ANOREXIA, BULIMIA, AND OTHER APPETITE AND EATING DISORDERS
by Lawrence Wilson, MD
© March 2010, The Center For Development
This is a very large topic. This article will explore just a few aspects of this important area of human disease. One of the most important is why people have appetite disorders. Here are a few reasons:
Š Psychological and emotional reasons are often very important. Food is the first area of life that most people experience. It is a common area where trauma affects many people.
Š The body craves particular nutrients found in various foods. For example, the body may crave and require more calcium in milk, or magnesium, sugar or copper in chocolate, or magnesium or minerals in nuts or seeds, or sodium in salty foods, or potassium in fruits and vegetables.
Š Stimulants can strongly increase cravings for certain foods. The most obvious are sugar, salt, caffeine and perhaps some types of food chemicals that increase the oxidation rate or have other effects on body chemistry that are pleasurable in some way.
Š Some toxins or chemicals in foods may be addictive or cause aversions. MSG, for example, seems to increase appetite for whatever it is mixed with. The effects of many other toxins are subtle, but important in some people. “Special sauces” may work this way, in part, at least. The mechanism can be through odor, taste or even consistency.
Š Some crave particular consistencies, such as that of Jello, bread, chips or other types of food.
Š Hypoglycemia will often cause cravings for sugars and perhaps other carbohydrates.
Š Some people eat “to keep up their strength”. This is an interesting effect in which food stimulates the brain and the digestive organs and keeps a person awake who would otherwise feel sleepy or lethargic.
Š Fast oxidizers often eat to keep their oxidation rate fast. This usually means they crave alcohol, sugars or carbohydrates. They might crave fats in order to slow down or be more satisfied, however.
Š Slow oxidizers often crave sugars to keep their blood sugar higher, as it tends to be chronically low.
Š So-called food allergies are extremely common and often go unrecognized. They can cause addictions to foods, severe aversions to various foods, and they can easily pervert or affect the appetite and food desires in many ways. Some allergic foods definitely affect the brain and cognition, not just the digestive system.
ANOREXIA AND BULIMIA
These disorders are discussed in much more detail in the 2010 edition of Nutritional Balancing And Hair Mineral Analysis. Here I will just summarize:
Š Copper imbalance is usually present with anorexia and bulimia. High copper and low zinc are associated with loss of taste and smell, and therefore an important reduction in appetite. This is a very common situation today. It causes many people to eat irregularly or skip meals. It also causes many people to eat very spicy, sugary or salty food because otherwise they do not taste their food very much. This is unfortunate and recovery of the natural senses is a slow process of balancing the body chemistry.
Š Distortions of the body image is also an important factor in most cases of anorexia. This, too, may have to do with copper imbalance. Copper is associate with a tendency to detach, ‘spaciness’, or schizoid tendencies. It is very common as well.
Š Anorexia is a very dangerous condition because it feeds upon itself biochemically. As the copper imbalance worsens, the person eats less, and this worsens a zinc deficiency and a copper excess. If this vicious cycle cannot be broken, death may ensue. Therefore, nutritional approaches may be extremely helpful or even life-saving for some with anorexia.
NUTRITIONAL BALANCING FOR APPETITE DISORDERS
Nutritional balancing science can be helpful by restoring many nutrients to the body. This can be helpful to reduce unusual cravings for food. Removing toxic metals can also help restore a normal appetite.
Balancing copper in the body is not easy in all cases, but nutritional balancing excels at this in many cases. This has helped many with anorexia and bulimia.
Restoring the body’s energy level by balancing the oxidation rate helps improve mood and general mental functioning. It can also greatly enhance self-esteem and self-awareness to enable a person to overcome fears and distortions in one’s body image. Some discipline is required, however, to follow the program properly and those with anorexia may need assistance to stay with the program, especially at first.
Nutritional balancing can also help in more subtle ways. Removing toxic metals frees up energy that can be used to heal old emotional wounds, for example. This occurs often during nutritional balancing programs and can be a key to overcoming many eating disorders.