Anorexia – what a huge topic, but an important one to start talking about. Sadly, it’s a poorly understood illness, even by those experiencing it. It’s confusing, overwhelming and the current treatment protocol; rapid weight gain (with assistance from highly processed items … I can’t bring myself to call them “foods”), counselling sessions revolving around body image and food intake, physical activity restriction and telling the patient that they’ve got a voice in their head called “anna”, “ED” or “rex”, just seems counterintuitive.
What if we changed the way we viewed anorexia nervosa, saw it as more of a physical illness than a mental illness. If we understood that there is something disturbing neurotransmitter and hormone production and usually there’s gastrointestinal upset as well. Sometimes, anorexia can even be secondary to a primary illness; maybe someone had intestinal permeability which lead to malnutrition which lead to symptoms of anorexia, such as poor appetite, weight loss, fatigue, constipation and depression. It’s not as simple as poor body image and starvation. That’s the stereotypical view – the one that creates stigma and stops us from having empathy or looking for the root cause.
Please I urge you to listen into today’s podcast and learn about this physical illness from a different and more empowering, pro-active perspective. Let’s have conversations, understand rather than judge and most importantly, get our own health on track so that we prevent the chain of events that pre-dispose us to getting an eating disorder.
Share this episode with anyone you feel could benefit from it or be comforted by the message that “its not all in your head”.
I look forward to hearing your feedback – this is a topic super-close to my heart and I hope what mum and I have discussed today has helped you in some way, no matter what side of the table you are on.