Science of Eating Disorders Tumblr
Tetyana here. I run the Science of Eating Disorders blog. This is the SEDs-associated Tumblr. I post about ED research, (mental) health, psychiatry, and medicine. I reblog pretty art and photography, promote critical thinking, and rant about stuff. Previously answered questions are here. Content is not always on topic and may be triggering.


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THE GENETICS OF ANOREXIA NERVOSA

scienceofeds:

….. Furthermore, the precise influence of genetic and environmental factors will vary from person to person. For some patients, genetics may be the main factor, while for others, the environment might play a more important role in leading to anorexia nervosa [and other eating disorders]. Naturally, this complicates the picture, in terms of research but also in terms of treatment. Perhaps – and this is just my hypothesis – this may explain why patients respond differently to various treatments. Perhaps a large part of it is due to differences in the degree to which genetic and environmental factors played a role in the development and maintenance of the patient’s eating disorder. Perhaps if we were able to determine the extent of, say, genetic influence in any given patient, we would be able to tailor treatment for that person …. 

From the archives

❝ Feminist scholars have further admonished that the portrait of anorexia nervosa as an appearance disorder incurred by young women lost in their world of fashion and calorie restricting is a belittling stereotype that not only camouflages women’s real worries but also misses the universal power of food refusal, as in proclaiming needs for self-control (Katzman & Lee, 1997)

— 

Lee et al., 2001 (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11429985)

and of course, much more than just self-control. also, mood and anxiety control.

asapscience:

"Culture"-ally stimulating art. Even mold can be beautiful… 
by microbiologist Antoine Bridier-Nahmias
via Magical Contamination 

Yeah, it is pretty! But it is annoying when your Amp (or some other antibiotic) plates get all moldy and you can’t do any transformations :(. Then you have to go around asking others if they have any non-contaminated LB agar plates. #truestory. Been there done that. 
The "culture"-ally part is funny.
Living in Our Bodies: Embodiment, Eating Disorders and the IDEA Scale

ilfaitmauvais:

A good deal of my time is devoted to reading articles about eating disorders, feminism, qualitative research, and embodiment. I don’t know if this makes me a very interesting person or a very boring one, but it certainly makes me a very opinionated one, especially about these topics. Lately, I’ve been exploring the literature around eating disorders and embodiment in particular, trying to get a sense of how researchers attend to “embodiment” in the development, course, and outcomes of eating disorders and recovery. Predictably, I have my own opinions about this relationship, but am of course interested in how other researchers have explored embodiment in the context of eating disorders.

I continue to love this website.

:-). All thanks to Andrea lately :-)

(Source: scienceofeds)

Living in Our Bodies: Embodiment, Eating Disorders and the IDEA Scale

A good deal of my time is devoted to reading articles about eating disorders, feminism, qualitative research, and embodiment. I don’t know if this makes me a very interesting person or a very boring one, but it certainly makes me a very opinionated one, especially about these topics. Lately, I’ve been exploring the literature around eating disorders and embodiment in particular, trying to get a sense of how researchers attend to “embodiment” in the development, course, and outcomes of eating disorders and recovery. Predictably, I have my own opinions about this relationship, but am of course interested in how other researchers have explored embodiment in the context of eating disorders.

Freudianism as Pseudoscience, With Assorted Comments on Masturbation and Castration...

CC: cognitivedefusion

Bulimia, ADHD & Psychostimulants (Adderall, Ritalin, etc.)

hannahhhopes:

scienceofeds:

In response to this and this, I looked up for more info on ADHD and bulimia nervosa (and I know smackedscientist would be interested too), I searched a bit more on studies/case studies/case series on the use of psychostimulants in treating bulimia nervosa (or binge eating/purging symptoms)…

This is a completely nonscientific comment, just something based on my experiences..

but it really irritates me when medical trials suggest that medications could be an effective treatment for bulimia because they reduce the frequency of bingeing and purging. I’ve taken adderall in the past and yeah, I didn’t feel like bingeing, because I had absolutely no appetite and felt like throwing up all of the time without having to put anything in my mouth. Fluoxetine had a similar effect- I didn’t feel any happier or that my eating disorder was in any way ‘cured’ or even improved, but I did shift my behaviours over from bingeing and purging to restricting more severely. My weight dropped and eventually, once the initial side effect of low appetite from the fluoxetine began to wear off a bit, I was back to bingeing and purging. Everything was the same, except that I was in a more compromised physical state. 

I think it’s very likely that ADHD meds could ‘improve’ the symptoms of bulimia, but I don’t think that makes them a good idea by any stretch of the imagination. This also ignores the fact that, as far as I can tell, most people with eating disorders veer between behaviours and symptoms from various diagnoses, so the danger of restrictive behaviour when taking appetite-suppressing medication is massive.

I think your comment is very valid. I haven’t read the studies in depth but they do seem to mention these issues. For example, one of the studies pointed out that despite decreased appetite, the patients maintained a healthy weight. Of course, it may be “healthy” in the BMI > 20 way but not *actually* healthy. I don’t know because I didn’t read the study. Others mention the presence or absence of negative side-effects, like vomiting, as well. 

For example, this is from one of the studies cited in my post (1999):

MPH may be useful for bulimics with cluster B personality disorder who respond poorly to conventional treatment. Further studies of MPH administration may be worthwhile. Due to the potential risks, however, clinical treatment with this agent is not recommended at this time.

I do very much agree with your comment about the issues of giving patients with EDs appetite-suppressing medications. 

This is from Keshen (2013):

One hypothesis not discussed by Cortese and colleagues (2007), but was described earlier by Ong and a colleague (1983) is that psychostimulants simply decrease binge/purge behavior secondary to an appetite suppression effect. If this is the case, appetite suppression would surely be a controversial means of “treating” binge/purging because one could argue that it is similar to using “diet pills,” which are considered an unhealthy means of controlling weight. Even if this were true, our and Dukarm’s (2005) study would suggest that most of the patients did not uti- lize appetite suppression in order to significantly restrict their intake to an extent that pathological weight loss occurred. The reason for this may be that the patients in our study had been through, or were currently engaged in intensive eating disorder treatment, and therefore, were well informed and practiced in the importance of maintaining meal structure despite having a lower appetite. This observation is important because many clinicians are ret- icent to use psychostimulants in this population for fear of weight loss, and it appears, based on these preliminary findings, that this fear may be over- stated 

Btw, I think that anecdotal experiences are very important particularly during the initial testing of any drug or in trials of the drug for a certain issue. So, anecdotal, yes, but still important because we absolutely need to take into account actual lived experiences. 

RE SSRIs: This is anecdotal but I found sertraline decreased my appetite when I first went on it, but it went back to normal within a few days). And it was fantastic for stabilizing my mood. (It didn’t make me happier but that’s not what SSRIs are supposed to do, even at their best/when they are effective for an individual.) The idea of these meds is often that they enable you to engage in the therapeutic process; not that they cure you or something. For me, sertraline helped me decrease bingeing/purging and actually start re-learning to eat again. I don’t have a control me, so I don’t know, maybe I would’ve been able to do it without it / maybe it is also placebo, but I tried for years and when I went on it, it was a huge help. My partner noticed how much my mood stabilized (a crucial part in helping me eat better). But you know, I know plenty of people who didn’t feel jack shit on SSRIs.