know of any work on bulimia and diet?

    http://www.thepaleodiet.com/contact_us/

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