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Harvard Reports Staggering Rise In Male Anorexia

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Mistletoe Angel
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0 posted 05-16-2007 06:06 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

(Most of the news stories I post here are generally centered around politics and world conflicts, but I decided to share this story as this reflects a growing problem here that I myself am unfortunately battling; a growing number of male anorexia cases in something that has stereotypically been seen as a female eating disorder, and that, with Huan Yi recently starting the important thread "Obesity" and asking what it is that's causing this escalating problem of "letting go", I believe it's also crucial to see the flip side of the coin as well, in what may be explaining the rise in the other extreme as well; "running ragged", whether for appearance, purity, a psychotic experience, etc. )

*

Iowa City Press-Citizen: May 3, 2007


UI puts male spin on anorexia


By Hieu Pham
Iowa City Press-Citizen



"Zach Holub, 24, of Iowa City, realized that he had anorexia about two years ago, although he said he thought the problem started about 5 years ago. New research shows that a "surprisingly high" number of men suffer from eating disorders. University Hospitals is one of the few places in the country with a treatment program for male anorexic patients.

A bulky sweater hid most of his body, but Zach Holub insisted that he's gained weight. At 6 feet 2 inches tall, the recovering anorexic said at his lightest, he weighed about 120 pounds.

Now, when people ask how much he weighs, Holub, 24, of Iowa City, says he doesn't know. He lets the doctors worry about that.

"I noticed myself losing balance and losing muscle mass," he said. "I had little stamina, and I was becoming weaker. That's when I first realized that I had a problem."

That was nearly two years ago, when Holub realized the problem his family and friends quietly had noted for years. He said his anorexia probably started five years ago.

Men such as Holub are part of a group experts say have slid beneath the diagnosis radar and have gone under-reported for years. Long seen as a female affliction, a recent report from Harvard found a "surprisingly high" number of men with the disorder. Researchers studied a population of nearly 9,000 adults and found that 25 percent of people with anorexia and bulimia were men; 40 percent were binge eaters.

This was the first national study of eating disorders. The results show higher numbers than previous studies, which said men account for about 10 percent of anorexia and bulimia.

"It's not until the last 20 years when (experts) said, 'Well, let's look at the group of males who have all the same symptoms as females with anorexia,'" said Wayne Bowers, a psychologist who specializes in treating eating disorders at University Hospitals.

University Hospitals is one of few places in the country with a treatment program for male anorexic patients. One reason, Bowers said, is that while men and women share similar symptoms, the research and subsequent treatment programs for anorexia has been based on and tailored for women.

For example, the criteria doctors used for years to determine if a person was anorexic made it impossible for men to even be diagnosed. A person had to lose their menstrual cycle; as a result, men were placed in the category of "eating disorder otherwise specified," Bowers said.

"It's hard to do a study (on men)," he said. "They don't come into most doctors' offices, so it's hard to gather information."

Male attitudes, combined with the perception of anorexia as a female problem, prevent many men from seeking help, experts say.

"You're looking at a stigma attached to a mental illness, then stigma attached to males with an eating disorder and then the effeminate gay thing," said Frank Sammet, a clinical specialist at University Hospitals.

Sammet leads an informal support group for men with eating disorders. Each week men ranging in age from 20 to 50 meet at the hospital to talk.

Also, he said the physical evidence of anorexia is not always obvious in men. Instead of the wispy and reed-thin frame seen in women, most often men with eating disorders are obsessed with six-pack abs.

"Men are looking to bulk up, they're looking to develop a different physique," Bowers said. "But certainly the emphasis on the absence of body fat is the same for men and women."

Women concentrate on weight while men fixate on achieving the desired body shape, Sammet said. Also, while women tend to think in terms of "fat" or "thin," studies show men obsess with ideas of "strong" or "weak."

But in general, traits of anorexia for men and women include self-induced starvation, excessive fear of becoming fat and a tendency toward compulsive living patterns.

"I didn't have eating patterns. It wasn't about what not to eat," Holub said. "My meals just got smaller and smaller."

There's no exact formula to predict what causes or who is more vulnerable to anorexia. However, triggers include genetics, low self-esteem and being overweight as a child.

In Holub's case, he said it was about resuming control of his life.

At 18, Holub was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After brain surgery, the year-round athlete who was anticipating a college basketball scholarship had to learn how to walk and talk again.

"I was looking towards my future, and then everything changed," he said. "So I wanted to be ready. Once I recovered, I wanted to be ready to do those things I had planned on."

Fiercely independent, Holub had to increasingly rely on others. He said that was when he became anorexic.

"I know my family had to know," he said. "But they didn't want to push me away. If they had said something, I would have pushed them away."

Holub currently meets with a psychologist for weekly sessions and has gained about 50 pounds.

He said it wasn't easy to ask for help, and he resisted doctors the whole time.

"I learned how distorted my thinking was," Holub said. "I do see myself being in a better spot, being more relaxed now. I don't see size and food being a big factor anymore."


*

*

Finally, just to clarify, I care little about appearance, and my problem actually comes from that I've become increasingly weary and distrusting of many foods (primarily major label foods) with all the news coming out about major recalls, GMO's, pesticides, herbicides, hormones, antibiotics, etc. being applied to many crops, seeds and products. So, in anxiety, I have become fixated on eating purely and, already consuming less calories then I should, when organic, nutritious foods have run out in my house, I often go long hours without eating. I've lost over 25% of my body weight since moving to Portland (I now weigh 115, with a body mass index of 16.5. You can find out your BMI if you're curious at the link below, getting a general idea where you rank on average to the rest of the populace)

Body Mass Index Calculator

I realize I have a considerable problem, have already spoken openly and honestly with my family (they have had eating issues themselves recently opposite of mine, who eat lots of salty meats and thus have struggled with high blood pressure) and will be seeking beneficial care this month and through the summer. Friends and relatives have also offered me immensely helpful advice on where I can go to find the best healthy, organic foods also well-moderated in calories so I can begin balancing my lifestyle.

Again, I advise all of you NOT to begin thinking about following this rocky path I have taken, for I would be setting a terrible example for any of you if you ever decided to, and urge that while you all make an effort to seek sustanance in what you eat, you also try and keep it from dominating your lifestyle. The truth is, I let this obsession get the best of me, that we've all made mistakes, and I'm speaking loudly here I've made a bad mistake here and urge it not to be repeated as I begin re-building myself so I have the strength and energy to fulfill the rest of my life-long dreams and ambitions.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
moondogz
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1 posted 05-21-2007 11:53 PM       View Profile for moondogz   Email moondogz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moondogz

Mistletoe; I don't want to minimize your
problem or anyone else's, but my understanding is that all problems spring forth from the one problem and that is the
pain on seperation from the GARDEN. So drug addiction, obesity, anoxeria etc. are all
the same problem wearing a different coat.
The ego wants us to believe everything and everyone is different, thus keeping us seperated and apart, when in fact I think we are all the same...Anyway thanks for allowing me to share my viewpoint. take care
moondogz.
Huan Yi
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2 posted 05-22-2007 08:31 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


"on seperation from the GARDEN"

?

For me, without an Eve,
there is no GARDEN.


.
moondogz
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3 posted 05-23-2007 03:20 PM       View Profile for moondogz   Email moondogz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moondogz

Huan Yi
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  2 posted 05-22-2007 08:31 PM                        Inappropriate content?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
.


"on seperation from the GARDEN"

?

For me, without an Eve,
there is no GARDEN.

lol Huan Yi; good point, not quite the direction I was headed in but....
serenity blaze
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4 posted 05-23-2007 04:38 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Actually, if I might disagree, I think that there are obvious differences in the pathologies that manifest themselves in addictive behaviors.

I believe that some things are about control--and others are about comfort and both of these are latent in all of us. It's when a desire becomes a compulsion--continued behavior in spite of consequences--there is where the problem lies.

And the problems do, lie.

Which is why I do think it is commendable and important (especially for men) to share information such as this with all.

And therapy, a good qualified therapist, because I promise you all, once you dive into your own head? You are going to need a safety rope, with a strong arm to pull you back, if necessary.

It's skeery in there.

Noah. I admire you much.



Btw, it's not as black and white as control/comfort either. There are lots of shades of gray.

Love and luck to all!
Mistletoe Angel
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5 posted 05-23-2007 05:53 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

quote:
I believe that some things are about control--and others are about comfort and both of these are latent in all of us. It's when a desire becomes a compulsion--continued behavior in spite of consequences--there is where the problem lies.

And the problems do, lie.


I absolutely agree, Karen, and that's why I believe, perhaps, it would be helpful to detail more specifically how this precipitous experience for me occurred, so that others reading who may be experiencing or have tendencies of other pathological situations such as this can be able to notice when their desires are overwrought with compulsiveness.

Essentially, since my freshman year of high school, I've never had the urge to eat breakfast, and didn't get hungry until about noon before. Despite that, I ate really well the whole rest of the day, all the way through high school and up until I became a vegetarian a little over three years ago, also around the time I moved to Portland, Oregon.

My weight, which was between 155-160 prior to moving to Portland, stabilized for all those years because though I ate well, I lacked exercise having grown up in the suburbs, with the exception of cross-country running in the autumns. There was nowhere to go since I was reluctant to drive, so I was literally houseridden, sitting around too much playing non-rhythmic/kinetic videogames and watching lots of television.

But once I had moved to Portland, which was ranked #1 on the Top Ten Walking Cities in America list by Prevention magazine last year and #4 in a American Podiatric Medical Association study, because it is so easy to get around and there is much more to do here, my whole daily routine turned on its axis. What began as walking to the Hollywood/42nd Avenue light-rail transit station and back, eventually expanded into walking to the Willamette River RiverWalk and back, then walking all the way to Portland State University and back (3.2 miles there, 3.2 miles back) then walking all the way to Mount Tabor and back (5.7 miles there, 5.7 miles back). I developed not just a mad love, but hobby, of walking everywhere, seeing new things and walking to different places every time (thus explaining why many of my poetry titles in the past three years like "Equinox In My Heels", "Ephebism" and "(You Gotta Crawl) Before You Can Walk" reference movement) So I was eating the same way as before, but because I had carved out a new niche for myself in walking/speedwalking/jogging, I started losing weight in result, though at a natural pace at first.

A year and a half ago, the next major change ocurred, where that same non-urge of eating feeling that had taken breakfast hostage began expanding into lunchtime as well, and now I didn't have the urge to eat until between 2 and 3 PM. So I literally just woke up, showered, brushed my teeth, and just headed out the door without getting any proper nutrition, because whenever I tried to eat and confront that non-urge, a little defensive vomiting occurred sometimes. I think November of 2005 was where the crux of this problem began; the approximate time when I began burning more calories then I had consumed usually, usually only eating a good dinner. At that time I weighed 142.5.

Finally, last September, despite eating very healthy already, I've still always had an Achilles' heel with sodium intake, where even then I'd actually consume two to three times the amount of recommended sodium intake daily. Having heard numerous reports about how constant excessive sodium intake can lead to chronic high blood pressure and hypertension later in life, even with a normal body mass index, I compulsively decided to dramatically reduce my sodium intake to between 60-85% of the recommended daily consumption. And that's where everything just went out of control, where I lost 12 pounds in a single month, and then when I tried re-thinking my strategy last November, despite slowing down the loss in weight, I nonetheless continued to sink further into anorexic territory, eventually reaching the low of 114 pounds in early April.

I'm that sort of person who is very sensitive and had anyone said that I had chicken legs or skeletal arms, I would immediately emotionally respond and be committed in reversing the problem because I don't want to be pictured that way. Yet, there was a general silence, thus I wasn't even aware I was anorexic. I knew I was thin, but I didn't think of myself as anorexic-thin, simply because I never felt sick, even when I was sick in a more emotional and psychological sense.

Finally, early last month, peers at KBOO Community Radio began responding as the bi-annual Pledge Drive was ending, making me pause from my duties and saying, "Every time I see you around here, I never see you eat, and now you look thinner than ever. You're not feeling sick, are you?". I mentioned I honestly haven't felt sick to several fellow news volunteers, and they responded, "Well, you're looking worn out, look at your arms, they look like they barely have any meat on them anymore, and soon you may not even have skin on their bones. Please eat something, you're too young to wear yourself thin like this and you need your energy to accomplish your dreams and hopes from here on out!"

I started tearing up, and truly felt ashamed that I began to be pictured this way, and whereas previously I was never the type that really cared about appearances or looking in the mirror often, since then I'm often looking at reflections of myself in the mirror, windshields of automobiles, storefront windows, etc. I was sobbing on the inside and during the day on and off before I went to sleep on the outside, and that's when I knew I couldn't discriminate my eating habits like this any longer; that I had to break free of the anorexorcist's curse and rebel by summoning the familiar mirthful music of glockenspiels on wheels (ice cream trucks) and other such things I have always truly loved.

The first poem I wrote in light of my experience, "Wearing Thin", was inspired by the haunting shadow of myself I saw sized next to a stop sign. Looking at the silhouette of myself compared to that of the stop sign, I looked more emaciated than the stop sign, like a shadow of my former self, and I was standing there on the street corner, waiting for two hours before class, watching the world go by, from skateboarders to race cars to rusty pick-up trucks to dog walkers drifting by, and every minute I stood there, I felt myself wearing more thin by the moment, and that feeling basically helped that poem write itself.

I am currently in the recovery process, and during the next month I'll be meeting with some advisors to help motivate me and offer me some proper eating habits and move back to an ideal weight between 130-140. I'm quite fortunate I caught notice of this early, as I could otherwise have been hospitalized and y'all wouldn't have gotten to hear from me for a while.

So far the recovery is going great. I'm currently at 124 and continuing to gain, asking my mother to please intervene throughout the day I'm at home until I reach 135. I got to enjoy my usual vegetable, quinoa and lentil bowl yesterday, while also enjoy a great sticky slab of carrot cake with crumbled-up Reeses peanut butter cup pieces, some scrambled eggs, a bowl of wild rice sesame sticks and a fruit salad with whipped cream.

More poetry will pour out related to my experience, including what will be my longest epic poem yet which details the horrors of anorexia in our society in an artistic fashion and how it is even institutionalized unfortunately through Hollywood and the runways among other things, to be titled "Emaciation Proclamation". It will play off of both rock operas as well as Shelley's "Queen Mab", which I want to make this epic the "Queen Mab on eating disorders". Some at KBOO also have expressed interest in interviewing me about my experience in a special dedicated to understanding and fighting eating disorders, with some seeing my recent response to my anorexia as an inspiration.

A KBOO friend couldn't have said it better to me: "The answer to your problem lies in the first three letters of your last name, Noah. Eat!".

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
Drauntz
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6 posted 05-23-2007 07:10 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

who here still keeps his 13th rib? I am so curious about where it locates so i shall dissect him in someway to find out. Oh, no, no time today. I am, in fact, cooking for some pastors here so I can ask them about the rib.  One of my friend is off to missionary college next month so we have a farewell dinner tonight.

Pastor and wife and son
Pastor and wife
Pastor and wife and two children
To be student and wife and 4 sons.
how many people will come? I am not good at math, never, so I write their names on the plates so I shall not forget anybody.
I have to remember to count my own numbers.
never good at math.

eat well, for a beautiful life!!


Sunshine
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7 posted 05-23-2007 07:53 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Eating well, and eating smart, go hand in hand, Noah.  You've read all of the stuff for both good and bad eating habits, and I will go so far as to agree that depression and/or other mental health problems can equip us for taking on both anorexia, and overeating disorders.

I think and truly believe there is a very simple answer...listening to one's body.  It really is what tells us what we "need" now.  Ever have a desire to consume a simple product?  For me, it is oftentimes just milk.  One, maybe two full tall glasses of cold milk...and I'm good to go.  We need to listen to what our body needs.  Yes, our body can get "addicted" to some things that can be overdone rapidly...like salty products [my downfall] or sweets for others.  Again...and another old piece of advice?  Eat slowly.  Linger and enjoy the taste, texture and substance of what's going into your body.  Reading labels soon becomes realized and you will know what canned and packaged goods are good for you.

I'm proud of you, Noah, for your self-discoveries and allowing yourself to be held up as a role model in several areas.  You are indeed, our special "Angel".

Mistletoe Angel
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8 posted 05-24-2007 02:36 AM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

quote:
Eating well, and eating smart, go hand in hand, Noah.  You've read all of the stuff for both good and bad eating habits, and I will go so far as to agree that depression and/or other mental health problems can equip us for taking on both anorexia, and overeating disorders.

I think and truly believe there is a very simple answer...listening to one's body.  It really is what tells us what we "need" now.  Ever have a desire to consume a simple product?  For me, it is oftentimes just milk.  One, maybe two full tall glasses of cold milk...and I'm good to go.  We need to listen to what our body needs.  Yes, our body can get "addicted" to some things that can be overdone rapidly...like salty products [my downfall] or sweets for others.  Again...and another old piece of advice?  Eat slowly.  Linger and enjoy the taste, texture and substance of what's going into your body.  Reading labels soon becomes realized and you will know what canned and packaged goods are good for you.


Thanks, Karilea, that truly is very helpful advice.

I think I had forgotten that Saint Benedict said, "Listen and attend with the ear of your heart". For quite a while, even while I truly enjoyed food, I had treated it like a chore rather than blissful nourishment, and then worse yet, I began treating the supermarket like an obstacle course.

One simple product I've never tired of consuming is kimchi. Every month I always take a trip down to Anzen Hiroshi's Japanese grocer right across from the Oregon Convention Center on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard here in Portland, which has been around since 1905, and I love purchasing several containers of radish and Napa cabbage kimchi per visit, along with shittake mushrooms by the pound and bags of aromatic rice. Kimchi is basically to me what Fritos would be to many others, where I just crave the familiar blend of spices and tangy delicacy of the fermented vegetables, soused in calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, niacin, lactic acids and dietary fiber. When I'm able to, I love making my own ochazuke from it, where I'd get leftover rice, pour green tea over it like milk over cereal, then top it with kimchi, wasabi or even seaweed.

Although I'm versatile and experimental by nature, kimchi, mango juice, soymilk, green tea and raspberries are five things I especially never tire of. There are certainly processed foods I like too, like Kettle chips, banana chips, wasabi peas, sesame sticks, Reeses peanut butter cups and Ben & Jerry's ice cream in particular, but I'm actually one who finds the healthier foods generally speaking to actually taste better than processed foods in general. I love the taste of broccoli whereas it's rather unpopular to many others, for instance, and so in my family I've always been somewhat of an outsider with food, as my family loves consuming processed foods, especially Little Debbie snack foods and Stouffer's freezer meals (though I respect they like them, I've never been able to stomach meals from freezers)

So tomorrow morning, I'll let the mango juice gently cascade upon my tongue and trickle down my throat like streaming water from a glacier spring, and listen to why it is mango nectar has long titillated my dear organs, yay!

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
Sunshine
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9 posted 05-24-2007 04:04 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

You've got it, Noah.  Savoring food, its texture, taste, smell, etc., has everything to do with enjoying one's senses while feeding the body.  I also forgot to mention one of my other "bad" habits, and that is, I like cold things cold, and hot things hot.  Sometimes I forget that when foods can sit, and come to a normal "room" temperature, they become even more flavorful.

I also grew up in a family of busy and hungry people, always with something to do and somewhere to be, so if you didn't eat fast, sometimes there might not be anything remaining by the time you got to the table.  And it seemed we were always "on the go"...so eating slowly has been one of the mannerisms in enjoying food and its gifts that allow you to actually eat less, and enjoy more.

Another thing to remember is that from birth, our bodies are introduced to foods through no control of our own.  Children who are given excess sweetenings and/or salts in their foods are prone to those additives as they grow older. Again, this brings one to think:  Should I pulverize my baby's food prior to adding seasonings OR should I rely solely on manufactured foods?  Another good reason to read labels...and when you become a father, taste for yourself.  

You're on the right track, Noah.  



Ron
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10 posted 05-24-2007 05:14 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Ya'll are talking about food and eating as if it's either the cause or the cure for anorexia. Isn't that a bit like taking three aspirin 'cause you just broke your collar bone? Treating the symptoms is only a very small part of the solution.

Have you actually been diagnosed as anorexic, Noah, or are you just making a layman's best guess?
serenity blaze
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11 posted 05-24-2007 05:57 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Thank you, Ron.

You reminded me that there is a step before seeking therapy. As much as I hate to admit it (because I am soooo guilty) you really need to have a complete physical, including thorough bloodwork--and I don't mean just blood sugar levels and cholesterol, but a complete hormone panel series (and more) completed to rule out any complications.

And I truly pray the stigma of therapy becomes a thing of the past.

I still commend you Noah. I would also like to state very strongly that your physician should be informed of vitamin supplements, herbs, and even foods--you need to help your doctor help you. (I can say this, because I am the fool who poisoned herself by drinking bad "Noni" juice! Gawd--that was bad )

I'd like to add, that if you have a good medical community rely on, and the resources available to you to utilize them--use them while you got 'em.

(Ya don't know what you got 'til it's gone.)

More hugs. I can vouch for the fact that just getting a proper diagnosis can be an exhausting process in and of itself.
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12 posted 05-24-2007 07:11 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

quote:
Another thing to remember is that from birth, our bodies are introduced to foods through no control of our own.  Children who are given excess sweetenings and/or salts in their foods are prone to those additives as they grow older. Again, this brings one to think:  Should I pulverize my baby's food prior to adding seasonings OR should I rely solely on manufactured foods?  Another good reason to read labels...and when you become a father, taste for yourself.


LOL! Well, that can certainly explain some things, primarily where my love of Chinese food and very spicy food comes from, as my father has always loved eating hot peppers, Thai basil and other spicy things, and my mother would eat jalapenos often too! However, they've always loved cheese and they have never been able to make me like chesse! (giggles)

My parents have, and remain, big meat-eaters too so in much of my earlier life I ate a lot of meat as well before becoming vegetarian. So I suppose you can say part of us is influenced through hereditary means, and part of us is our own self-creation.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
Mistletoe Angel
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13 posted 05-24-2007 07:36 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

quote:
Have you actually been diagnosed as anorexic, Noah, or are you just making a layman's best guess?


I know what you're hinting at here, Ron, and it is indeed important for eevryone to remember here that eating disorder epidemics are indeed quite a recent problem that continues to grow. Thus, there remains great mysteries toward all eating disorders in research, and the American Psychiatric Association still has many disordered eating patterns listed under a EDNOS index (eating disorder not otherwise specified).

The reason I concluded my situation was anorexia was that, for one, I actually went for a check-up three weeks ago and it was concluded what I described fit the anorexic model (I learned from that trip also my blood pressure level was way too low) but also by 1) studying the criteria for anorexia nervosa, and 2) studying the DSM-IV criteria (a criteria which categorizes disorders that do not meet the criteria for a particular eating disorder).

The World Health Organization has something called the ICD-10, or the 10th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, which documents the diagnostic criteria for anorexia. It says that 1) to be diagnosed you have 85% or less of the body weight considered "normal range", or that you fail to gain weight during periods of growth in life (particularly adolescence through age 28) 2) you have either fear or constant thought or concern of gaining weight as you age, 3) constantly thinking about either your body weight or its shape (most of the time before I never really did, but beginning a year and a half ago I started getting oversensitive about it) and 4) in women, the absence of at least three consecutive menstrual cycles.

There are also two sub-types documented by the WHO; the restricting type and the binge-eating/purging type, with me being the former in this case. Some also still debate over whether there is a difference between calorie restriction and anorexia in young, developing individuals.

The slide in weight certainly didn't begin as anorexia, but I absolutely believe it evolved into anorexia, and I fit those ICD-10 criteria options listed. Of course eating disorders are not black and white; we all have different experiences that trigger them and some cases have greater emotional and psychological complexity than others. But in generic terms, I believe anorexia is the most appropriate way to define my recent situation.

Fortunately I identified the problem early and what has been a relatively mild case of anorexia has not evolved into being diagnosed with the more severe features of sunken eyes, slowing beat of the heart, chronic constipation, yellow tints on my skin, the hardening of hair and nails, etc.

So indeed eating disorders are a modern, mysterious puzzle, and there's so much that has yet to be understood about this wide field of study.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
Drauntz
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14 posted 05-24-2007 08:15 PM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

dear Mistletoe Angel,

how are you doing lately?
Mistletoe Angel
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15 posted 05-25-2007 12:21 AM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

quote:
dear Mistletoe Angel,

how are you doing lately?


Awwwww, I'm glad you asked!

I've been pulling along quite well in general. The experience I described here may have sounded quite difficult and tumultuous, but I'm on the mend from that, and there hasn't been any real complications in the effort thus far. I wasn't in too deep where I had to be hospitalized, with my case being more simple restrictive eating, and never exploited the use of laxatives and things like that.

I'll be quite active as always this summer, where I'll be working as a caregiver, and will also be taking part in a variety of different community projects and events, including co-anchoring coverage of the Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland for the third consecutive year, and some Mindful Gifts Bazaar outreach. Even with me being on my feet as always, I'll be writing plenty of jovial summertime poems/lyrics as always, heading off to the beach often, etc.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other"

Mother Teresa
Drauntz
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since 03-16-2007
Posts 2907
Los Angeles California


16 posted 05-25-2007 11:51 AM       View Profile for Drauntz   Email Drauntz   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Drauntz

Dear Mistletoe Angel,
I am so very glad to hear this. Thank you for the write. You are in such a good spirit and I am truly happy for you.

keep well, keep well.

hugs
 
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