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Eating Disorders

Discussion in 'Mind, Sleep, Stress' started by HDD, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. HDD

    HDD Member

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    Are eating disorders caused by hypothyroidism? I thought I read this but I cannot find it. Does anyone recall?
     
  2. OP
    HDD

    HDD Member

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    Aha! Serotonin tends to cause anorexia. I found this on the forum.

    "I currently take cyproheptadine. From my understanding, amitriptyline and cyproheptadine have opposing effects on serotonin. Is this true, and could this be problematic, if so?

    Thanks.

    Ray:
    Both of those are appetite stimulants that tend to cause weight gain. Serotonin tends to cause anorexia. The drug industry generates noise in the process of selling drugs, and "serotonin" is one of their favorite noises."
     
  3. LucyL

    LucyL Member

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    Ray talked about the thyroid relation to eating disorders in one of his interviews. Not sure that could be considered a "cause" or just a factor.
     
  4. OP
    HDD

    HDD Member

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    Thanks, LucyL, do you happen to remember the name of the interview?
     
  5. Green

    Green Member

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    I was able to gain weight on an ssri. Before and after that I am too skinny. My skin was smooth too at that time.
     
  6. LucyL

    LucyL Member

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    No, sorry. It was some time ago I heard it :( But I'm trying to keep better track of the topics as I listen to old interviews, so perhaps it will crop up again, and I'll put a reference to it in the KMUD forum.
     
  7. Such_Saturation

    Such_Saturation Member

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    I wonder if serotonin makes you crave a certain body shape or derange your vision. I think both anorexics and body-builders have a strong reaction of satisfaction when seeing, for example, a rack of ribs or a flexed arm.
     
  8. lindsay

    lindsay Member

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    I have had very high serotonin in the past and still struggle with it (from digestive troubles & a prescription drug I took in college). I would say it led to an eating disorder in the sense that my digestion was so impaired from gallbladder troubles that I started eliminating foods that bothered me to the point where I could only eat very little. This led to a whole destructive hormonal imbalance that still effects me years later. So, in that sense - I suppose it could "cause" an Eating disorder, but I think hypothyroidism could be the more direct cause. I think people who are very stressed are prone to eating disorders - it becomes an unhealthy way of handling the stress and trying to regain control.
     
  9. gretchen

    gretchen Member

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  10. Blossom

    Blossom Moderator

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    I haven't been able to find anything so far but LucyL mentioned that Ray discussed the thyroid/eating disorder relationship in one of the radio interviews. I have read (though not from Peat) that some people with anorexia nervosa will have impaired thyroid function from starvation.
     
  11. tara

    tara Member

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    Ditto. Anyone undereating severely, repeatedly, or for a prolonged time can get reduced thyroid function from that.

    I wonder whether, for the subsection of the population with a predisposition to restrictive eating,
    reduced thyroid function from dieting/malnutrition -> increased stress hormones -> feel energised
    is part of what makes it such a dangerous vicious cycle?
     
  12. Blossom

    Blossom Moderator

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    I'm no scientist but that makes perfect sense! :goodpost
     
  13. Such_Saturation

    Such_Saturation Member

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    I think there really is a desired appearance which escalates with time. Now for the outer aspect of the being to be banned from our lives would be senseless, since it is as crucial as all other aspects, but of course the healthy integration of aesthetics is not possible for a society which displays a sort of autism (from the gut?) in the evaluation of many aspects of the world. In fact a quick search finds some interesting thing on Wikipedia:

    Relationship to autism

    Since Gillberg's (1983 & 1985) and others' initial suggestion of relationship between anorexia nervosa and autism, a large-scale longitudinal study into teenage-onset anorexia nervosa conducted in Sweden confirmed that 23% of people with a long-standing eating disorder are on the autism spectrum. Those on the autism spectrum tend to have a worse outcome, but may benefit from the combined use of behavioural and pharmacological therapies tailored to ameliorate autism rather than anorexia nervosa per se. Other studies, most notably research conducted at the Maudsley Hospital, furthermore suggest that autistic traits are common in people with anorexia nervosa; shared traits include, e.g., poor executive function, autism quotient score, central coherence, theory of mind, cognitive-behavioural flexibility, emotion regulation and understanding facial expressions.

    Zucker et al. (2007) proposed that conditions on the autism spectrum make up the cognitive endophenotype underlying anorexia nervosa and appealed for increased interdisciplinary collaboration . A pilot study into the effectiveness of cognitive behaviour therapy, which based its treatment protocol on the hypothesised relationship between anorexia nervosa and an underlying autistic like condition, reduced perfectionism and rigidity in 17 out of 19 participants.

    Some autistic traits are more prominent during the acute phase of AN.
     
  14. Blossom

    Blossom Moderator

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    That's a fabulous find! :hattip
     
  15. Hugh Johnson

    Hugh Johnson Member

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    Peat generally avoids purely genetic explanations. I recall his opinion being that genetics simply determines where the break occurs, rather than whether something breaks. The general toxicity of our lives is the cause.

    That being said, while eating disorders most likely have physiological components, I don't think eating disorders can be separated from societal and psychological context, nor do I think can they be lumped together very well. If you compare binge eating and anorexia, they are very different.

    Jordan Peterson has argued that anorexia is thinness becoming the ruling goal in a person's value system. While it is a valid goal, in a healthy person it must be subservient to other goals such as health, beauty or social status. Binge eaters obviously are different, and that may be due to conflicts in the goals of say weight maintanance and stress reduction via eating. Aother thing that recent research suggests is that orderliness, a subset of concentiousnes, which also posesses a stong relationship with sensitivity to disgust, is one main enabling factors of anorexia.

    Anorexics tend to be strongly disgusted with their own bodies and possess incredible willpower. Orderliness is a good thing but too much can mean anorexia or genocidal tendencies on a societal scale.

    I personally believe ED's are also largely a concequence of a failed adaptation strategy to a toxic diet. People know instinctively that young humans are not supposed to get fat or feel like crap all the time. One way to reduce the effects is to eat less, but many people's psychology can't place that in the goal structure. Unfortunately they have no good solutions, like Peating, or even the ability to find them. Then EDs are one of the possible concequences.

    Sorry about rambling.
     
  16. tara

    tara Member

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    Anorexia literally means no appetite.

    I tend to be sceptical about deterministic genetic explanations too. But I liked Gwyneth's (youreatopia) speculation that the genetic variant that predisposes some people to feel energetic when they are undernourished can be a useful variant to have in the mix, rather than have the whole tribe just dozing round the fire when they are energy deprived. It could be good for the survival of the group if it has a couple of members who will go out and forage or hunt or do something to improve their situation. I don't know if it's true, but it might be, or there might be an epigenetic component, and it's a nice story.

    My understanding of that theory is that many people respond to energy deficit by getting depressed, anxious, grumpy or lethargic, and want nothing more than to eat and rest (eg read the descriptions about the Minnesota semi-starvation experiment). But in some people, the condition of energy deficit can initiate a neurological condition in which they feel calmer, happier, and more energetic when they don't eat much, and feel anxious, unhappy, lethargic when they do eat. Anorexia seems to have a common component of misidentifying food as a threat to be feared and avoided. According to the theory, it is not the extreme desire to be thin that triggers the neurological condition, but the actual energy deficit itself.

    While I do think the social context matters, anorexia nervosa and its 'RED's cousins existed before extreme thinness was fashionable - it has had other social constructs around it in different times. The current western social context promotes thinness to the extreme, and systematically bullies people who are not thin. This cultural component makes some people more vulnerable to a life-threatening REDs. In other times or places, it could be real food-scarcity, or religious practices, rather than self-imposed dieting, that triggers it.

    No doubt it has psychological components (we all have feelings of various kinds associated with food), but I doubt it is useful to assume we know too much about a particular person's experience, except as they reveal it to us, beyond the common feature of feeling compelled to avoid adequate food.

    It seems reasonable to distinguish the restrictive eating disorders from others that are not about creating persistent energy deficits. Given how much confusion there is about our real needs, I imagine people might sometimes confuse binge eating (persistently eating well above energy needs) with reactive eating spells in between persistent attempts at starvation, or with real needs for massive amounts of food that some people experience during recovery from starvation.

    I don't know this, either instinctively or intellectually. I suspect this might be more current fashion than instinct. 'Bonnie' was a positive word used to describe a chubby youngster. I certainly know people who were very round when young (babies/toddlers/preschool), and who grew to be lean and strong and healthy children and/or adults with a good appetite and lots of energy from that base. I also know thin children with lots of health problems. Some (but not all) eventually grew into fat adults.
    I expect that, like many things, there is simply a range of natural healthy shapes amongst children, as there is amongst adults.
     
  17. tara

    tara Member

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    Found it - apparently not her own invention: http://www.youreatopia.com/blog/2013/12 ... -cart.html

     
  18. pboy

    pboy Member

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    I honestly think its peoples intuition telling them that their health and bodily, mental, issues have to do with diet. So they try to be perfect with diet, which is natural, food has always been a huge part of peoples lives...still is, always will be...and its the most intimate way you relate to nature and the most sensitive area of input. The problem is, the society, information, medical information, and food quality is so bad and off, the people end up getting worse but not knowing how to come out of it, and are too afraid to trust their intuition because of their full of mental shitness from all the misinformation. At a certain point, when you are unhealthy enough, the appetite and entire way of seeing the world and interacting with other people change, for the negative...its a distorted sense because the person doesn't realize their body is sick, big time, and burdened, so they have to illusionize the world to have it fit in with what they think is going on

    the whole problem starts from the low quality of food and misinformation, and social pressure from people who actually are harmful by following and giving mainstream advice
     
  19. tara

    tara Member

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    People don't usually get diagnosed with anorexia etc unless they are at very low body weight. But depending on what our healthy weight is, some people could be causing health damage at higher weights, by using similar restrictive eating habits (or excessive exercise etc).

    Whether or not some of us are genetically or epigenetically predisposed to anorexia nervosa (or athletica, etc), we don't have a way of knowing in advance whether restrictive dieting is safe for any particular individual. Since REDs are really dangerous, I think caution should be exercised, especially by our public health institutions, about general encouragement to restrict food. It doesn't help that lots of public calorie calculators seriously underestimate what people need. Being underweight is a much bigger risk factor than being 'overweight', except at the extreme end of obesity (and most people can't get to that just by eating as much as we want).
     
  20. Such_Saturation

    Such_Saturation Member

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    I've heard Ray Peat mention twice, I think, that serotonin leads to hypercompartmentalized thought, I guess as a coping mechanism for tasks considered too complex or draining. For fun: Contribution of serotonin to establishing a conditioned food aversion reflex in the snail http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2FBF01052537


    From DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria [autismspeaks.org] :

    Autism Spectrum Disorder 299.00 (F84.0)
    Diagnostic Criteria

    B. Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities, as manifested by at least two of the following, currently or by history (examples are illustrative, not exhaustive; see text):

    1. Stereotyped or repetitive motor movements, use of objects, or speech (e.g., simple motor stereotypies, lining up toys or flipping objects, echolalia, idiosyncratic phrases).

    2. Insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualized patterns or verbal nonverbal behavior (e.g., extreme distress at small changes, difficulties with transitions, rigid thinking patterns, greeting rituals, need to take same route or eat food every day).

    3. Highly restricted, fixated interests that are abnormal in intensity or focus (e.g, strong attachment to or preoccupation with unusual objects, excessively circumscribed or perseverative interest).

    4. Hyper- or hyporeactivity to sensory input or unusual interests in sensory aspects of the environment (e.g., apparent indifference to pain/temperature, adverse response to specific sounds or textures, excessive smelling or touching of objects, visual fascination with lights or movement).


    Conclusions
    Females with anorexia have elevated autistic traits. Clinicians should consider if a focus on autistic traits might be helpful in the assessment and treatment of anorexia. Future research needs to establish if these results reflect traits or states associated with anorexia.
    [http://www.molecularautism.com/content/4/1/24]
     
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