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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owly View Post
    I agree that mirabilis and nervosa are at their root likely the same--exerting power over the body as an attempt to conform to a kind of idealized perfection or purity. But in essence, anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder are all strongly related, as would be ED-NOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified), which is a category used in the DSM for something that's clearly an eating disorder but does not fit all of the diagnostic criteria for one of the named disorders (this is actually where orthorexia nervosa would likely fit under the current standards).
    I agree that Anorexia Nervosa and Mirabilis are the same disease. I would recommend reading the first chapter of Crazy Like Us. It gives an interesting take on the rise and fall of various psychological “women’s” diseases including anorexia and hysteria. Basically it argues that the mode of diseases varies based on how disease is commonly held to be expressed. However, while I agree that orthorexia CAN start from a similar place, I think that orthorexia has at least as much, if not more, in common with OCD than ED. (Obviously comorbidity between the two can, and I’m sure often does, occur.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Owly View Post
    Orthorexia nervosa would be when it becomes an obsessive tendency rather than rational self-protection. It's a question of degree, just like exercising sensibly as part of a weight loss plan is different from exercising as a purging aspect of bulimia.
    Agreed. Orthorexia is when “I eat organic foods because I don’t want to ingest pesticides” becomes, “I can only eat this one particular brand of carrot because it is the only of that is safe. Everything else is poison. If I eat that other carrot I will die.”
    No disease that can be treated by diet should be treated with any other means.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by paleo-bunny View Post
    I disagree about the same origins in every case of Orthorexia Nervosa, as that can arise from wanting to avoid foods that cause inflammation, IBS and various autoimmune problems.

    These problems are more common among young women than among any other age group, as they have the strongest immune systems.
    Women's immune systems are stong but we also are more prone to autoimmune disease. Our immune systems have to be able to adapt and almost completely drop off when we get pregnant so the fetus doesn't get attacked by it. That's why alot of auto-immune diseases begin with pregnancy. It's such a delicate balance.
    I believe all mental illness begins with a chemical imbalance. One slight deficient or over abundance of one mineral or vitamin causes so many other chain reactions to occur. The first thing that will effect the mental state is hormonal changes which are huge in us women. We are constantly cycling and changes in hormones are a given but when we are talking huge declines or increases in one or more hormone it is major.
    Histaria as was fixed by certain doctors with certain vibrating devices back in the 1800's (since thier husbands weren't taking care of "thier wife's business" apparantly) could be compared to mens Histaria when testosterone levels were really high during something called "blue balls." Women also get an increase of sex hormones and need a..........release or things like "Histaria" might occur. Who wouldn't get histerical at a time like that
    Something as simple as a copper deficiency can cause an imbalance of estrogen quite easily. A zinc deficiency can cause progesterone to drop. Then you throw a change in testosterone in the mix and things get way worse. All of these hormones in turn can also cause other minerals and vitamins to become imbalanced and walla......chemical imbalance is born. Then on top of all this we also have drop dead gorgeous movie stars (most of whom have had help with that) being displayed across every magazine and commercial you see.
    (Minerals and vitimins+/-hormonal changes+/-body image disruption = mental illness)

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mom5booklover View Post
    Women's immune systems are stong but we also are more prone to autoimmune disease. Our immune systems have to be able to adapt and almost completely drop off when we get pregnant so the fetus doesn't get attacked by it. That's why alot of auto-immune diseases begin with pregnancy. It's such a delicate balance.
    I believe all mental illness begins with a chemical imbalance. One slight deficient or over abundance of one mineral or vitamin causes so many other chain reactions to occur. The first thing that will effect the mental state is hormonal changes which are huge in us women. We are constantly cycling and changes in hormones are a given but when we are talking huge declines or increases in one or more hormone it is major.
    Histaria as was fixed by certain doctors with certain vibrating devices back in the 1800's (since thier husbands weren't taking care of "thier wife's business" apparantly) could be compared to mens Histaria when testosterone levels were really high during something called "blue balls." Women also get an increase of sex hormones and need a..........release or things like "Histaria" might occur. Who wouldn't get histerical at a time like that
    Something as simple as a copper deficiency can cause an imbalance of estrogen quite easily. A zinc deficiency can cause progesterone to drop. Then you throw a change in testosterone in the mix and things get way worse. All of these hormones in turn can also cause other minerals and vitamins to become imbalanced and walla......chemical imbalance is born. Then on top of all this we also have drop dead gorgeous movie stars (most of whom have had help with that) being displayed across every magazine and commercial you see.
    (Minerals and vitimins+/-hormonal changes+/-body image disruption = mental illness)
    Interesting history - coincidentally I was reading about those devices only earlier today, as there's a highly acclaimed play currently showing near me about that very subject - interpreted as a comedy.

    I agree that a chemical imbalance is a factor in a lot of cases, though not necessarily a primary cause.

    A lack of support regarding diagnosis or treatment by doctors doesn't help regarding a lot of autoimmune problems related to diet, such as IBS, chronic fatigue. The NHS has been useless in my experience. There's nothing worse than being told 'go away there's nothing wrong with you' when you're in constant agonising pain, or have chronic debilitating symptoms every single day.

    No wonder so many young women become orthorexic. I'm sure that in many cases, the primary cause is often a lack of diagnosis of the foods and other environmental factors that are causing their illness. Eliminating more foods than is strictly necessary can of course lead to the deficiencies and imbalances that you mention, so it's a downward spiral, and food paranoia ensues.
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    I think that all types of anorexia are basically a reaction to starvation - once you start starving yourself, for whatever reason, you get a bit weird/obsessive about food and about whatever else it is that you're focusing on (religion, body image, whatever), and then it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle of illness. It may be some sort of vitamin/mineral deficiency, maybe. I vaguely remember reading about zinc deficiency causing part of the symptoms.

    Generally, I think that any sort of food deprivation - whether orthorexia, anorexia, or whatever - is going to set off weird obsessive symptoms in some people, even when it's "healthy" for you physically. Something that we all need to be aware of. This is the reason for Mark's recommendation of 80/20, I'm sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by meepster View Post
    I think that all types of anorexia are basically a reaction to starvation - once you start starving yourself, for whatever reason, you get a bit weird/obsessive about food and about whatever else it is that you're focusing on (religion, body image, whatever), and then it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle of illness.
    Yep, I'm sure of it. I think that is because normally that is the right response to starvation. This is what I wrote about starvation:
    Please help, I need advice - Page 23 | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page 23

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    Quote Originally Posted by billp View Post
    Yep, I'm sure of it. I think that is because normally that is the right response to starvation. This is what I wrote about starvation:
    Please help, I need advice - Page 23 | Mark's Daily Apple Health and Fitness Forum page 23
    Yes, that makes sense. I'm not sure about starvation making people brutal, but I think it makes them obsess about food to an amazing extent that cannot be imagined by the healthy. This is where calorie-counting comes from. Healthy, non-starved people do not count calories - the sheer amount of effort required to weigh and log every single thing you eat is just too much. But once someone goes on a calorie-restriction diet, it becomes the most natural thing in the world to obsess about how much you're eating, to count every single calorie, and to lie awake at night wondering if that apple you ate was 50 calories or 60.

    Starvation apparently also causes depression (Minnesota Starvation Experiment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) and aggression towards oneself (note that one of the experimental subjects amputated three of his fingers with an axe).

    Unfortunately, I got to see a starvation response in person when my mother went on an extremely restrictive vegan diet that almost landed her in the hospital. She didn't get aggressive, but she really obsessed about food - is this healthy, is this okay to eat, does this have too much fat/carb/sugar in it - all at a time when she was 30 lbs. underweight and almost at the hospitalization stage. I spent a few months forcing her to eat and she gained back the weight she needed - and as she got back to normal, the obsessions went away.

    This, btw, is why I am extremely vigilant about the 80/20 aspect of the Primal Blueprint, and about never starving myself. I think a lot of Americans have a low-grade starvation response going on - hence their obsessiveness over calorie-counting and "good" and "bad" foods. I don't want to have that happen to me.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by meepster View Post
    I think that all types of anorexia are basically a reaction to starvation - once you start starving yourself, for whatever reason, you get a bit weird/obsessive about food and about whatever else it is that you're focusing on (religion, body image, whatever), and then it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle of illness. It may be some sort of vitamin/mineral deficiency, maybe. I vaguely remember reading about zinc deficiency causing part of the symptoms.

    Generally, I think that any sort of food deprivation - whether orthorexia, anorexia, or whatever - is going to set off weird obsessive symptoms in some people, even when it's "healthy" for you physically. Something that we all need to be aware of. This is the reason for Mark's recommendation of 80/20, I'm sure.
    I totally disagree, the starvation is merely a symtom of the disease and comes last. I am recovering from an anorexic relapse at the moment. I am not underweight this time, I am not starving, but the disease is the worse it has ever been in 23 years. For me, it is an illness of control. As young women many of us have so little control over our lives and often our bodies (abuse of all kinds) and for me it was a very real way to hold onto what I could, I could control my weight and what I ate and nobody could do a thing about it. Also, it gets a reaction, and this furthers the illusion of control (I say illusion because there is no control at all, the illness takes over long before the scales start ringing alarm bells). Also, as an adult and a mother I realise that anorexia has been working for me as a distraction from a stressful life with some hugely stressful outside issues appearing in my life. So still a form of control, but also a way of not coping with the world. It was easier to count calories and obsess about how and where and what I was going to eat rather than deal with life on life's terms.

    As to Orthorexia, I have suffered with this too without even realising at te time that I was in relapse. I have had chronic digestive issues for years, including IBS and candida. A naturopath worked with me for months and months to clear the candida and suggested the anti-candida diet. I jumped in feet first quite unconsciously noticing that this was a legitimate and healthy excuse to restrict my caloric intake and my foods. There was great control involved in being on such a strict diet and I lost a lot of weight very quickly. Fortunately I ended up pregnant a couple of months into the diet and had to stop because of severe pregnancy sickness (where I ate nothing but 'beige' food for about 5 months). I have to be very careful with Primal eating because it could be a magnificent pathway back into orthorexia.

    I my experience Anorexia is about control, and about a women's (or has been said a man's) response to her body and the pressures to conform and the resulting objectification and loss of self which comes with it. Abuse is also a huge component and many Anorexics come from backgrounds of trauma and varying types and degrees of abuse. There is also a strong link with substance abuse and other dangerous addictions and behaviours such as self-harm and promiscuity. It is not really about starvation. It is about not being able to cope and using the body as a weapon.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dexy View Post
    I totally disagree, the starvation is merely a symtom of the disease and comes last. I am recovering from an anorexic relapse at the moment. I am not underweight this time, I am not starving, but the disease is the worse it has ever been in 23 years. For me, it is an illness of control. As young women many of us have so little control over our lives and often our bodies (abuse of all kinds) and for me it was a very real way to hold onto what I could, I could control my weight and what I ate and nobody could do a thing about it. Also, it gets a reaction, and this furthers the illusion of control (I say illusion because there is no control at all, the illness takes over long before the scales start ringing alarm bells). Also, as an adult and a mother I realise that anorexia has been working for me as a distraction from a stressful life with some hugely stressful outside issues appearing in my life. So still a form of control, but also a way of not coping with the world. It was easier to count calories and obsess about how and where and what I was going to eat rather than deal with life on life's terms.

    As to Orthorexia, I have suffered with this too without even realising at te time that I was in relapse. I have had chronic digestive issues for years, including IBS and candida. A naturopath worked with me for months and months to clear the candida and suggested the anti-candida diet. I jumped in feet first quite unconsciously noticing that this was a legitimate and healthy excuse to restrict my caloric intake and my foods. There was great control involved in being on such a strict diet and I lost a lot of weight very quickly. Fortunately I ended up pregnant a couple of months into the diet and had to stop because of severe pregnancy sickness (where I ate nothing but 'beige' food for about 5 months). I have to be very careful with Primal eating because it could be a magnificent pathway back into orthorexia.

    I my experience Anorexia is about control, and about a women's (or has been said a man's) response to her body and the pressures to conform and the resulting objectification and loss of self which comes with it. Abuse is also a huge component and many Anorexics come from backgrounds of trauma and varying types and degrees of abuse. There is also a strong link with substance abuse and other dangerous addictions and behaviours such as self-harm and promiscuity. It is not really about starvation. It is about not being able to cope and using the body as a weapon.
    I agree with you, as do most authorities on anorexia, that it is about control. However, it is not limited to women, many men struggle with anorexia, as pointed out earlier. Anorexia can also be tied to a type of "elation" and "clear-thinking" that comes with fasting, as was pointed out earlier, by examples with monks and other "holy" men and women. The high of fasting has been well-documented: it can induce light-headedness and hallucinations/visions, similar to drugs. The transcendence becomes addictive. Many religious rituals involve fasting for long periods, for a reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasputina View Post
    I agree with you, as do most authorities on anorexia, that it is about control. However, it is not limited to women, many men struggle with anorexia, as pointed out earlier. Anorexia can also be tied to a type of "elation" and "clear-thinking" that comes with fasting, as was pointed out earlier, by examples with monks and other "holy" men and women. The high of fasting has been well-documented: it can induce light-headedness and hallucinations/visions, similar to drugs. The transcendence becomes addictive. Many religious rituals involve fasting for long periods, for a reason.
    I also have mentioned the occurence of the illness amongst men, of course it transcends gender but it is still predomintantly amongst younger women. And I do understand the feeling of surviving on so little, it feels good. But I still think that that is largely about control.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dexy View Post
    But I still think that that is largely about control.
    That's what I mean about it being on the autistic spectrum.

    Quote Originally Posted by billp View Post
    The more I think about this, the more I suspect that anyone who loses weight by calorie counting is taking immense risks with their health and life. If gradual starvation follows counting calories anyway due to breaking the natural human up-down dietary rhythm, that is the very worst time to be systematically counting something to do with your diet, as it risks setting off an autistic-type response and getting wedged in your brain. It is so easy to get obsessed by something at the best of times, but doing something with arbitrary numbers while in a starved state! Terribly risky. No wonder Anorexia rates has been climbing ever since calorie controlled diets became popular.
    Quote Originally Posted by billp View Post
    Because of course the extreme autistic focus is very useful in famine, as it really motivates the famine victim to find food - and famine was the rule for humanity until very recently. But create that famine yourself and there is a reasonable chance that you will get autistically obsessed with doing the thing that is starving you, rather than getting something to eat. And add some numbers into the mix and - whoosh, an autistic whirlwind that stands every chance of taking you down with with it, to death.

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