Category Archives: Eating Disorders and Obesity

Children with Eating Disorders

Does Your Child Suffer From An Eating Disorder?

Children that are bullied over their size are more likely to develop psychological issues, such as depression, anxiety, panic disorders, and eating disorders. 26% of sixth graders are bullied, teased, or rejected daily based on their size. This increases to 61% by high school. Additionally, obese children are 1.6 times more likely to be bullied by non-obese children.

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#TestimonialTuesday

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Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in 2016.

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MotivationMonday

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Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2016.

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

#MotivationMonday

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Happy #MotivationMonday!

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED), as well as obesity. She is also the author of The Sun Plus Diet, due out in summer 2016.

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2016, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //www.eatingdisorderpro.com/

 

#MotivationMonday

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It’s Pi Day (3.14)! Clean Pizza Tutorial!

O N E D R O P

It’s Pi Day (3.14) and right now the internet is blowing up with photos of pies and pie recipes.

Most people who know me, know that I am not a baker. I make pies once a year. Therefore, I will not be discussing sweet pies today.

However, I am all about discussing PIZZA PIE! (You’re shocked, aren’t you?)

Here’s the question I am asked every week by new patients:

“Dr. Norton, does eating clean mean giving up pizza?”

(Wait for it..)

No! You can still have your pizza! (We are going to have to modify it slightly, and I promise you it will taste a thousand times better than any pizza you’ve had before!)

One thing that I work really hard to help my clients understand is that eating clean does not mean deprivation. It means finding the highest quality foods and adapting old recipes to work with new ingredients.

Let’s start with the dough. This is really the biggest modification of pizza. We can go one of two ways. You can use either Einkorn Pizza Dough or Cauliflower Pizza Crust.

Why Einkorn? Einkorn is a very ancient grain (still used in Italy today) that still has much of the original protein and is not nearly as starchy as the hyper hybridized wheat found in the United States. If you are non celiac gluten sensitive, you might want to try the Einkorn dough. (I get my einkorn flour at Jovial Foods). You may be pleasantly surprised that it is easier to digest with no tummy trauma.

“But Dr. Norton, I can’t eat wheat.” Then I suggest you try making cauliflower pizza crust. You haven’t heard of this? Here’s the most amazing, easy recipe! This is also a great recipe if you are trying to get more vegetables into your child’s diet.

Then we need some organic tomatoes. I only buy glass jar tomatoes and it is incredibly easy to just use them straight from the jar, or take a moment and make a super quick tomato sauce (basil, garlic, oregano). I top my pizza with raw organic shredded cheese and grass-fed unprocessed pepperoni. And because I love tomatoes so much, I add a little fresh sliced tomato on top as well. You can top yours with whatever organic ingredients you like. Keep your meats grass fed/pastured and your cheese raw and organic. That’s really the key to adapting this for clean eating.

Here’s what my pizza looks like:

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Although it may not look like it, the Einkorn crust was very crispy and the organic ingredients were wonderful together. (Also, I’m drooling looking at this picture while I type. Seriously, this beats any takeout or restaurant pizza any day.)

Consider topping yours with some fresh organic basil after pulling it out of the oven. The aroma of the tomatoes with the fresh basil will send you to pizza heaven.

Happy Pi Day!

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

 

 

 

A Lack of Information is Fattening

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“I am lazy, stupid and fat!” A cruel statement, right? But this is what my patient who is recovering from Bulimarexia hears in her head every day, all day long. The reality is that she is a hard worker, very smart and a normal weight after years of struggling with an eating disorder.

But her fear of suddenly or somehow becoming “fat” is so intense that it may take another couple of years for this voice in her head to go away, and it may never go away completely.

Sound crazy? It isn’t unusual for people to think this way. We are afraid of being obese as a culture. The sight of an obese person strikes fear in the hearts of many. Unfortunately we often hate the things we fear, which leads to stigma. And stigma, especially in the case of obesity, gets in the way of recovery, as it tends to be internalized by the individual being stigmatized. It also impacts members of our society that are not obese in ways that are detrimental to their health.

What I see when I look an obese patient is a person with a medical condition, a person that is often very ill. As a health care provider that has had great success working with the morbidly obese, I know that the problem can be reversed and that with the right information the person can lead a perfectly normal life.

But most people will not see or relate to the illness. They will react with fear, and/or they will stereotype the individual that is obese. Research on the stigma attached to obesity shows that overweight individuals in the U.S. are assumed to be lazy and lacking in intelligence. They are often viewed with disgust. They regularly experience bias in the workplace as well as in many other areas of their lives. Even their own doctors may be biased when it comes to treating them.

For example, according to an article in Psychology Today “A survey involving a nationally representative sample of primary care physicians revealed that, not only did more than half of respondents think that patients who are obese were awkward and unattractive, but more than 50 percent believed that they would be noncompliant with treatment. One-third thought of them as “weak-willed” and “lazy.”

I recently published an article in Western Pennsylvania Healthcare News on the failure of medicine to treat obesity effectively. While doing the research for that article, I discovered that the rates of obesity are high among physicians, many of whom are overworked and most of whom do not understand the role of nutrition in obesity. For example, the standard advice today from most physicians is still to recommend eating more grains and less fat, which is exactly the opposite of what you should be doing if you are overweight. (Link to why grains are bad for you and why saturated fats are good for you) So much for “Physician heal thyself”.

But the other thing that really stood out while I was researching the article was how overwhelmed physicians felt while trying to treat obese individuals. I also get this from my doctor friends. In another study the researchers found that as the patients’ weight increased, “physicians reported having less patience, less faith in the patients’ ability to comply with treatment, and less desire to help them.”

When it comes to my own patients, I am always amazed to discover that the issue of their weight does not come up with their primary care doctor even when they have serious complications of obesity and/or need to lose anywhere from 100 to 200+ pounds. One patient said “Talk about the elephant in the room! If I were oozing blood or had a terrible rash, I am sure my doctor would mention it. But because it is my weight, and he makes the assumption that I can’t or won’t do anything about it, we gloss over it.”

The problem with this is that the stigma of being obese can lead to more obesity as well as to other serious problems. Being stigmatized for being obese sets up many vicious cycles or self-fulfilling prophesies. For example, if going to the doctor doesn’t help, then going to the doctor becomes less likely. This in turn means that the complications of being obese, which include diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure, may not be diagnosed until they are advanced.

Likewise, many obese individuals are uncomfortable going to a gym or putting on work out clothes because of their fear of being judged. Obviously this makes it less likely that they will workout or get fit, and more likely that they will continue to gain weight.

The obesity epidemic may also be one of the reasons that younger children, older women and more men are developing Anorexia; I believe that these conditions are over-reactions or maladaptive responses to the fear of being obese. Of course, fear of being obese also leads to bingeing and purging, or bulimia.

The point is that obesity is a serious medical condition. However I do not believe that it has anything to do with will-power or motivation, and it certainly is not related to one’s intelligence. It is the direct result of the polluted nature of U.S. foods.

In other words, OBESITY IS NOT THE RESULT OF EATING TOO MUCH. It is the result of EATING POLLUTED FOOD.

The sooner we face that as a nation, the sooner we can stop blaming the victims of food pollution and start fixing the problem. Some people would have us believe that the obesity epidemic is getting better. It isn’t. The reason I say this is that nearly 30% of today’s children are obese. Nearly 72% of men and 67% of women in my generation are currently overweight or obese. When we were children, only 10% of us were overweight. This does not bode well for the future or for our children.

U.S. foods are polluted with addictants, obesogens, carcinogens, GMOs, MSG and trans fats to name a few of the pollutants. All of these “ingredients” drive overeating and/or bingeing. They also cause us to store more fat than we need and feel less like being active. Finally they damage the mechanisms for regulating eating and fat storage.

Yes, that is correct. Even if you eat a little of them, you can gain unneeded weight. (You can also develop many other problems, like vascular disease, autoimmune disorders, cancer and type 2 diabetes.)

Sound like an over statement? Consider that the U.S. is the wealthiest unhealthiest country in the world. We are also the most obese and we are nearly dead last when it comes to general health, with one of the lowest infant survival rates, despite having the best medical technology.

Are you surprised? I find that most people are surprised to hear these things despite the fact that this information is definitely out there. We just don’t think of ourselves this way. We have all drunk the coolaide. But ignorance, in this case, is not bliss. It is sheer agony and it makes those who are the victims feel ashamed and weak, which makes them more vulnerable to remedies that do not work, such as dieting, or bypass surgery, or cryochambers. (link to article on woman dying)

What disturbs me the most is that if we keep believing that we can eat anything, as long as we eat it in moderation, we are not going to fix the problem. The foods that are the most dangerous are “designed” to make us keep us eating them.

We cannot fix the problem with this kind of thinking even though it is very fixable! Find out more about what your food is really doing inside your body. You may be surprised. What I can promise you is that lack of information is fattening.

-Dr. Norton

#GetSunEatCleanBeWell

 

#MotivationMonday Stage 3- Preparation

Preparation

Here we are in the third week of my #MotivationMonday series on Change. If you looked for me last week, but didn’t find me, it’s because I was honoring Labor Day. Everyone deserves a day of rest!

Last time we met, we were talking about the contemplation stage of change. You know where you want to be with the change you are seeking, but you aren’t quite ready to go.

Preparation is the third stage of change. Most people at this stage are planning to take action within the month, and they are making adjustments before they begin.

What does this look like?

Let’s go back to my example of a patient who binges at 4 p.m. everyday on candy.

In the contemplation stage, the patient was considering doing some lunges or phoning a friend instead of eating candy. Well, if they were in the preparation stage, they might be considering that they need to be wearing comfortable shoes, and making sure that everyday those shoes were in their car. They might be thinking about their schedule every day at 4 p.m. They need to have the ability to stop and do some lunges. So maybe they are avoiding meetings at 4 p.m. If they were still considering phoning a friend, they would want to reach out to those people and just let them know that they should expect a phone call everyday and making detailed notes about who is available at 4 p.m. and who is not.

This brings me to my next point about Preparation. It is important to make public your intended change.

Why?

Well for one thing, in the preparation stage, a patient might still have some ambivalence about the change. Talking about it publicly can help air some of those feelings. For another reason, a patient needs support. This way, loved ones can be as supportive as possible in this endeavor to change. A patient may also discover that some people are not as supportive as they would like, and that’s an important discovery as well. It helps to prepare the patient.

Patients who prepare are more likely to succeed. Patients who cut short the preparation stage lower their chances of success.

So, theoretically, could you wake up one day and just stop binging on candy at 4p.m.? Yes.

But I would challenge you to consider this: how would you feel if you failed? Would it keep you from trying to tackle the problem again?

Afterall, if you have a plan, you can always examine the plan. You can analyze what part of the plan was successful and what part was not. Without a plan, it can feel like it is just a failure.

Next week, we’ll discuss the fourth stage of change and its complexities for both the patient and the professional.

Get Sun. Eat Clean. Be Well.

-Dr. Norton

 

 

Change- A Seven Week #MotivationMonday series

This week I’m starting a seven week #MotivationMonday series on Change.

If you’ve ever tried to change a behavior, then you will understand just how difficult change can be. But I’d also guess that you would say that change was the best thing you ever did for yourself. Change can be the ultimate act of self love.

There are six stages in the process of change.

If it doesn't challenge you Does that surprise you?

My patients find it reassuring to discover that change does not happen overnight. I don’t expect them to wake up the following day and be onboard with everything I ask of them.

Often, my first contact with a patient is when they have really hit rock bottom. But that’s when the seeds of change are planted. So if you are reading this, and feeling you are at your bottom, I challenge you to spend the next seven Mondays with me.

For this week, I want to you to answer this question:

What are you looking to change in your life?

Eating Disorders Among Female Baby Boomers May be a Function of Food Pollution

Growing old is not easy in any culture, but it is particularly difficult for middle-aged women in the United States. Americans obsess about thinness and worship youthfulness. Joan Rivers’ tragic death last month was was a good example of the extremes to which women in American society will go in order to maintain these unrealistic ideals. Ms. Rivers is not alone. Remaining young and fit is getting harder all the time because of the food we eat. U.S. food is polluted with ingredients that attack the immune system, accelerate the aging process and drive obesity.

Aging is scary enough without a rapid decline in one’s health and an ever-expanding waistline. And that is exactly what Baby Boomers are experiencing today. As a result, they may be more at risk for specific eating disorders (EDs) such as Anorexia or Bulimia than in the past. This is consistent with the latest research showing a proliferation of eating disorders in the U.S. that includes older women.

In a survey conducted on the eatingdisorderpro.com website, with nearly 1000 participants, 1.2% reported that their symptoms began after the age of 50.

symptons of my eating disorder

Unlike European countries where women are viewed as sexy into middle age and beyond, U.S. women become invisible as they age. This puts them at even greater risk when it comes to EDs as they are less likely to be diagnosed or get treatment. Anorexia nervosa has the highest morbidity rate of any psychiatric illness with 10% mortality rate at 10 years of symptom duration and 20% at 20 years. Many Baby Boomers have had their disorders for more than 20 years. The longer the duration of the illness, the higher the risk of death.

In general, the population is aging. But living longer with chronic illnesses, especially the complications of obesity and EDs that are driven by food pollution, can and should be prevented. These problems not only rob us of our health, they rob us of our dignity. Ms. Rivers died in an ill-fated attempt to preserve the youthfulness of her voice. Too many women, especially those in midlife, are feeling the same desperation.

Awareness is key. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts:

Do Not Eat Do Eat/Cook With

  • GMO’s Organic whole foods
  • MSG Grass-fed beef, poultry and pork
  • Food additives Coconut oil, ghee and raw grass-fed butter
  • Sweeteners Wild Caught Fish
  • Grains
  • Pesticides

Eating clean nourishes the body, but it also nourishes the soul, and empowers us to take charge of our health and regain the vitality that we were meant to enjoy well into old age.

About Dr. Renae Norton
A family practice psychologist for more than 20 years, Dr. Norton specializes in the treatment of Anorexia, Bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder, Obesity, and the consequences of disordered eating. She’s been featured by NPR, CNN and was a five-time guest on Oprah. She coaches individuals and organizations via Skype worldwide. Visit: //edpro.wpengine.com

Dr. J. Renae Norton

Listen to the Podcast on Eating Disorders Among Female Baby Boomers HERE.

 

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of obesity and eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED) and the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Let’s Connect!
Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Sign Up For The Eating Disorder Pro Newsletter

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2014, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2014, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’.

Body Dysmorphia and Anorexia

Body Dysmorphic Disorder treatment

Systems theory tells us that in order to solve a problem we have to use the right set of assumptions. Further, it tells us that if we use the wrong assumptions, the problem will continue to get worse. Suffice it to say, the underlying assumptions of those suffering with eating disorders are incorrect. One good example is the role that body dysmorphia plays in driving disordered eating – Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is not the same thing. I should point out that not all individuals that suffer from Anorexia suffer from body dysmorphia, but many do.

The underlying assumptions of those Anorexics suffering from body dysmorphia include:

  • Imagined defects in appearance. “My thighs are fat.” Or “My belly sticks out too much.” (In an individual weighing 70 pounds)
  • Preoccupation with weightI weigh too much. I would be more attractive if I lost weight. No one can respect me if my weight goes over 100 pounds.
  • Obsessive compulsive behavioral patterns – “I must try on every pair of jeans to make sure that they still fit.”
  • Social Isolation – “I know when they look at me, they think I’m fat. It’s better if I just avoid them.”

Obviously these are all incorrect underlying assumptions that will drive more disordered eating. If you have had a patient or a family member with anorexia, then you probably know how useless it is to try and convince the sufferer that the assumptions are wrong. They will assume that you are trying to fool them or trick them into changing so that they will be “fat” like you. I find that it works better to focus upon behavior and the medical necessity of eating. It also helps if they have people depending upon them to be well. Family support, instead of judgment is critical.

On my blogtalk radio show The Eating Disorder Pro, which airs every Wednesday at 7:30 pm EST and comes to you from Cincinnati, Ohio, my guest Brian Cuban, talked about his book Shattered Image. On December 11, Mr. Cuban will describe what it is like to suffer from BDD from the male perspective. His experiences, especially his recovery is inspirational, so be sure to tune in if you are traveling that road yourself. What was so interesting is the fact that his false underlying assumptions were not very different from what we think of as a female perspective when it comes to body image. Like many people with eating disorders, he had some pretty painful experiences as a child, not the least of which was a weight problem along with a mom that fat-shamed him. Ouch! He was also the victim of bullying. Obviously, this was a recipe for disaster.

Check out Brian Cuban’s book to get a good sense of the incorrect underlying assumptions and how he eventually dismantled them for his own recovery. Be sure to tune in on WEDNESDAY December 11 at 7:30 pm.

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of obesity and eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED) and the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Let’s Connect!
Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2013, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2013, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’.

Eating Disorder Treatment: Tips to Reduce Stress During the Holiday Season

Reducing Holiday Stress Eating Disorders

The holiday season is a particularly stressful time for many of my patients that are in treatment for obesity and eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, or binge eating disorder. Holiday gatherings are typically highly food-centered, which results in a lot of anxiety for those recovering from an eating disorder. I’ve created a list of useful tips on reducing holiday stress. I know this will help a lot of my patients!

  • Eat regularly throughout the day. Don’t skip meals in anticipation of a large dinner.
  • Be prepared. Try to find out what is being served ahead of time and work some of the foods you feel comfortable with into the meal. Bring one of your favorite dishes to share with the dinner guests, that way you will know you will have something you feel good about eating.
  • Discuss any specific concerns with your treatment specialist. Try to role play situations that you suspect may arise (such as comments about your weight, about your food choices etc). Be as prepared as you can be to avoid counter-productive coping behaviors.
  • Have an “emergency plan” in case you find yourself in a stressful situation. Get some fresh air, go to another room and practice some relaxation or deep breathing exercises, arrange for a close friend to be “on-call” in case you need someone to talk to.
  • Is someone going to be at the dinner that you feel makes healthy choices? Pay attention to what they are eating, their portion sizes. Use them as your reality check.
  • Set realistic goals. Don’t set yourself up for a stressful holiday season by over-scheduling yourself. You need to be your own #1. Make sure you leave some time to focus on yourself, allow yourself to get an adequate amount of sleep, engage in activities that make you feel good (exercise, relax or meditate).
  • Don’t isolate! Spend time with family and friends. If it isn’t possible to physically be with your loved ones, have a phone conversation or use Skype! Isolating yourself won’t make you feel better, in many situations it may even make you feel worse.
  • Be in the moment! Enjoy the time with your loved ones, have great conversations, laugh, make memories!
Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of obesity and eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED) and the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2013, Dr. J. Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr. J. Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2013, Dr. J. Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’.

Sources:

//ed-bites.blogspot.com/2010/11/tip-day-surviving-thanksgiving-without.html
//www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/nedaDir/files/documents/handouts/Holiday.pdf

The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity – Eating Disorder Treatment Testimony

There is nothing more rewarding than to travel with a patient down the road to recovery from an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, or bulimarexia. The road to recovery can be a bumpy road, but the results are well worth the hard work. Today we received a heart-warming testimony from one individual that received outpatient treatment at my treatment center in Cincinnati.

Check this out….

“If you had told me how much my life would change over the past year and a half, I would not have believed you.

A year and a half ago I was trapped; wedged between the controlling anorexic voice and a longing to be myself. I was falling, drowning, diminishing into an infinite dark abyss from which I could not escape. Literally. Right before my eyes and the eyes of my family and friends.

Two years prior to that, in October 2010, I was admitted against my will to the hospital for treatment for anorexia nervosa. I was taken out of college and for two weeks I was confined to bed, banned from showering, and forced to eat every single meal and snack that was placed in front of me. I was compliant, mainly because I felt like I had no other option, and I wanted nothing but to return to school. Having my family see me in such a helpless and horrific condition was the most humiliating experience of my life.

Once I was out of the hospital I was compliant with the outpatient treatment because I needed to reach a certain weight if I wanted to return to school. I eventually made the weight goal, mainly by consuming sweets and processed foods. I was not happy with what I was putting into my body but I convinced myself that I could do it long enough to return to school.

Back at school, a huge wave of relief washed over me. I thought to myself, “I can finally go back to eating healthy and working out so I can lose this fat I’ve put on.” I wanted to eat healthy and take care of my body, but my only knowledge of ‘healthful’ eating was based on the skewed eating habits that drove my anorexia. I strongly believed in eating organic, non-GMO food and animals that did not have any added hormones and that were raised respectfully. While these options were available to me at home, my school provided none of them. Consequently, I went back to the eating habits that landed me in the hospital: restricting myself to fruit and vegetables in the cafeteria and absolutely no meat. I did not want to ingest any harmful chemicals. If I could not eat clean and organic, then I simply wouldn’t eat. While it was incredibly difficult to eat this way, I didn’t know what else to do. I regarded gaining weight as a sin. I remember thinking, “How am I ever going to be able to keep restricting myself like this for the rest of my life?” I felt like I had no choice.

With no one keeping a close eye on me, I began losing weight again. The weight continued to come off until I reached about the same weight I was when I was admitted to the hospital.

In June of 2012 I broke down. I knew that the anorexia had gotten the best of me once again. I didn’t know where to go or who to turn to for help. I was not about to return to the hospital, but I knew that I needed some kind of assistance. My parents did some research online and found Dr. Norton, a psychologist offering outpatient treatment of eating disorders in Cincinnati. I was hesitant for her aid, but I knew I couldn’t recover alone. She advertised organic, clean, and wholesome eating in her eating disorder recovery program and that seemed like an optimal fit for me. I called her and scheduled my first appointment.

Before I met Dr. Norton, I was very much aware of “clean eating” however, Dr. Norton provided me with the tools to apply it to my life. At home, my parents always had complete control over the cooking and at school I had no say in what foods the cafeteria prepared. I knew that clean eating was what I truly desired for my body but I was unaware of how to incorporate it into my life.

Dr. Norton saved my life. I cannot express in words how much she has done for me. She has given me the tools to overcome my anorexic thoughts and an incredible amount of knowledge on clean eating.

Clean eating has completely changed my relationship with food. It has enabled me to feel confident in the fact that I am not ingesting harmful chemicals, GMOs, or hormone fed animals. I know that I am putting true nourishment and lovingness into my body. I can eat a meal and know exactly where everything came from. I no longer have ‘reward foods’ – unhealthy foods that I craved but that I would only allow myself to eat after a strenuous workout. I now consider clean eating a reward in itself every day. Clean eating has allowed me to feel confident about gaining weight in order to reach and maintain a healthy weight for the first time in my life.

As a type one diabetic, clean eating has also enabled me to have better control of my blood sugars. This is an incredible feeling, as my blood sugars and insulin dosage are a daily battle.

My anorexic behaviors and thoughts were driven by a desire for strength and control. I exhibited that by restricting and tearing my body down. Now I know that gaining strength is accomplished by building my body up and by nourishing myself with wonderful and wholesome foods. Now I see myself becoming stronger by caring for myself to the best of my ability. I have not only grown stronger in mind, but body as well. I am physically capable of lifting more and heavier weights than ever before. I also have the stamina to run for longer distances. Coming home from a run or walk I am no longer incredibly fatigued. Instead, I feel re-energized and revitalized.

As a part of loving myself, I don’t have to restrict anymore. I don’t want to restrict anymore. My sense of control comes from the knowledge that I am doing the absolute best for myself in any given situation. I am trusting and loving myself – the real me.

I never thought I would be able to enjoy eating. I thought the mean, toxic, and judgmental anorexic voice in my head was something that would be constantly present for the rest of my life. I never thought I would be able to look in the mirror and love my body. I am more proud and confident in my mind, body, and spirit than I ever imagined possible.

I owe an incredible amount of thanks to not only Dr. Norton, but my parents. They have supported me my entire life. They have remained by my side through the worst of days and the best of days. They have given me nothing but kindness, empowerment, and unconditional love. I would not be where I am today without them. Thank you Mom and Dad, from the bottom of my heart. I love you both so darn much.

“At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

S.M.”

Read more testimonials HERE.

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of obesity and eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED) and the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2013, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2013, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’.

Clean Eating in Treatment for Obesity

cleaneating_steak

The average American is clueless when it comes to eating healthy foods, even those of us who would be considered healthy eaters. What most people do not know is that the majority of the American diet is loaded with addictants that drive obesity and its life threatening complications. The lack of information, along with the misinformation put out by the industry giants that profit from the sale of polluted foods and diet products have created a health care crisis in this country that is unprecedented in the world.

The U.S. is the second most obese country in the world (Mexico just passed us by) with the highest rate of mortality (compared to all other wealthy nations) and the highest health care costs compared to 48 other countries except for Switzerland. We also have the most obese children and we are one of the only countries in the world that sees Type II Diabetes in young children. (Type II Diabetes is the result of unhealthy eating and usually occurs in midlife.) Unfortunately, most overweight Americans tend to blame themselves for their weight problems. Instead of looking at the quality, or in my mind, the safety of the food, they try to eat less by “dieting”, which is not only ineffective, it is dangerous, as it has been shown to lead to increased likelihood of obesity.

Benefits of Clean Eating Obesity

In my practice I have found that teaching the obese individual to eat clean does a number of things that significantly increases the likelihood of his or her success:

  1. It helps them to stop blaming themselves
  2. It allows them to begin to experience the healing quality of food
  3. Clean food extinguishes their food addictions
  4. They discover how incredibly delicious good food can be

In my upcoming book: Food Pollution: Why Eating Disorders, Obesity and Mortality Rates are Rising in the U.S., I define Food Pollution as:

The introduction into the food supply of genetically engineered (GE) and/or hyper-hybridized (HH) plants and animals; neurotoxic sweeteners, such as High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), Aspartame, and Asculefame; herbicides, insecticides, and pesticides; toxic chemicals; MSG (processed free glutamate); and fats or proteins that have been damaged by processes such as hydrogenation, hydrolization, dehydration, autolization and unnecessary pasteurization. These pollutants have been shown to be obesogenic, diabetic, carcinogenic, neurotoxic, autogenic and addictive.

The sources of food pollution are:

  • Genetically engineered (GE) proteins
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Synthetically created chemical pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers
  • Hyper-hybridized (HH) grains
  • Ingredients that have been irradiated
  • MSG (Processed Free Glutamate)
  • GE Antibiotics
  • Artificial growth hormones
  • High fructose corn syrup
  • Processed and GE Sugar – made from Genetically Engineered (GE) Beets
  • Food Additives – Flavorings, Emulsifiers, Preservatives, Artificial dyes (made from coal tar and petrochemicals)
  • Sewage sludge

Most of my patients find that they can eat significantly more clean food without weight gain, than the polluted counterpart.

Please let us know if you are having the same experience. Also please take our online survey.

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of obesity and eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED) and the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2013, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2013, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’.

Eating Clean in Treatment For Anorexia or Bulimarexia

Eating clean as opposed to eating all things in moderation works because it recognizes the role that food addiction plays in recovery. The reality is that the individual suffering from Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimarexia is often as addicted to processed foods as her over-eating counterparts. In other words it isn’t unusual for an Anorexic or Bulimarexic patient to live on gummy bears, chewing gum and diet foods/drinks, which are mostly made of chemicals and lots of sugar, or sugar substitutes, that are highly addicting. The rationale for the individual suffering from Anorexia or Bulimarexia is that she is okay as long as she avoids fats.

Many individuals suffering from Anorexia or Bulimarexia go into residential treatment under duress and make a conscious decision to lose all of the weight gained as soon as they are released. This is one of the reasons that residential treatment has such abysmal treatment outcomes (30% success rates depending upon your definition). In the old days this strategy worked for the individual suffering from Anorexia. It doesn’t work anymore because food is increasingly more polluted, which significantly increases the likelihood of a food addiction developing over the course of treatment, even treatment that lasts only a month.

If forced into residential treatment, where s/he will have to gain 20 pounds in 21 days in order to get out, s/he will develop many bad habits very quickly eating the typical residential recovery diet. The one thing that most individuals suffering from Anorexia or Bulimarexia worry about the most is that once they begin to eat again, they will never be able to stop. Imagine the horror s/he experiences when this is what actually happens. Once out of residential treatment, faced with food cravings that drive unhealthy eating habits, the only option seems to be binge and then purge. This sets up a desperate dynamic psychologically and a very dangerous and complicated medical picture.

If on the other hand, s/he learns how to eat clean, s/he learns that s/he can trust food again, that it affects him/her in predictable ways that she can manage, and her fears about losing control begin to subside. In my experience, it is much easier to get an Anorexic or Bulimarexic patient to eat clean than it is to get them to eat polluted foods. That’s a good thing! In comparison, most residential treatment centers and even the typical traditional treatment center will promote a Moderation Model.

If you are in the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area and are seeking treatment for your eating disorder, whether it be anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, bulimarexia, or OSFED (Other Specified Feeding or Eating Disorder) there is help!

Agent 007

My staff and I did some undercover work and called 15 residential centers specializing in the treatment of Anorexia, to assess their awareness of the impact of food pollution on recovery. Even the facilities that encouraged whole foods over processed foods were clueless when it came to the importance of clean eating for recovery. One spokesperson said “If she can’t eat a hot dog or a hamburger, fries and a coke, then she isn’t ready to leave.” Oh dear!

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of obesity and eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder (BED) and the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Let’s Connect!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. This information is not necessarily the position of Dr. J. Renae Norton or The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity.

©2013, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2013, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’.

Eating Disorders, Obesity, and Gastrointestinal Infections

parasite infections

“In recent medical studies it has been estimated that 85%
of the North American adult population has at least one
form of parasite living in their bodies. Some authorities
feel this figure may be as high as 95%.”

As we discussed in the article “Why Am I Hungry When I am Morbidly Obese?“, infections are huge source of internal stress. Some infections can remain undetected for years, keeping the body in a chronic state of stress.

Chronic stress can have numerous effects on the body including, adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalances, leaky gut, liver issues, premature aging, and increased food sensitivities.Additionally, it can lead to an impaired ability to break down food, maldigestion, and malabsorption of nutrients. This is an issue for us all, but even more of an issue for those who are already malnourished as a result of an eating disorder such as anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and bulimarexia.

Symptoms of a parasite infection will vary from person to person. Some common symptoms of a parasite infections include: excess weight gain or weight loss, blood sugar fluctuations, food cravings, depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, joint and muscle aches and pains, anemia, allergies, skin conditions, nervousness, sleep disturbances, teeth grinding and clenching, chronic fatigue, immune system dysfunctions, acne, cancer, and more.

“I believe the single most undiagnosed health challenge
in the history of the human race is parasites. I realize
that is a pretty brave statement, but it is based on my
20 years of experience with more than 20,000 patients.”
– Dr. Ross Anderson

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the most common sources of parasite infections include water, food, blood, insects and animals. The CDC offers several tips on how to reduce your risk of becoming infected by parasites:

  • make sure your pet is under a veterinarian’s care to help protect your pet and your family from possible parasite infections
  • wash your hands frequently, especially after touching animals
  • avoid eating undercooked fish, crabs, mollusks, and meat

  • avoid eating raw aquatic plants (such as watercress)
  • avoid eating uncleaned raw vegetables. In restaurants, avoid all raw vegetables

  • follow the CDCs “Steps of Healthy Swimming

There are several options available if you suspect you have a parasite infection. You can address your concerns with your physician and request to be tested. Alternatively, you can work with a professional that specializes in natural medicine.

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of obesity and eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED) and the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Let’s Connect!

Take my new Eating Disorder survey!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

©2013, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2013, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’.

Why Am I So Hungry When I am Morbidly Obese?

overeating morbidly obese

“Why am I so hungry when I am morbidly obese?”. This is one of the most commonly asked questions from my obese patients. They often come to me feeling like a failure because they can’t follow the weight loss advice of their physician to “just eat less food”. This is extremely difficult to do when you are always hungry. What could possibly be creating these feelings of hunger?

There are primarily two hormones that tell us when we are hungry and when we are full; ghrelin and leptin. Leptin is produced by fat cells; it turns on the signal that tells us we are full and turns off the signal that tells us we are hungry. Ghrelin is produced by stomach cells; it turns off the signal that tells us we are full and turns on the signal that tells us we are hungry.

Obese individuals typically have high levels of leptin and low levels of ghrelin. Over time this leads to a firm of insensitivity to leptin and hypersensitivity to ghrelin.

So what does this mean? The brain is almost constantly receiving a signal that the body is hungry and rarely receiving a signal that body is satisfied. If you are overweight and are experiencing constant feelings of hunger, even after you have recently eaten, I encourage you to talk to your physician about having your serum leptin levels and serum ghrelin levels checked.

So what can be done to correct this imbalance? There are many sources that list a variety of supplements that can be used to balance out leptin and ghrelin levels. however, this approach treats the symptoms rather than the cause; an imbalance in these two hormones suggests that there is malfunction going on within other parts of the body. Supplements may help these two hormone levels fall or rise into a “normal” range for a short period of time, but if you aren’t treating the root cause it is likely that eventually you will need to take higher and higher dosages in order to keep them in a “normal” range. The cause of this malfunction within the body will vary from person to person, it could be anything from a parasite infection to leaky gut. We’ll be talk about parasite infections and leaky gut in an upcoming blog post. So stay tuned!

Dr. J. Renae Norton is a clinical psychologist, specializing in the outpatient treatment of obesity and eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, bulimarexia, and binge eating disorder (BED) and the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is the Director of The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Let’s Connect!

Take my new Eating Disorder survey!

Like me on Facebook

Twitter @drrenae

Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

View video about Dr Norton

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2013, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2013, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Eating Disorders and Autoimmune Disease

autoimmune

Autoimmune diseases afflict nearly 24 million Americans. Yet 90% of Americans cannot name a single one of these deadly and disabling diseases. If autoimmune diseases were grouped as a single category rather than more than 20 separate illnesses, they would be one of the ten most common causes of death for women under the age of 65.

According to News Medical, “autoimmune diseases arise from the overactive immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body. In other words, the body actually attacks its own cells. This may be restricted to certain organs (e.g. in thyroiditis [or Type 1 Diabetes]) or involve a particular tissue in different places (e.g. Goodpasture’s disease which may affect the basement membrane in both the lung and the kidney). There are more than 80 different autoimmune diseases”. The more commonly mentioned autoimmune diseases include Graves’ disease, Hashimoto’s disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Type 1 Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and Celiac disease.

According to Dr. Alessio Fasano, there are three factors that must be present in order for an individual to develop an autoimmune disease:

  • the individual must be exposed to an environmental trigger
  • the individual must be genetically predisposed
  • the individual must have intestinal permeability (leaky gut)

Eating a diet that includes genetically engineered foods impacts the endocrine system in ways that increase the likelihood of autoimmune disorders. It also increases the likelihood of developing leaky gut. In other words, eating genetically engineered foods can expose us to two of the three factors listed by Dr. Fasano; they can be an environmental trigger and lead to leaky gut.

Leaky gut is very common in psychiatric diseases such as anorexia, bulimia, alzheimer’s and schizophrenia. You don’t have to have gut symptoms to have leaky gut; leaky gut can be completely asymptomatic. According to Dr. Jack Kruse, many individuals with eating disorders have a permeable gut barrier and brain barrier. This combination causes disruption in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) which leads to changes in cortisol (which is the stress hormone that tears things down in the body), dehydropiandrosterone (DHEA), which is an anabolic hormone that builds things back up, Insulin Growth Factor 1 (IGF1) which is a hormone that promotes growth and prevents cells from dying, and melatonin, known as the “sleep hormone” as it regulates sleep cycles. (Note: Altered circadian rhythm can affect sleep, hormones, and other functions within the body. Altered circadian cycles are also linked with obesity, diabetes, and psychiatric diseases such as depression.)

One small study in Sweden suggested that there could be a connection between autoimmune diseases and eating disorders. Researchers found that nearly three out of four women (74%) with an eating disorder also had antibodies that have a negative effect on the hypothalamus or pituitary. These antibodies were only found in 2 of 13 women without eating disorders. The hypothalamus plays a significant role in regulating how much food we eat. The researchers stated that more research would need to be completed before clinical applications of the findings can be considered. They are continuing to research the link between the nervous system and the immune system in individuals with eating disorders.

There are several measures that can be taken to reduce the risk of developing an autoimmune condition. We can eat clean, which will reduce our exposure to environmental triggers. In other words, eat organic foods that contain no additives, carcinogens, or GMO’s. We can avoid foods that cause an inflammatory response; these foods will vary from person to person, but usually involve grains or foods to which we are allergic. We can avoid foods that cause leaky gut, such as cereal grains, sugar, processed soy and industrial seed oils.

We can also take steps to help heal the gut. According to Chris Kresser we can promote the healing of the gut through:

  • Removing all food toxins from your diet
  • Eating plenty of fermentable fibers (starches like sweet potato, yam, yucca, etc.)
  • Eating fermented foods like kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi etc. and/or take a high-quality, multi-species probiotic
  • Treat any intestinal pathogens (such as parasites) that may be present
  • Take steps to manage your stress in order to reduce cortisol

Let’s Connect!

Take my new Eating Disorder survey!

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Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2013, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2013, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources:

Autoimmune diseases: a leading cause of death among young and middle-aged women in the United States.

What is Autoimmune Disease?

Autoantibodies against α-MSH, ACTH, and LHRH in anorexia and bulimia nervosa patients

Mechanisms of Disease: the role of intestinal barrier function in the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal autoimmune diseases

The Leaky Gut Prescription

9 Steps to Perfect Health – #1: Don’t Eat Toxins

Pregorexia

Credit: Menno Hordijk (Used under a Creative Commons License)

Pregorexia is a term the media uses for women that have an eating disorder during the time they are pregnant and/or during early motherhood. Individuals affected by the disorder tend to be preoccupied with controlling pregnancy weight gain through food restriction, bingeing and purging, over-exercising, abusing laxatives. diuretics, or diet pills. It is estimated that 1 in 20 women suffer from an eating disorder while pregnant; 60-70% of eating disorder patients relapse during pregnancy.

According to the Mayo Clinic, warning signs of Pregorexia include:

  • talking about the pregnancy as if it wasn’t real
  • obsessiveness over calorie counting
  • eating alone or skipping meals
  • excessive exercise
  • pre-occupation with the scale and weight gain
  • minimal weight gain during pregnancy
  • dieting
  • signs of depression

Pregorexia puts the health of both the mother and the baby at risk. Disordered eating behaviors during pregnancy can affect the mother in a variety of way including malnutrition, dehydration, heart issues, premature birth, miscarriage, and depression. Gaining too little weight during pregnancy can affect the health of the baby in numerous ways including low birth weight, vitamin deficiencies, neurological problems, lower IQ, growth retardation, and other long-term health problems.

Psychologically speaking, pregorexia can be driven by a number of dynamics:

  • the media puts a lot of pressure on women to be thing, even during pregnancy
  • Some women associate motherhood with losing control of their bodies, losing control of their lives and/or losing their identity
  • gaining weight and bodily changes are difficult for most women during pregnancy, but it is especially difficult for those that have a history of disordered eating.
  • the idea of becoming a mother is frightening to some because they don’t believe they can take care of themselves, let alone a baby. They believe that if they keep their body small (like a child) this means that someone, usually parents, will have to take care of them.
  • sometimes the idea of becoming parents can cause relationship difficulties, making the mother-to-be feel out of control, she may try to regain control by controlling her food, weight, and exercise

Like all eating disorders, it is important to seek out treatment if you or a loved one struggles with pregorexia. Treatment often involves the obstetrician, psychological counselling, and nutritional support. A holistic approach that balances body, mind and spirit is the most successful form of treatment.

Let’s Connect!

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2013, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2013, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources:

Pregorexia: A legitimate problem during pregnancy?

Diabulimia

eating disorder treatment cincinnati

Diabulimia is an eating disorder in which individuals with Type 1 Diabetes purposefully give themselves less insulin than they require, with the intention of losing weight. The eating disorder is most common in woman between the ages of 15 and 30. According to Dr. Ann E. Goebel-Fabbri, about 30% of diabetic woman restrict their insulin to induce weight loss at some point in their lives.

There are many serious short-term and long-term consequences associated with diabulimia:

According to Diabulimia Helpline, there are several telltale signs that an individual is suffering from diabulimia:

  • A1c of 9.0 or higher on a continuous basis.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Persistent thirst/frequent urination.
  • Preoccupation with body image.
  • Blood sugar records that do not match HbA1c results.
  • Depression, mood swings and/or fatigue.
  • Secrecy about blood sugars, shots and or eating.
  • Repeated bladder and yeast infections.
  • Low sodium/potassium.
  • Increased appetite especially in sugary foods.
  • Cancelled doctors’ appointments.

Treatment for Diabulimia

The first step in Diabulimia is to break through the denial the individual may have that s/he is abusing insulin to manage weight. Unlike many eating disorders, this one may start as an attempt to control the diabetes but end up as a way of controlling weight. Those with Type I diabetes are at risk for addiction to empty carbs early in their disease as the first symptom is significant weight loss. Efforts to help the child regain the weight usually do not include clean eating, such that s/he may develop bad habits or even an addiction to carbs, fat and/or salt.

Treatment for Diabulimia resembles treatment for Bulimarexia, the combination of Anorexia and Bulimia, in as much as it often contains elements of each disorder. To the degree that the individual uses insulin to “binge” on empty carbs, the first step is to teach him or her to eat clean foods that have a healing impact on the endocrine system rather than a damaging effect.

The other essential ingredient in the treatment of the individual suffering from Diabulimia is to help the individual deal with the fear of gaining weight. As with many individual’s suffering from Anorexia, an excessively low weight seems like an accomplishment. The Diabetic is particularly at risk for having control issues, as so many things seem beyond his or her control, especially when it comes to the body’s reaction to food.

Interested in learning more about Diabulimia? We’ll be talking with Dr. Ann Goebel-Fabbri on next week’s podcast! We’ll be taking your questions live at 646-378-0494 or you can submit your questions HERE.

Let’s Connect!

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Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2013, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2013, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’.

DSM-5 Changes in the Diagnosis Eating Disorders

As of May 2013, several changes will be made to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in regards to the diagnosis of eating disorders.

Binge Eating Disorder (BED) will now be listed as a separate diagnosis. Previously, individuals with BEDs were diagnosed as Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS). BED is associated with major medical complications such as high cholesterol, heart disease, and obesity. By listing BED as a diagnosis that is separate from EDNOS, individuals will now receive a proper diagnosis and more effective treatment.

Individuals will no longer need to present with amenorrhea in order to receive a diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa. There are also changes being made to the weight requirements. Previously, an individual had to present at 85% of their ideal body weight. In the upcoming edition of the DSM, the individual will present with a significantly low body weight due to restriction of energy (food) intake.

In the current edition of the DSM, the main criteria for diagnosis of Bulimia Nervosa is based on the number of binge/purge episodes that occur per week. Currently, to be diagnosed with Bulimia Nervosa, the individual must binge/purge more than two times every week for a period of three months; otherwise they are diagnosed with EDNOS. In the 2013 version of the DSM, the number of weekly binge/purge episodes has been reduced. The individual must binge/purge at least once per week for a three month period in order to be diagnosed with Bulimia Nervosa.

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Female Athlete Triad Syndrome

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Female Athlete Triad Syndrome is a condition that combines energy deficit created through restricting food intake or over-exercising, irregular menstruation, and bone loss. According to the Female Athlete Triad Coalition, the most common symptoms of Female Athlete Triad Syndrome include:

  • irregular or absent menstrual cycles
  • always feeling tired and fatigued
  • disrupted sleep
  • stress fractures and frequent or recurring injuriesrestricting food intake
  • obsessed with being thin
  • eating less than needed in an effort to improve performance or physical appearance
  • cold hands and feet

As with all eating disorders, some individuals are more at risk of developing Female Athlete Triad Syndrome. Athletes involved in sports that emphasize being “lean” (such as gymnastics, figure skating, ballet, long distance running, swimming, diving) are most commonly affected by Female Athlete Triad Syndrome. Other risk factors include: participating in sports that require weight checks, over-exercising, playing “high-pressure” sports, participating in sports that look down upon weight gain, working with controlling parents or coaches.

Psychologically speaking this syndrome can be driven by a number of dynamics. For different reasons, some young women associate motherhood with losing control of their bodies and/or their lives. The obvious one is the weight gain. But it may also be that they do not want to give up their devotion to their Eating Disorder, especially if they suffer from Anorexia or Bulimarexia. For others, it may have to do with giving up or modifying career or athletic success. This often stems from a fundamental belief that they “cannot have it or cannot do it all” and so they sacrifice the role of motherhood. For others, the mature or womanly body is frightening because they do not believe that they can take care of themselves. Thus keeping a child’s body means that someone, usually parents, will have to care for them. At the end of the day, the number of reasons for engaging in behaviors that are so detrimental to one’s health and future are as different and varied as the people suffering from them. Which is why all treatment has to take the individual where she is and not use a One Size Fits All Approach.

There are several steps that active women can take to prevent Female Triad Syndrome. The Female Athlete Triad Coalition suggests:

  • monitoring your menstrual cycle by using a diary or calendar
  • consult your physician if you have menstrual irregularities, having recurrent injuries or stress fractures
  • seek counseling if you suspect you are overly concerned about your body image
  • consult a sport nutritionist to help you design an appropriate diet that is specific to your sport and to your body’s energy needs
  • seek emotional support from parents, coaches and teammates

It is also important to make sure you are taking in enough calories to support normal body function. If you are a 120 pound woman, it takes 1600 calories per day to have a normal menstrual cycle. If you burn an additional 500 calories at the gym or in your sport, you would need to eat 2100 calories per day.

For more information for Female Athlete Triad Syndrome, be sure to visit the Female Athlete Triad Coalition.

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Anorexia Nervosa & Body Dysmorphia

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Many patients with anorexia nervosa experience body dysmorphia; they feel that they are much larger than they actually are. Recently, a study was published that investigated whether this overestimation of body size is a symptom of the eating disorder or if it is a general impairment in perception.

The study involved fifty participants; 25 of the participants had anorexia nervosa, 25 participants were control participants. Participants were well-matched based on age and level of education. Within a test room, each participant was presented with a door. The participant had to judge whether the door was wide enough for them to pass through. Presented with the same door, the participant then had to judge whether the door was wide enough for another person in the test room to pass through.The participants with anorexia nervosa significantly overestimated their ability to pass through the door in comparison to the control group, suggesting that overestimation of the passability ratios in participants with anorexia nervosa are likely to be caused by an overestimation of their own body size and shape.

The study concluded that the overestimation in participants with anorexia nervosa occurred because the central nervous system had not yet registered that the participants body was emaciated; the central nervous system had an outdated image of the participants body in it’s pre-anorexic state.


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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Source: Guardia D, Conversy L, Jardri R, Lafargue G, Thomas P, et al. (2012) Imagining One’s Own and Someone Else’s Body Actions: Dissociation in Anorexia Nervosa. PLoS ONE 7(8): e43241. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0043241

Yoga in the Treatment of Eating Disorders

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In 2010, Newman’s Own funded a pilot program at the Seattle Children’s outpatient Adolescent Medicine Department. The pilot program was implemented to evaluate the effect of yoga on eating disorder treatment outcomes among teenagers receiving outpatient treatment for anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (EDNOS).The study involved 50 girls and 4 boys between the ages of 11-21; 29 participants were diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, 9 participants were diagnosed with bulimia nervosa, 15 participants were diagnosed with EDNOS. Participants were randomly divided into two groups. One group received standard care; standard care involved appointments with a physician and dietician every other week which monitored weight/height, vital signs, body mass index, nutritional habits, and menstruation status. The second group of participants received yoga instruction plus standard care; yoga instruction involved one hour of one-to-one individualized viniyoga, semi-weekly. Participants were evaluated at the beginning of the study, at the end of the study, and one month after the study via Eating Disorder Examination (EDE), Body Mass Index (BMI), Beck Depression Inventory, State Trait Anxiety Inventory, and Food Preoccupation questionnaire.

Immediately after yoga sessions, participants experienced a significant decrease in their preoccupation with food; this was evaluated using the Food Preoccupation questionnaire. Although both groups experienced a decrease in EDE scores, the group that received yoga plus standard of care exhibited greater decreases in symptoms of their eating disorders. At the 12-week follow-up, the EDE scores non-yoga group had returned to baseline; this was not the case with the yoga group. BMI remained stable for both the yoga and non-yoga group; participants with anorexia nervosa did not lose weight, participants with bulimia nervosa did not experience rapid weight fluctuations. Based upon the results of the study, the researchers concluded that individualized yoga does hold promise as adjunctive therapy to standard care. The full results of the study can be viewed HERE.

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Eating Disorders in Older Women

 

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Recently, there has been an increase in the number of older women that display symptoms of disordered eating. Although this segment of the population appears to be having issues that are very similar to those seen in younger women (body dysmorphia, seemingly uncontrollable eating, yoyo dieting, etc.) they may not be showing up for treatment. In my practice, I usually see them “indirectly” or in the role as parent rather than a patient. It is becoming all too common to have a patient describe her mother’s issues with food as being a part of her problem. From parents that engage in bingeing to moms that are obviously restricting, the problems run the gamut. The problem is that they are not there to address their own disorder, but that of their child.

An eating disorder is always a very serious problem, but it may be even more serious in older women because eating disorders can be particularly harmful to older populations since their bodies are less resilient. Eating disorders can have devastating effects on cardiovascular health, musculoskeletal health, and gastrointestinal health; these effects are amplified in older populations. Oftentimes eating disorders in older populations are left undiagnosed since symptoms that would be telltale signs of an eating disorder in younger populations, such as amenorrhea, are chalked up to menopause.

This year, the International Journal of Eating Disorders published a study which examined body image and the prevalence of eating disorders in older women. 1,849 women participated in the study; the average age of participants was 59 years old. The body weight of participants varied; 56% were overweight or obese, 42% were normal weight, 2% were underweight. The study determined that:

  • 71% of the women said their weight or body shape affected their self-perception
  • 41% of the women reported checking their body daily
  • 36% of the women reported spending at least half of the last five years dieting
  • 13.3% of the women reported symptoms of an eating disorder
  • 8% of the women reported purging without bingeing within the past five years
  • There was a high incidence of the use of unhealthy methods aimed at weight loss; 7.5% reported using diet pills, 7% reported exercising in excess, 2.5% reported using diuretics, 2% reported using laxatives, 1% reported vomiting.

An Australian study was published that also examined eating behaviors, weight history, and body image in older women. 475 women participated in the study; their ages ranged from 60-70 years old. The majority of women in the study were slightly overweight with a BMI of 25. The study determined:

  • 90% of the women reported feeling very fat or moderately fat
  • 60% of the women reported feeling dissatisfied with their body; many reported wanting to obtain a BMI of 23
  • More than 80% of them women reported making efforts to manage their weight
  • 4% (18 participants) met diagnostic criteria for an eating disorder; one participant had anorexia nervosa, one participant had bulimia nervosa, fifteen participants had an eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS)
  • An additional 4% of participants reported a single symptom of an eating disorder such as abusing laxatives or diuretics, purging or binge eating.

Researchers attribute the majority of mid and late-life eating disorders to major life changes such as divorce, loss of a parent, having children leave home for university or jobs, having children return home upon graduating university, and adapting to the role of having to take care of both children/grandchildren and aging parents. During these stressful life changes, many women turn to food to help gain a sense of control and to regulate their mood. Additionally, aging women may feel even more pressure to lose weight because they feel they are losing their “youthful beauty” which today’s pop culture values so highly.

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Why Rapid Weight Gain Decreases Treatment Success Rates

At many inpatient eating disorder treatment centers patients with anorexia nervosa are required to restore their weight quickly; I’ve had patients that were forced to gain 20 pounds in 21 days! Not coincidentally, 21 days was the amount of time that managed care would cover. There are numerous reasons as to why gaining weight this quickly actually sets the patient up for relapse. Let’s look at what gaining weight at a rapid rate does to leptin levels.

In the malnourished, underweight anorexic, leptin levels are typically very low, due to low fat reserves. Usually, leptin levels reach normal levels during weight restoration. However, when weight is gained too quickly, leptin levels rise too quickly and may exceed the normal range. Of course this has the opposite effect needed for refeeding and individuals experience suppressed appetite and suppressed energy expenditure. As a result, it becomes increasingly difficult for the patient to eat, often interfering with the refeeding process. Many of the patients who have had this experience, were told, in effect, that they were at fault, or “not trying”. The reason that this happens is that not enough practitioners know about Leptin and the role that it plays in re-feeding. For someone who already has control issues, this is an extremely painful and often damaging experience.

At the Norton Center, our anorexic patients are helped to restore their weight slowly, but steadily. This, along with other important nutritional factors, plays a major role in our high success. It is important to note that many treatment programs use weight gain at the conclusion of treatment as the measure of success. This is a distortion in as much as the 20 pound weight gain is often gone in a matter or months, and sometimes in a matter of weeks. We measure success as weight gain that is maintained for a at least one year post treatment. Currently, our success rates for those patients that remain in treatment is about 90%; in comparison, many inpatient treatment centers experience a much lower success rate, or about 30 to 40%.

How Low Leptin Effects the Physical Complications and Behaviors Typical of Anorexia Nervosa

Low leptin plays a significant role in many of the physical complications and behaviors that are typically associated with anorexia nervosa; amenorrhea, hypothyroidism, hypercortisolism, osteopenia, immune changes, and increased physical activity.

Leptin levels of less than 1.85 µg suggests amenorrhea and subnormal luteinizing hormone (a hormone that stimulates ovulation) in women with anorexia nervosa. As leptin levels normalize through weight restoration, the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis may be activated. Not all patients with anorexia nervosa resume menses upon weight restoration.

The majority of women with anorexia nervosa exhibit osteopenia. Low leptin levels are also associated with a reduction in bone formation rate. Although there are other endocrine changes that contribute to osteopenia, low leptin levels appear to play a significant role.

Individuals with anorexia nervosa, often experience a compromised immune system. This could also be due, in part to low leptin levels although most of the compromised immunity is due to increased cortisol levels. Cortisol is the hormone that we associate with stress. Patients who are gaining weight too rapidly, are under considerably more stress, and may also be experiencing increased cortisol levels

Finally, up to 80% of patients with Anorexia Nervosa tend to engage in excessive physical activity. It is believed that there is an inverse correlation between food intake and physical activity during the weight loss phase. In other words, the lower the leptin levels, the more drive there is to exercise excessively, which causes more weight loss or less weight gain. One study demonstrated that patients reported a decreased feeling of restlessness or hyperactivity (need to exercise) as leptin increased during the refeeding/weight restoration phase of treatment.

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources: Monteleone P. Di Lieto A. Castaldo E, et al. Leptin functioning in eating disorders. CNS Spectrums. 2004;9:523–529. [PubMed]

The Effects of Macronutrient Intake on Binge Eating and Satiety in Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder

Macronutrient Ratios

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Research shows that diets that are high in protein may reduce the frequency of binge eating episodes in individuals with Bulimia Nervosa (BN) or Binge Eating Disorder (BED).

Eighteen women with Bulimia Nervosa or Binge Eating Disorder participated in a five-week study to determine if macronutrient ratio affected the frequency of binge-eating episodes. The study was completed in two phases, one phase was a high-protein phase, one phase was a high-carbohydrate phase; both phases were separated with a one-week “washout” phase. Each participant was provided with a two-week supply of high-protein supplementation, and a two-week supply of high-carbohydrate supplementation. The 280-calorie high-protein supplement contained 75.47% protein, 10.31% carbohydrates, and 14.23% fat; the 280-calorie high-carbohydrate supplement contained 0% protein, 67.3% carbohydrates, and 1.33% fat. The supplements were taken one hour before meals. Participants were required to keep a food diary for the duration of the study.

After each two-week phase, each participant was required to fast overnight and then consumed one 420-calorie supplement of the same composition of the supplement given throughout the phase. Three hours after consuming the supplement, each participant was placed in a private room and presented with a buffet of foods that were typical of both meals and binges. The buffet consisted of a wide variety of foods with varied macronutrient ratios; examples include cheese, cake, cookies, bread, potato chips, ice cream, fruit, vegetables, meat, eggs, fish, beans, and peanut butter.

Upon completion of the study, it was determined that the frequency of binge eating episodes were 62% lower during the high-protein phase than during the high-carbohydrate phase. Three hours after high-protein supplementation, participants reported a greater sense of fullness and a reduced sense of hunger; they also consumed 21% less food than they did during the high-carbohydrate phase. It was also noted that participants gained a significant amount of body weight during the high-carbohydrate phase, while body weight during the high-protein phase was stable. The researchers hypothesize that a diet high in protein may protect both eating disordered individuals and non-eating disordered individuals from overeating or binge-eating.

Why did the episodes of binge-eating decrease during the high-protein phase? The researchers believe that when participants consumed the high-protein supplement there was an increased release of the satiety agents CCK and glucagon. When CCK and glucagon is increased, satiety signals are improved or restored. When this occurs, participants were less likely to binge on high-carbohydrate or high-fat foods. By not binge eating on high-carbohydrate or high-fat foods there was inherently an increased proportion of protein in the participant’s diet.

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© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Source:

Latner, J.D., Wilson, G.T., (2004), Binge Eating and Satiety in Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder: Effects of Macronutrient Intake, Int J Eat Disord 2004 Dec;36(4):402-15.

Meditation-Based Intervention for Binge Eating Disorder (BED)

Meditation and Binge Eating Disorder

Photo Used Under a Creative Commons License via AlicePopkorn

Is it possible that individuals with Binge Eating Disorder could gain a greater sense of control over eating by giving up a certain amount of conscious control? It’s quite the paradox, really. A study completed at the University of Indiana examined this very idea. The study explored the use of meditation-based intervention for Binge Eating Disorder. The six-week study introduced 18 obese women to standard and eating-specific mindfulness meditation. After completing the study, episodes of binge-eating decreased from 4.02 episodes per week, to 1.57 episodes per week. Additionally, the women’s scores on the Binge Eating Scale (BES), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) decreased significantly; anxiety and depression went from mild-moderate to non-clinical levels. The women also reported an improvement in their sense of mindfulness, perceived control, awareness of hunger and satiety cues.

There are numerous reasons that meditation may be a successful form of therapy for individuals with Binge Eating Disorder (BED):

– people that regularly meditate exhibit greater control over random flow of thought

– meditation lowers brain reactivity; this may lower the impulses associated with Binge Eating Disorder

– it is believed that the act of meditating puts a space between thought and action, allowing for more time to think situations through before acting

– people that meditate regularly show an increased amount of connection in the white matter that connects the Anterior Cingulate Gyrus (ACG) to the rest of the brain; deficiencies in these connections are associated with addiction (including food addiction), depression, ADHD, obsessive behaviors, compulsive behaviors, and eating disorders

If you want to incorporate the art of meditation into your everyday life, there are several free downloadable meditations available through Buddha Net. A good meditation to start with is the Body Scan, which gives instructions on bringing awareness to bodily sensations. Buddha Net also offers meditations for progressive relaxation, learning how to calm the body with breath, cultivating peace and joy with the breath, mindful standing and walking, mindfulness of breath, mindfulness of sound and thought, healing painful emotions, and loving-kindness meditation.

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources:

J Health Psychol May 1999 vol 4 no 3 357-363

The Science Behind Overeating

Many of my clients and readers who are seeking treatment for Binge Eating Disorder, Obesity, or Bulimia ask the question “Why do I overeat?” There are numerous factors that drive us to overeat. But first let’s identify the five main types of overeating; compulsive overeating, impulsive overeating, impulsive-compulsive overeating, anxious overeating and emotional overeating. The following are possible causes, and ways to decrease the tendency to overeat.

The Science Behind Overeating

Compulsive Overeating

Compulsive Overeaters tend to obsess over food and are compelled to eat with very little self-control. The condition characterized by low serotonin in the brain, which causes the portion of the brain known as the Anterior Cingulate Gyrus to overwork. The Anterior Cingulate Gyrus is the portion of the brain that is responsible for allowing us to move from thought to thought, co-operate, and see errors; it’s the brain’s gear-shifter. An overactive anterior cingulate gyrus can be caused by genetics, emotional trauma, or poor diet.

Your serotonin levels may be too low if you get thoughts stuck in your head, you worry excessively, you are easily upset, you obsess over food, or you tend to be a night time eater. Serotonin can be raised through aerobic exercise, and supplements (5HTP, saffron, inositol, vitamin B6).

Impulsive Overeating

Impulsive Overeaters often have good intentions when it comes to eating good foods, but have a hard time controlling urges when they see a not-so-healthy food.

Impulsive Overeating is characterized by low dopamine in the brain. Low dopamine decreases the function of the portion of the brain known as Pre-Frontal Cortex. The Pre-Frontal Cortex is the front third of the brain, responsible for allowing us to focus, control impulses, to be emotional organizers and planners, be empathetic and insightful, and to learn from our mistakes. You can think of it as the “then what?” part of your brain; if I eat this, then what will happen? If I say this, then what will happen?

When the function of the Pre-Frontal Cortex is decreased (either through injury or a condition like ADD), it makes it very difficult to think ahead, to focus, etc. Functionality of the Pre-Frontal Cortex is improved by raising dopamine levels. Dopamine may be raised through aerobic exercise and supplements (L-tyrosine, green tea extract, ginseng, rhodiola).

Impulsive-Compulsive Overeating

Impulsive-Compulsive Overeaters constantly think about food and have a difficult time controlling themselves around food. This condition is characterized by low dopamine and serotonin. Impulsive-Compulsive Overeating is commonly seen in those suffering from eating disorders, as well as children and grandchildren of alcoholics.

Impulsive-Compulsive Overeating can be improved by increasing both dopamine and serotonin. This can be accomplished through aerobic exercise and supplements (5HTP and L-Tyrosine in the right proportions).

Anxious Overeating

Anxious Overeaters typically use food in an attempt to alleviate feelings of anxiety and fear.

Anxious Overeating is common in those with overactive Basal Ganglia. The Basal Ganglia is a large collection of cells that are located deep within the brain. It’s the portion of the brain that integrates thought with movement; clapping our hands when we’re excited, jumping when we’re frightened.

Symptoms of overactive Basal Ganglia include anxiety, nervousness, tension, the tendency to predict the worst, the tendency to use food as a way to medicate, and physical symptoms of stress (headaches, stomach aches, irritable bowel syndrome etc). Functionality of the Basal Ganglia can be improved through hypnosis, meditation, learning to correct negative thinking patterns, limiting alcohol and caffeine consumption, assertiveness training, and supplements (gaba and magnesium).

Emotional Overeating

Emotional Overeaters tend to use food to alleviate feelings of negativity and hopelessness.

Emotional Overeating is characterized by low levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine in the brain. Low levels of these neurotransmitters cause the Deep Limbic System to become overactive. The Deep Limbic System sets our emotional tone; when it’s working at a normal level we tend to be more hopeful and positive.

You may have low levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine if you experience a lot of negative thoughts, are sad or depressed, have trouble sleeping, and/or experience a lack of motivation. These neurotransmitters can be increased though aerobic exercise, learning to replace automatic negative thoughts with healing, rational thinking, and supplements (fish oil, DHEA, S-adenosyl methionine aka SAMe).

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources:

KNOW YOUR BRAIN: One Size Does Not Fit Everyone — Targeted Interventions Just For You

Amen, D. G., & M.D., F. (2012). Change your brain, change your body, use your brain to get and keep the body you have always wanted. Three Rivers Press.

Neuroendocrine System Changes: Anorexia vs. Normal Starvation

Whether a person experiences normal starvation or starvation through anorexia, the neuroendocrine system tries to adapt. Below is a comparison of the changes to cholecystokin, leptin, serotonin, dopamine, neuropeptide YY, ghrelin, galanin, and norepinephrine in normal starvation, anorexia, and in post-recovery from anorexia.

Neuroendocrine Changes - Anorexia, Normal Starvation

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Source:

Guisinger, Shan (2009). Is Anorexia Addictive? [powerpoint slides]. Retrieved from //www.shanguisinger.org/2009/08/is-anorexia-addictive-hbes-berlin/

Anorexia, Addiction and the Three-Part Brain Model

The Three-Part Brain Model

The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as “a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.

Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.”

To understand addiction, it is important to understand the three-part brain model. The first and most important part of the brain is the lower part of the brain, the brain stem. The brain stem regulates life sustaining activities such as telling us to breath, getting our digestion going and regulating heart rate.

The next most important part of the brain is the middle part of the brain, the limbic system. The limbic system is responsible for emotional, instinctual, and motivational-based functions. It gets us to do things that will keep us alive. The middle part of the brain is the non-thinking part of the brain that instinctually and reactively gets us away from pain or draws us toward pleasure (such as sex, food, sleep, exercise etc) which is a life-sustaining principle.

The third and final part of the brain is top part of the brain, the cortex. The cortex is the thinking part of the brain. It gives the ability to appreciate art, literature and other people. Additionally, it is responsible for our social skills, judgment, insight, and other executive functions of the brain. The cortex also moderates emotions and instincts which are there to keep our lives going.

In a perfect system, all three parts of the brain will work together in balance. When a problem occurs, such as addiction or an eating disorder the limbic system becomes manipulated or overbalanced. What was initially a perfect system actually begins to work against us; the middle part of the brain overpowers the top part of the brain. When the middle part of the brain becomes aroused by feelings such as hunger, anger, loneliness, or tiredness we lose our sense of willpower and reasonable thinking; which resides in the front part of the brain.

The middle part of the brain is home to the nucleus accumbens. The nucleus accumbens is the reward pathway of the brain; anything that makes us feel good involves the nucleus accumbens. Three of the neurochemicals that pass through the nucleus accumbens include dopamine, serotonin, and endorphin. Dopamine is the neurochemical that makes us want or desire something; serotonin is the neurochemical makes us feel relaxed and satisfied; endorphin is the neurochemical that protect us from feeling physical or emotional pain.

I recently spoke to addictions specialist Dr. Vera Tarman who described how this relates to the brain of an individual with anorexia. When an individual is suffering from anorexia they experience a dopaminergic euphoria. He or she experiences a ‘high’, as they obsess about food; similar to how a drug addict would experience over their drug of choice. When the anorexic becomes increasingly hungry, the limbic system produces extra dopamine. As the person becomes hungrier, the reward value of food heightens. This is the body’s attempt to entice the person to eat, to nourish itself. The anorexic does not eat food, but as he or she gets hungrier, she instead anticipates food – in the food preparation, in the food obsessions, in how she or he ‘plays’ (but does not eat) the food. As the anorexic individual becomes more and more hungry, the dopamine high builds and builds. It’s important to note that as soon as the anorexic does eat, the high stops completely. Anorexics resist food the same way as the drug addict resists withdrawal from their drug.

Sources:

Human Brain and Skeleton Photo from office.microsoft.com Clip Art and Image Library (Under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License) Source: knol.google.com

American Society of Addiction Medicine. (April 19 2011). Definition of Addiction. American Society of Addiction Medicine. Retrieved July 18 2012, from //www.asam.org/for-the-public/definition-of-addiction.

Dr. Vera Tarman (personal communication, July 11, 2012)

Croxton, S. (Host) (2012, May 23). Understanding Food Addiction with Dr. Vera Tarman [Podcast]. Underground Wellness. California: Blog Talk Radio. Retrieved May 24 2012, from //www.blogtalkradio.com/undergroundwellness/2012/05/23/understanding-food-addiction-w-dr-vera-tarman

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Amino Acid Therapy

Recently I listened to an interview with Dr. Kalish, a pioneer in the concept of amino acid therapy. During the interview he discussed the use of amino acid therapy for depression that doesn’t require hospitalization and in which the individual isn’t a risk to self or others. The information presented below is a summary of the interview.

The two most common underlying causes of weight gain, fatigue and depression include neurotransmitter dysfunction and HPA axis (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis) dysfunction. Neurotransmitter dysfunction leads to cravings for carbs and compulsive overeating, forcing people into a downward spiral of weight gain and depression.”

The two main neurotransmitters that affect our mood are serotonin and dopamine. Think of them as the master neurotransmitters. They control nearly all of the other 180 neurotransmitters in the brain. When deficiencies of serotonin or dopamine are present, all the other neurotransmitters in the brain become unbalanced.

Nutritional deficiencies, neurotoxicity, head injury, and genetics can all cause serotonin and dopamine deficiencies. Their metabolism, synthesis, and uptake pathways are intertwined, so that damage to one affects the other.

That said, their bioavailability is different, in that Serotonin is made available by the amino acids tryptophan and 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), whereas dopamine is synthesized from the amino acids tyrosine and L-Dopa. When one of these neurotransmitter precursors is out of balance, however, the metabolism, synthesis, and uptake of either neurotransmitter can be impaired, resulting in disturbances in mood and cognitive functioning. Serotonin and dopamine also regulate things such as appetite, libido, and the circulatory system.

The most logical method to restore serotonin and dopamine would be to take them in a pill form. Unfortunately, this would not be effective since serotonin and dopamine are unable to pass through the Blood-Brain barrier (BBB), so the medication would never enter the brain. The pharmaceutical solution has been to create an SSRI (Serotonin Reuptake) antidepressant. SSRI’s work at the cellular level in the brain by blocking the re-uptake of serotonin after it is released from a cell.

Normally, the brain cell releases a small amount of serotonin which does it’s job by stimulating another cell to release an electrical charge. Once it’s job is done, it is reabsorbed into the original cell. In other words, to get the desired effect, it must hit the target cell again and again in order to cause a sufficient amount of electrical charge to effect mood. For the individual taking an SSRI, the medication block’s the reuptake of serotonin so that it remains outside of the cell. The result is that it has more time to do it’s job.

Two things happen when the serotonin remains outside of the cell: first it continues to hit the neighboring brain cell repeatedly, causing it to fire, which is what makes the individual feel better. Secondly, enzymes within the brain eventually break down the serotonin. Over time this break down results in the additional depletion of the serotonin.

At some point, the brain is too depleted of serotonin for the SSRI drugs to work and the individual must turn to the class of drugs that affect dopamine, one of which are atypical antipsychotics. Unfortunately, long-term use of these drugs eventually results in a dopamine deficiency. In addition to which, atypical antipsychotics have significant side effects including weight gain, type II diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, myocarditis, sexual dysfunction, extrapyramidal side effects and cataracts.

According to Dr. Kalish, there are two main amino acids that have the ability to pass through the BBB, 5-HTP and tyrosine; 5-HTP affects serotonin, while tyrosine affects dopamine. When the correct ratio of 5-HTP and tyrosine and several other co-factors are taken (usually cysteine, calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6) the brain can generate the appropriate amount of serotonin and dopamine. It is critical that 5-HTP and tyrosine are taken together. If either are used on their own, the opposite neurotransmitter will eventually be depleted; taking 5-HTP on it’s own would result in a dopamine deficiency, taking tyrosine on it’s own would result in a serotonin deficiency. Also, if there isn’t enough of each of the co-factors available in the brain (most importantly vitamin B6), 5-HTP will not convert to serotonin and tyrosine will not convert to dopamine.

As amino acid therapy progresses, the brain begins to heal and repair itself; there is an increase in neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters also begin to operate at a normal level forcing a growth of new connections. Oftentimes, the individual can eventually stop taking the 5-HTP and tyrosine and continue to experience the benefits they received while utilizing amino acid therapy.

Typically, lab tests are required to determine the correct dosage of 5-HTP and tyrosine, since the ideal dose will vary from person to person. An example starting dose is usually 1000 mg of tyrosine (3 times per day, maximum dose of 3000 mg per day) and 100 mg of 5-HTP (3 times per day, maximum dose of 300 mg per day). Any dose higher than this needs to be supervised by a physician or specialist like Dr. Kalish. Even the starting dose should be discussed with your physician, especially if you are taking other medications.

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible. Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Food for Thought – May 2012

‘Food for Thought’ is The Norton Center for Eating Disorders and Obesity’s monthly e-newsletter designed to keep readers and clients (both past and present) up to date on the latest health, fitness and nutrition information. Many of my clients and readers find having this newsletter emailed directly to them is a quick and convenient way to receive this information. You can subscribe to my e-newsletter by sending your email address to drnortonPR at gmail dot com with the subject line ‘Sign me up for Food for Thought”.

May 2012
Food for Thought

Popular Articles:

Childhood Obesity

Working-In vs. Working-Out

Characteristics of the Traditional Diet

News You Can Use:

Brain Activity Gives Scientists a Clue About Eating Disorders

Spike in US Autism Rates Linked to High-Fructose Corn Syrup Consumption

Why Pasture Eggs Taste Better Than Those From Factory Farms

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Hello and Welcome

Thank you for taking the time to check out the newsletter! This information is meant to provide you with up the minute news you can use on your journey to becoming a more mindful consumer and a healthier version of yourself! To that end, I invite you to submit requests and/or give your input. Maybe you have a recipe that you think others would enjoy. Or perhaps you have a question about food, exercise, or how to develop good habits. Please use this form to submit your question and I will make every effort to get back to you in the next issue.

Be well, be wise, be happy and healthy!

Renae Norton

Childhood Obesity

The average child spends almost 53 hours/week (7 hours 38 min/day) watching television, playing video games, using computers and/or cell phones. Add another 1 hour 25 minutes/week if you include texting. Clearly our children need more physical activity. However, parents who come home from work exhausted, have a difficult time being good role models. Likewise it is a challenge for overworked parents to ensure that their children are less sedentary and more active. Schools are generally not in a position to help. In 2011 the median Physical Education (PE) budget in elementary schools in the U.S. was $460/year. Many PE programs are optional, depending upon the grade. Some PE classes can even be taken online…..READ MORE.

 

Maji and Mongo Have Arrived!

As some of you may know, I recently completed a series of children’s books on Lifestyle issues designed to help parents protect their children from the dynamics that would otherwise rob them of their health and well-being. The books delight readers from age 3 to 10, because the adorable pups, Maji and Mongo make being healthy an exciting and fun-filled adventure. The first book in the series is entitled “How Maji Gets Mongo Off the Couch” and was released on May 1 2012.…..READ MORE

The Connection Between Eating Disorders, Obesity, and Our Food Supply

I was recently asked to contribute an article to the Fooducate Blog about “The Connection Between Eating Disorders, Obesity, and Our Food Supply”. The article received an excellent response from both the Fooducate staff and readers of the blog. You can read the full article on the fooducate blog.

Recipe: Tunegg Salad

Fresh tuna, organic eggs and coconut oil mayonnaise make this delicious salad an excellent source of protein and healthy fats! It’s become a favorite recipe with both my family and clients….READ MORE.

Dr. J Renae Norton’s Center for Eating Disorders & Related Problems

drnorton@eatingdisorderpro.com

 

The Connection Between Eating Disorders, Obesity and Our Food Supply

Fooducate

I was recently asked by the folks at Fooducate to write an article for their blog readers about how eating real (clean) food helps those with eating disorders overcome their challenges. It was such an honor to be able to share my work with their readers!

Be sure to visit the Fooducate blog to read my article “The Connection Between Eating Disorders, Obesity and Our Food Supply

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

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iTherapy – Integrating the iPhone into Therapy

iPhone Therapy

photo used under creative commons license

I recently read an article by Dr. Weissman of the Chicago Institute of Psychoanalysis that introduced the concept of using an iPhone in the treatment of anorexia and body dysmorphic disorder.

Times are changing faster than ever. Technological advances, such as the introduction of the iPhone, have drastically changed the way we communicate and perform everyday activities. We can easily observe our everyday lives via the video and photo component of the iPhone. Weissman believes that this component of iPhone technology could be an effective tool in the treatment of the body dysmorphia that often accompanies anorexia.

Many of my patients that are in treatment for anorexia also experience some level of body dysmorphia; they see an obese person looking back at them in the mirror even though they are drastically underweight. Today, body dysmorphia is typically treated through psychotherapy, nutritional support and medication. For some patients, these approaches have limited success rates.

When a patient talks to me about the “obese person” that they see in the mirror, I often introduce a body image exercise involving “photo-therapy”. I ask the patient to take a photograph of themselves and bring it to their next treatment session. Oftentimes, when the patient returns and we talk about the photograph, the same body that was once described as being “fat” and “obese” is now described as being “underweight” and “malnourished”.

Weissman explains that when an anorexic patient looks in the mirror, their self perception is instantly fused with a distorted body image. The brain is so overwhelmed by this distortion, that it cannot process the image of the “real” body. The brain becomes trapped in this optical illusion, this distorted view. In contrast, when an anorexic patient sees his or her self in a photograph, the brain first acknowledges that there is a person in the photograph, it then focuses on the physicality of the photographed person. The brain then sends the message to the patient that they are the person in the photograph.

Integrating iPhone Therapy into the treatment of anorexia could definitely be a powerful tool in overcoming the body dysmorphia associated with anorexia. Based upon psychotherapy techniques developed by Frieda Fromm-Reichmann in Principles of Intensive Psychotherapy I, the steps below are Weissman’s suggested approach to integrating the iPhone into treatment:

  1. Patient and therapist look at patient in the mirror. Patient describes what they see.
  2. Therapist takes a photograph of the patient with iPhone. Patient describes what s/he sees.
  3. Therapist and patient discuss the differences between the description of the patient in the mirror and the patient in the photograph.
  4. A photograph of the patient standing beside the therapist is taken. Patient describes the image of the therapist. If the patient see distortion in the therapists image, the therapist and patient develop a jointly shared description of the therapist.
  5. Patient describes image of self. If patient sees distortion, the therapist and patient develop a jointly shared description of the patient.

Weissman points out the importance of the therapist not correcting the distorted view of the patient. If the patient does experience distortion in the photograph, the therapist should remind the patient that they both agreed on the description of the image of the therapist in the same photograph. It is necessary that the therapist and patient try to come to an agreement on the description of the patient.

Weissman predicts that utilizing this iPhone exercise will lead to an eventual reduction in the amount of distortion that the patient experiences when looking in the mirror. A combination of iPhone Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and nutritional counseling may lead to the patient gaining the important ability to maintain a healthy weight with little outside assistance. If the therapist successfully teaches the patient to be able to independently perform this exercise on a regular basis, there could be a drastic drop in relapse rates.

Sources: “Photo-Therapy: A Promising Intervention in Anorexia Nervosa?”

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

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Appetite Hormones 101: Leptin

This series is designed to explain the role of hormones on both appetite and body weight goals, whether it’s weight loss or weight restoration. “Appetite Hormones 101” will be made up of three articles that describe the major appetite hormones: leptin, ghrelin, and peptide YY.

Leptin

Leptin, discovered by scientists in 1994, is also known as the “starvation hormone”. According to leptin expert, Dr Robert Lustig, leptin sends a signal to our brains that fat cells have enough stored energy to engage in normal metabolic processes. Every individual has an optimal level of leptin, which is thought to be determined genetically. When leptin levels are below optimal levels, the brain receives a message to conserve energy because the body is in a state of deprivation. When this occurs, the brain sends a message to the body that it is hungry (in an attempt to get the individual to eat) so that leptin levels can be restored to an optimal level.

Leptin levels are typically high in obese individuals and low in severely underweight/malnourished individuals. When leptin levels are too high, the individual experiences leptin resistance.

When an individual becomes leptin resistant, the body prevents leptin from passing through the blood brain barrier, which also prevents the brain from receiving the signal that leptin levels are at an optimal level. Instead, the brain senses that the body is in a state of starvation, and the individual becomes hungry. Leptin levels go up as a result.

High triglyceride levels also contribute to the prevention of leptin passing through the blood brain barrier. Triglyceride levels are often high in obese individuals as a result of poor dietary choices. In the individual with anorexia, triglyceride levels are often high because of liver damage and anorexia-induced hormone disruption.

If you think that you may be suffering from Leptin Resistance, there are several things that you can do.

  • Get plenty of sleep. Lack of sleep disrupts many hormonal processes, including leptin levels.
  • Avoid non-fruit sources of fructose. Studies show that fructose raises triglyceride levels, blocking leptin from crossing the blood brain barrier.
  • Avoid lectins, (carbohydrate-binding proteins that are found in most plants, particularly seeds and tubers such as cereal crops, potatoes, and beans) especially those from cereal grains (rice, wheat, barley, corn and oats) as they tend to bind to leptin receptors, preventing leptin binding. This intensifies the affect of leptin resistance.
  • Cook and supplement with healthy fats, like coconut oil. Coconut oil lowers triglyceride levels, increases metabolism, and promotes healing in the gut (and liver for those recovering from anorexia).
  • Eat a high protein, low carb diet and stay active! Diet and exercise have the greatest effect on overcoming leptin resistance.

Sources:

BMC Endocrine Disorders – “Agrarian diet and diseases of affluence – Do evolutionary novel dietary lectins cause leptin resistance?” (//www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6823/5/10)

Mark’s Daily Apple – “A Primal Primer: Leptin” (//www.marksdailyapple.com/LEPTIN/)

The Fat Resistance Diet – “Leptin Resistance”

Live Strong – “High Cholesterol Levels in Anorexia” (//www.livestrong.com/article/86767-high-cholesterol-levels-anorexia/)

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton.

The Norton Center Video – Eating Disorder Therapy in Cincinnati

Coconut Oil and Malnutrition

It’s a great honor to have Dr. Bruce Fife as a guest writer today. Dr. Fife was kind enough to write about some of the effects of coconut oil on malnutrition. Dr. Fife is an internationally recognized expert on the health and nutritional benefits of coconut oil and all coconut products. He operates the ‘Coconut Research Center’, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating the public and medical community about the many benefits of coconut and palm products. He has authored many books, including: ‘The Coconut Oil Miracle’, ‘The Palm Oil Miracle’, ‘Coconut Lover’s Cookbook’, ‘Eat Fat, Look Thin’ and most recently ‘Stop Alzheimer’s Now’. These books are highly recommended reads, and can be purchased at Amazon.com, and Piccadilly Books.

Coconut Oil Can Help Prevent Malnutrition

By: Dr. Bruce Fife

Coconut oil can be an excellent way to increase the nutritional content of foods and improve nutrient absorption. Coconut oil is different from other fats and oils because it is made primarily of a unique group of fats known as medium chain triglycerides (MCTs). Most all others fats in our diet are composed of long chain triglycerides (LCTs).

One of the advantages of MCTs over the more common LCTs is their speed and efficiency in digestion. MCTs digest very quickly, with minimal effort and stress placed on the body. LCTs require pancreatic digestive enzymes and bile in order to break down into individual fatty acids. MCTs, on the other hand, break down so quickly that they do not need pancreatic digestive enzymes or bile, thus reducing stress and conserving the body’s enzymes. The digestive systems of those people with malabsorption problems often have a difficult time digesting LCTs. Not so with MCTs. Consequently, MCTs provide a superior source of energy and nutrition than do LCTs.

The difference in the way MCTs are digested is of great interest in medicine because it provides a means by which a number of medical conditions can be successfully treated. Replacing a portion of the LCTs normally found in the diet with MCTs has allowed doctors to successfully treatment of a variety of malabsorption syndromes including defects in fat digestion and absorption, pancreatic insufficiency, liver and gallbladder disorders, defects in protein metabolism, cystic fibrosis, and celiac disease. MCTs can even, speed recovery after intestinal surgery.

Because of MCTs are digested more efficiently, they also improve the absorption of other nutrients. As far back as the 1930s researchers noticed that adding coconut oil to foods enhanced the food’s nutritional value. For example, researchers at Auburn University studied the effects of vitamin B-1 deficiency in animals given different types of fats. Vitamin B-1 deficiency leads to a fatal disease called beriberi. When rats were given a vitamin B deficient diet, coconut oil was effective in preventing the disease. Coconut oil doesn’t contain vitamin B-1. So how did coconut oil prevent a vitamin B-1 deficiency? Coconut oil made what little of the vitamin that was in the diet more biologically available, thus preventing the deficiency disease.

A number of studies have found similar effects. Coconut oil improves the absorption of not only the B vitamins but also vitamins A, D, E, K, beta-carotene, lycopene, CoQ10, and other fat soluble nutrients, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and some amino acids—the building block for protein. Adding coconut oil to vegetables can increase the absorption of beta-carotene, lycopene, and other nutrients as much as 18 times!

What this means is that if you add coconut oil to a meal, you will get significantly more vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients out of the food than if you used soybean oil, canola oil, or another oil, or if you used no oil at all. Simply adding coconut oil to a meal greatly enhances the food’s nutritional value.

This fact has led researchers to investigate its use in the treatment of malnutrition. For example, coconut oil, mixed with a little corn oil, was compared with soybean oil for the treatment of malnourished preschool-aged children in the Philippines. The study involved 95 children aged 10-44 months who were 1st to 3rd degree malnourished. The children were from a slum area in Manila. The children were given one full midday meal and one afternoon snack daily except Sundays for 16 weeks. The food fed to the children was identical in every respect except for the oil. Approximately two-thirds of the oil in their diet came from either the coconut oil/corn oil mix or soybean oil. The children were allocated to one of the two diets at random: 47 children received the coconut oil diet and 48 children the soybean oil diet. The children were weighed every two weeks and examined by a pediatrician once a week. At the start of the study the ages, initial weight, and degree of malnutrition of the two groups as a whole were essentially identical.

After the 16 weeks, results showed that the coconut oil diet produced significantly faster weight gain and improvement in nutritional status compared to the soybean oil diet. A mean gain of 5.57 pounds after four months was recorded for the coconut oil group, almost twice as much as the weight gain of the soybean oil groups of 3.27 pounds.

Coconut oil or MCTs is included in all hospital infant formulas. Premature infants whose digestive systems are not fully matured have a difficult time digesting most fats. However, they can handle MCTs. When coconut oil is added to their formula they grow faster and have a higher survival rate. Adults also benefit with the addition of coconut oil. For this reason, coconut oil or MCTs are also included in the feeding formulas given to hospital patients of all ages. When MCTs are added to nutritional formulas, patients recovering from surgery or illness recover faster.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

What You Need to Know In Order to Help Your Obese or ED Patient

Eating Disorder Research

photo used under creative commons license


Research has clearly established a relationship between neurotoxins such as MSG, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and sweeteners Splenda and NutraSweet and the current epidemic of obesity. I believe that there is also a relationship between these neurotoxins and the proliferation of eating disorders in the US. For example, research has shown that patients suffering from Anorexia as well as those who are obese, suffer from a condition called leptin resistance.
1 ,2 Further, this condition appears to be a function of the type and amount of neurotoxin ingested. In my practice, when I have helped those suffering from Anorexia, Bulimia, and Bulimarexia and obesity eliminate such neurotoxins from their re-feeding regimens, recovery time has shortened and the likelihood of relapse has decreased significantly. (I am in the process of publishing these anecdotal results and have also applied for several grants to research this relationship experimentally in greater depth.)

Treatment of obesity and eating disorders is negatively impacted for the uninformed treating professional i.e. re-feeding is a nightmare for those suffering from Anorexia, Bulimia, Bulimarexia, Binge Eating Disorder and Obesity when the role of these neurotoxins is not taken into consideration. Thus, to the degree that their impact on the eating habits of individuals suffering from ED’s and obesity is not understood, or worse, ignored, treatment is less likely to succeed, and in many cases, more likely to make the problem worse. For help on refeeding contact me directly. Also check out all of the blog articles on this site. 3

For the past 40 years food additives, known to have neurotoxic effects, especially in children, have been added to the American food supply because they were profitable. These additives include MSG, sweeteners Aspartame and Aceulfame, (Splenda and NutraSweet) growth-enhancing hormones, and pesticides that are incorporated into the DNA of crops like soybeans. The amount of these neurotoxins added to our food has increased enormously since their introduction. For example, since 1948 the amount of MSG doubled every decade. By 1972 over 262,000 metric tons were being added. (Whetsell, 1993)[1] Today it is impossible to determine the actual amounts of the various neurotoxins that are added to the U.S. food supply, as the additives are effectively unregulated by the FDA or any other regulatory agency. As a result, they can be added in ways which make them difficult, if not impossible, to quantify.

Besides being difficult to quantify, the additives are very difficult for the average consumer to identify, as they can be called such innocuous names as “citric acid” “malted barley” and “natural flavoring”! Even for individuals who are well-informed, and therefore know what to look for, it is still a daunting task to try and avoid them. Presently, they are in 90 to 95% of all packaged, bottled, and/or processed foods, including organic and/or foods that are marketed as “healthier” choices.

Perhaps the most alarming issue is that food manufacturers target children’s foods for inclusion of these additives. In the U.S. to day, 1 in 3 children are obese. Many will remain that way for life. We are one of the only countries in the world to have children who suffer from Type II Diabetes, which heretofore has been a disorder of middle adulthood. The connection between childhood obesity and an eating disorder such as Anorexia, for example, is that a history of premorbid obesity increases the risk of the development and decreases the likelihood of recovery from the disorder.

1 J Lab Clin Med. 2002 Feb;139(2):72-9.Leptin in anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa: importance of assay technique and method of interpretation.

2 Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental [1997, 46(12):1384-9]Neuropeptide Y, galanin, and leptin release in obese women and in women with anorexia nervosa.

3 Other resources: //dorway.com/ //www.drkaslow.com/html/leptin_and_amylose.html www.msgtruth.org/obesity.htm

 

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

How is the Weight Loss Industry So Successful When Dieting is Not?!

Dieting without exercise fails 95 percent of the time, yet the U.S. weight loss industry is a 130 billion dollar per year industry. So a lot of people are using weight loss products. How can a group of products fail so spectacularly but sell so well? Perhaps one reason is the Consumer Trade Commission (CTC) does not regulate the false claims that advertisers of weight loss products make.

According to the CTC, there are at least one false claim in 74 percent of the ads in tabloid publications. The report went on to say that many of the ads that were identified as making false claims also appeared in mainstream media publications such as Family Circle, Cosmopolitan, Women’s Day, McCalls’s, and Redbook.

The danger of false claims is that they give the mistaken impression that weight loss is easy, which adds to the frustration and hopelessness of overweight individuals, causing many of them to give up and/or go to the extremes that lead to other disorders. The CTC says that it does not regulate this industry because there are too many ads to regulate. Seriously?

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources:

Federal Trade Commission: Protecting America’s Consumers – Weight-Loss Advertising: An Analysis of Current Trends (//www.ftc.gov/bcp/reports/weightloss.pdf)

Swimming Into a Cultural Health Crisis

photo used under a creative commons license

Many people would say that we are becoming less and less healthy as a nation because we overindulge. On the surface, this appears to be a safe assumption. At present we have the distinction of being one of the top ten countries in the world for overweight adults! Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the population at large with a whopping 60% of all adults being overweight and one out of four being morbidly obese. Break out the numbers specifically for the aging Baby Boomers and the stats are even more distressing- practically three out of four mature U.S. adults are classified as overweight or obese. But the worst part is that obesity is increasing at such an alarming rate among U.S. children at present, that they will be the first generation in decades that are projected to have a shorter lifespan than their parents! So the future looks even worse than the present. Eating disorders are also proliferating, affecting new segments of the population that include younger and younger children, as well as older women and men.

The complications of obesity alone have wreaked havoc with our health care system as well as our national economy. For example, “Health care costs related to obesity- which is associated with conditions like hypertension and diabetes- would total $344 billion in 2018, or more than one of every five dollars spent on health care, if the trends continue. If the obesity rate were held to its current level, the country would save nearly $200 billion a year (or $1.4 Trillion) by 2018, according to the study.” (Sack 2008) In terms of Eating Disorder’s, Anorexia alone, kills more women between the ages of 15 and 24 than any other cause of death.

The question is why is this happening? The answer is that if you are a fish, you do not see the water. Because you are immersed in it, you take it for granted. In much the same way, we are immersed in a culture that we assume to be safe. This is our underlying assumption. The fish may remain in polluted water until it becomes so polluted that it is no longer life sustaining. By then, it is too late. Like the fish, we are oblivious to the forces surrounding us. To change our culture, we must first be able to identify the underlying assumptions that are driving the current epidemic of obesity and eating disorders in the U.S. We must each then act to change our lifestyle and advocate for our safety. Stay tuned for Dr. Norton’s soon to be released book that details the problems, their causes and the solutions.

Let’s Connect!

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

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What role has the American culture had in the development of eating disorders and obesity?

photo used under a creative commons license

Right now, America has the distinction of being one of the top ten countries in the world for overweight adults. 60% of all American adults are classified as overweight, one out of four being morbidly obese. Also, obesity is increasing at such an alarming rate among U.S. children that they will be the first generation in decades that are projected to have a shorter lifespan than their parents! The question we must ask is why is this happening? A common theory is that we are lazy slugs who eat too much and exert too little. Really?

First of all, let’s consider our lifestyle. With the advancement of technology, most developed nations have experienced negative health consequences of more sedentary lifestyles. However, when it comes to exercising and activity level, Americans are actually right in the middle of the pack. Yet still, we are at the top of the list for obesity and the attendant health problems! So much for our lack of physical fitness as the answer!

If it isn’t the exercise, it must be the way we eat. Cross-cultural studies have demonstrated that “Westernized” societies are at greatest risk for obesity and weight related health problems. Of the top ten heaviest countries in the world, eight are located in the South Pacific. The only exceptions are the U.S. and Kuwait. Guess what the other eight have in common? If your thinking coconuts, think again. It’s us, the U.S. of A! For the past 50 years these eight countries have established significant economic ties with the U.S., which caused a surge in Western food imports and significant changes in their diet. Namely, they ate more processed and fast foods that originated in the U.S. Likewise, although China and Japan rank 148th and 163rd respectively for obese adults, compared to our ranking of 8th, both countries have shown marked increases in obesity the more “westernized” they have become. Nothing like a Micky D’s to increase the average waist size of the populace!

These statistics demonstrate that the American diet has some major issues. But how is it that our food supply has become so fattening and why in the world have we allowed it? One of the issues is that we are dependent upon the convenience of packaged and/or fast foods. We like things now, because we don’t have time to wait. We are overworked to the point of having to rely upon the convenience of basic things like already prepared foods, because we simply don’t have the time to shop and cook.

It’s true, American workers play less and work more than the workers of any other developed nation in the world. In a report comparing international vacation and holiday laws, the researchers found that the United States is the only advanced economy that does not guarantee its workers any paid vacation or holidays. And vacation time is not the only problem. American workers are overworked day in and day out as well. Consider the following: At least 134 countries have laws setting the maximum length of the workweek; the U.S. does not. In the U.S. 85.8 percent of males and 66.5 percent of females work more than 40 hours per week, and according to the International Labor Organization, “Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers.” The fact is that in our country, you’ve got to come in early, (before 7:00 a.m.) stay late, carry your cell and/or pager all weekend, and become a road-warrior, lest you fall behind in the never-ending work piled on top of you day in and day out!

So we are not lazy, we are overworked!

Another part of the problem is that we have come to view cooking as an inconvenience. It has become synonymous with being “old fashioned” or with traditionalism. As a result, we rely on packaged, processed, pre-cooked, pre-pared foods because it’s quick and easy. What’s wrong with that? Nothing except that these prepared foods are TOXIC. The FDA looks the other way while food manufacturers pocket the profits from loading our food supply with additives that are addictive and cheap to manufacture.

Hard to believe? Believe it. The research has been done. The data is good. The information is out there. The U.S. food industry has been polluting our food supply with addictives, poisonous additives called excitatory neurotoxins, like MSG, high fructose corn syrup, Splenda, and NutraSweet since the 1970’s. These neurotoxins have been shown to cause all manner of neurological problems as well as obesity and it’s complications. Guess when we started to become more obese? The 1980’s, shortly after we began to ingest sweeteners, and all manner of hydrolyzed proteins that literally excite the neurons in the centers of our brains that were designed to regulate appetite and fat storage! At about the same time the rates of autism, ADD, Aspergers, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and a number of different types of cancers, all of which appear to be driven by environmental toxins, began to climb, peaking recently. The sad thing is that these issues are not even on the radar of the vast majority of Americans, who blame themselves for their obesity, binge eating, bulimia, anorexia and all manner of disturbed eating patterns. Where does it end?

Let’s Connect!

Take my new Eating Disorder survey!

Like me on Facebook

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Contact Dr Norton by phone 513-205-6543 or by form

Inquire about booking Dr Norton for a speaking engagement

Read About Dr Norton

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Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Sources:

Forbes Magazine (online version) – World’s Fattest Countries (//www.forbes.com/2007/02/07/worlds-fattest-countries-forbeslife-cx_ls_0208worldfat.html)

New York Times (online version) – Americans’ International Lead in Hours Worked Grew in 90’s, Report Shows (//www.nytimes.com/2001/09/01/us/americans-international-lead-in-hours-worked-grew-in-90-s-report-shows.html)

DORway (//www.dorway.com)

Russell Blaylock, MD (//www.russellblaylockmd.com/)

 

Is There Really a Connection Between Full-Time Working Moms and Child Obesity?

photo used under creative common license

Over the past 35 years, the percentage of U.S. mothers who hold down a job while raising kids have soared from less than 50% to more than 70%. During this same time frame, the childhood obesity rate-which is now close to 17%- has more than tripled. Many researchers are claiming that there’s a direct connection between these two figures. The journal of Childhood Development just published a study, which showed that the longer a mother is employed, the more likely her children are to be overweight or obese. The study demonstrated that for each additional five-month period that his or her mother is employed, a child of average height could be expected to gain 1 extra pound over and above normal growth. In addition, six graders with working mothers were found to be six times more likely than those with stay-at-home moms to be overweight.

Another study published in Business Week supports this same concept, finding that was a correlation between the number of hours a women works outside the home and the BMI of her children. This research found that for a third grader of average height, the increase in BMI was equivalent to an extra one and a half to two extra pounds over what that child would normally gain in a year.

With studies like these being done, the idea that American kids are getting fat because women work outside the home now, could seem convincing. But hold on. These are correlative studies, not experimental research. The problem with these conclusions is that there may be several other things occurring simultaneously “causing” or contributing to this dietary epidemic.

Obviously, if women are spending long hours at work, as many do, home cooked meals are less of an option. In our nation it has become far too common for the wife to pop something pre packaged into the oven at night or pick up a pizza on her way home in order to accommodate her family with a meal that is quick and tasty.

The issue is that convenience foods have become a way of life for Americans. The ability to buy ready-made food is so much the norm that cooking for yourself seems like overkill, like you’re trying to win the best mom ever trophy. When push comes to shove, and it often does, most moms say the heck with it! Bring on the pizza. But that’s when the real problem kicks in, as processed foods are loaded with MSG, HFCS, Aspartame and Acesulfame, all of which are neurotoxins and all of which contribute to weight gain or disturbed eating. It doesn’t matter if the wife had the WHOLE DAY to cook a meal anymore because she wouldn’t anyway. Not when she can just run down the street to KFC and have a bucket of chicken in less than 10 minutes.

Thus it is the additives in these convenience foods that are directly responsible for why our nation and our children have become so fat. The percentage of mothers working full time may have gone up over the past 35 years, but so has the amount of MSG and high fructose corn syrup being poured into the foods we buy. They are found in just about all prepackaged, frozen and fast foods. They keep our stomachs saying “yum!” and “more,” and our blood sugar levels on a constant rollercoaster. Working mothers who have jobs don’t directly cause weight problems in their children. Reliance on and trust in processed foods containing dangerous addictive additives should be getting blamed. Unfortunately, most people don’t even know they’re there!

Sources:

Verropoulou G, Joshi H. Mothers’ Employment and Child Development. London, UK: Center for Longitudinal Development. 2006.

Business Week (online version) – WHAT! WORKING MOTHERS = FAT KIDS??? (//www.businessweek.com/careers/workingparents/blog/archives/2007/05/who_knew_seems.html)

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Diet Foods and Artificial Sweeteners Cause Weight Gain

So if sweeteners are so bad, why are so many people using them? Because they believe the alternative, weight gain, is worse. Think again: Research shows that people who use artificial sweeteners eat more than those that do not. We know that MSG, HFCS, and artificial sweeteners are all excitoxins, which means that they stimulate neurons to death. Excitoxins over-stimulate and damage the parts of the brain that regulate healthy eating behavior. In a study that included more than 18,000 people, researchers found that healthy adults who consumed at least one diet drink a day significantly increased their chances of gaining weight.

I find that my patients with the most intense food addictions consume diet soft drinks and diet gum in huge quantities. Many of them chew sugar free gum or drink diet soft drinks all day long. Some of them go through a pack of gum an hour while others have 5 to 10 cans of diet soft drinks a day and some do both. This is often a conscious decision to help them avoid eating. Of course, it doesn’t work. By evening, they are starving and usually end up overeating. For those with Bulimia, the intense hunger can trigger a binge/purge cycle. The research above would predict such an outcome. They are not experiencing normal hunger, they are voraciously hungry, psychologically and emotionally starving. This intense drive for food can take over their lives. They pass on social events, give up relationships and even put academic or career goals aside in the service of their nightly feeding ritual. At some point, they cannot wait until evening and that is when the addiction really becomes unmanageable.

“In a Purdue study, rats whose diets contained artificial sweeteners appeared to experience a physiological connection between sweet tastes and calories that drove them to overeat.”

The article goes on to say: “The information may come as a surprise to the 59 percent of Americans who consume diet soft drinks, making them the second-most-popular low-calorie, sugar-free products in the nation, according to a consumer survey from the Calorie Control Council, a nonprofit association that represents the low-calorie and reduced-fat food and beverage industry.”

(The Purdue’s researchers’ study, “A Pavlovian Approach to the Problem of Obesity,” appears in the July issue of International Journal of Obesity. Follow this link: //news.uns.purdue.edu/html4ever/2004/040629.Swithers.research.html)

Most of these sweeteners also contain MSG, known for its propensity to destroy the body’s natural weight regulatory systems, as well as for its potential to increase the odds of heart attack and stroke. Is it worth it? Of course not! But this isn’t like smoking or drinking. You know when you light up or take that drink that you are putting a toxin into your body. And you know that it might be habit forming. But who would think that organic baby food, milk, or chicken broth would have a carcinogenic, neurotoxin in it? No one would knowingly eat toxic food additives while pregnant or feed them to their newborn baby, let alone have a steady diet of them for themselves and their families. But that is what’s happening. The result is that majority of us have unknowingly become addicted to these substances. For many, the problems are so severe, and the causes so obscure, that they suffer life-threatening medical and/or psychological consequences before seeking help. The saddest thing is that they blame themselves. Who else are they going to blame, none of the food producers take responsibility. There appears to be no accountability whatsoever. And where is the FDA? Isn’t its sole purpose to protect the consumer?

There is an epidemic of obesity in this and every other country that has become westernized and adopted our eating habits. A man in France went to jail for actively protesting against having a Micky D’s put up in his town. We have much to learn from the French! Other countries have not been so fortunate to have a brave man like this Frenchman. We are in the top ten fattest countries in the world. Of the other nine, eight are countries that import our food and have adopted our lifestyles. What more is there to say?

Want to help? We are presently putting together a list of grocery store chains as well as specific food brands that do not contain MSG or HFCS. Please help us. If you are an organization that produces food without these additives, please contact us at the address on my website. We will publish the information if it checks out. If you are a consumer and you find a brand or a specific food item, let us know! We can help each other.

Here is something else to try. Be an proactive consumer. I have been asking my local grocer every time I shop there for the past 5 years if they carry a particular item in an organic version. Whether it has anything to do with my efforts or not, the organic section at my Krogers is getting bigger all the time. In the past 6 months, I have started asking if they can help me find a box of cereal, or carton of milk, or a drink, for example, with no MSG and no HFCS. The saddest thing is that most of the time, they genuinely have no idea what to look for. They almost always tell me that all of their organic products are free of these substances! When I explain to them that this not so, and point out how many organic foods contain those substances, they find it hard to believe. I patiently explain how many different names the substances have, and whip out my list. I’m quite sure that they take me for a flake. But as often as not I end up leaving it behind at their request. I often see them looking at the list and shaking their heads. It’s overwhelming and a bit daunting to see how far we have to go, but it’s a start. Don’t be discouraged at the lack of information. Five years from now, most people will know much more about these things. Right now, my grocers run when they see me coming. One manager waves the list at me from across the store. I’m not sure if he is trying to look cooperative, or if he is trying to discourage me from approaching him again! I do anyway 🙂

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

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An Intro to MSG: The Nutritional Truth

The article below is a summary of the video from Dr. Vincent Bellonzi which discusses the origins, facts and effects of MSG. Watch his video, “The Truth about MSG Monosodium Glutamate Clinical Nutrition” here: //www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-pnzj0c06Q.

What if I were to tell you that there is a chemical being added to food that has been scientifically proven to effect how the body’s nervous system is formed so that as a person’s brain develops, they may have learning or emotional difficulties? Would it concern you to know that there is also credible evidence that this chemical could permanently damage a critical part of the brain that controls hormones, which could consequently cause a person to experience endocrine problems? To continue, I could tell you that this chemical has been identified to hasten brain tumors, and furthermore, that this chemical has been demonstrated to aggravate and even generate several epidemic neurodegenerative brain diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, ALS, ADD, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s disease.

The chemical that I am describing, known as MSG or Monosodium Glutamate was introduced to the food industry a long time ago because it was found to enhance the taste of food. At first, it was only added to babies’ food because it made babies who would not eat, become more excited about eating; but today it is being added in significant amounts to almost all processed foods, fast food items, and even sit down restaurant foods items. The food industry knows that they can make anything taste good by adding MSG. To be honest, they can even make dirt taste good if they add MSG to it! This is because the glutamate that’s in MSG excites the body’s reward system as it’s being consumed. So, it sends an excitatory message to the brain and as a result, a person thinks whatever they’re eating tastes a lot better than it actually does.

The problem with MSG and the food industry is this: the food industry is constantly competing for consumers. To make their food taste better than competitors they add more MSG to it. As a result, the amount of MSG that is being added to our food today has become far too concentrated for our nerves to handle properly. Thus, our nerves overexcite when we consume the chemical and by frequently overexciting our nerve impulses we are severely damaging our neurons. Damaging neurons as so, causes a person to lose control of their emotions and their ability to think. This is a really terrible combination that can create or worsen a number of behavioral health related conditions. For example, for children suffering from autism it makes a bad situation worse. There have been countless cases of autistic children whom could not even speak, completely recover by entirely eliminating MSG from their diets. Same story holds true for people who have suffered from obesity, depression, bulimia, ADD, ADHD, and other disorders.

Statistics also show that with the increase in MSG consumption there has been a correlating increase in several neurodegenerative brain diseases, behavioral disorders, and brain tumors. For example, Alzheimer’s disease was not even an identifiable healthcare cost before MSG, but since the food industry began adding this chemical to their food the number of people who suffer from this disease has sky rocketed. It now ranks third, after cancer and heart disease, among the most costly health problems in America.

The science behind what the chemical is doing to our body is clear. Countless amounts of evidence justify it, and the statistics prove it. MSG is extremely harmful. So why on earth is the FDA doing nothing to regulate our consumption of MSG? In fact, the FDA has classified MSG as “generally regarded as safe,” (GRAS). Therefore, sets no limit as to how much MSG gets poured into the food we consume and today Americans are consuming over 300 million pounds of it! When will this stop?

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2011, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

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What Role Does the Family Play in An Eating Disorder?

The family is either going to be positive or negative, there is no such thing as neutral when it comes to the impact of a family member on the eating disorder. Therapists err when they fail to recognize the powerful role that the family plays in the recovery process. Because many traditional therapists believe that it is a “boundary violation” to involve family members in treatment, they effectively create a situation which makes it less likely that the patient will recover. Excluding the family creates a sense of helplessness and futility for them and isolates the patient even further.

Parents must understand what to expect in terms of the recovery process or they may inadvertently derail it and therapists must facilitate that understanding by insisting on the family’s active involvement.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2010, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2010, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Incidence and Risk Factors of Eating Disorders

The US Dept of Health and Human Services task force reports:

  • 10 million females and 1 million males have life threatening eating disorders
  • 87 percent are children and adolescents under the age of twenty
  • By age 13, 10% of girls had reported the use of self-induced vomiting

Risk Factors for Different Groups

 

  • Teens: Early puberty is a primary risk factor for the onset of eating disorders among teens.
  • Males: The number of males with eating disorders has doubled in the past 10 years, certain sports, homosexuality
  • Women: Increasing numbers of women aged 20 – 50 seeking help for eating disorders they have harbored secretly for twenty or thirty years.

 

Health Consequences of Eating Disorders:

 

Eating disorders are the most lethal of all mental health disorders, killing or maiming between 6 and 13 percent of victims who die of:

  • Infectious diseases
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack/failure
  • Seizures
  • Liver or kidney failure
  • Diabetic Coma

Sources:

US Dept of Health and Human Services – (//www.hhs.gov)

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2010, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2010, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Relationship Between Obesity and Eating Disorders?

eating disorder treatment cincinnati

photo used under a creative commons license

There is an epidemic of obesity in the US today. Consider the following:

  • 1 in 3 Americans is overweight
  • 1 in 5 or 129.6 million are obese
  • 70% of Americans dieted in 2007
  • 95% of all diets fail if exercise is not part of the program
  • Yo-yo dieting leads to eating disorders and may be the single most common “cause” of disordered eating
  • In a recent study, young girls were quoted as saying that they would prefer to have cancer, lose both their parents, or live through a nuclear holocaust than to be fat.
  • 80% of girls in grades 3 to 6 displayed body image concerns and dissatisfaction with their appearance
  • 81% of 10 year olds say they are afraid of being fat
  • By the time girls reached the 8th grade, 50% of them had been on diets, putting them at risk for eating disorders and obesity.
  • 25% of first graders admit to having been a diet.

In my practice, I often see patients that were overweight as children and experienced such self-hatred or shame that their eating disorder is a conscious attempt at avoiding that situation again.

For others, a family member, perhaps a father or mother or even a grandmother or an aunt with a weight problem triggers intense anxiety about weight gain.

If you are a loved one need treatment for obesity or an eating disorder in Cincinnati, I’m here to help! Schedule a consultation at 513-300-8043!

Sources:

World Health – 1 in 3 Americans are Overweight or Obese (//www.worldhealth.net/news/1_in_3_americans_are_overweight_or_obese/)

Empowered Parents – The Skinny on Raising Daughters to Become Healthy Eaters (//www.empoweredparents.com/pages/Article14.htm)

Empowered Parents – Childhood Fears Take New Form: Body Image Concerns In Young Children (//www.empoweredparents.com/1childhoodonset/childhood_01.htm)

Empowered Parents – Obesity, Overweight and their Connection to Eating Disorders (//www.empoweredparents.com/pages/Article7.htm)

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2010, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2010, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Childhood Obesity

childhood obesity treatment cincinnait

  • 15% of children and adolescents 6-19 are overweight and another 15% are at risk
  • 10% of preschool children 2-5 are overweight
  • 1 in 5 children are currently obese
  • For those who are obese at 10-13 years of age, they are 70% more likely to be obese as adults
  • Self-esteem is negatively affected and may result in the development of personality disturbances that last a lifetime.

If you are looking for childhood obesity treatment in Cincinnati, there is help! Schedule a consultation with me at 513-300-8042.

Sources:

Empowered Parents – Obesity, Overweight and their Connection to Eating Disorders (//www.empoweredparents.com/pages/Article7.htm)

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2010, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2010, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Bulimarexia: Why Are We Seeing More of It?

Bulimarexia Treatment Cincinnati

There is definitely an increase in the number of patients coming my way who are Bulimarexic, or suffering from symptoms of both Anorexia and Bulimia. This is consistent with the information we have seen from our online survey. Please take the survey if you haven’t already done so!

Check out the chart for percentages of individuals reporting the type of Eating Disorder from which they are suffering.


The survey has been up for approximately two years. The number of people reporting being Bulimarexic has tripled in that time. One year ago the percentage for Bulimarexia was only 24.9%, now it is nearly 48%! (Part of this is likely due to increased familiarity with the term.)

The question is why? According to our survey at the Norton Center of more than 200 individuals who report having been in treatment for an eating disorder, 16% of those suffering exclusively from Anorexia upon entering an inpatient program report being discharged with symptoms of Bulimia that they acquired during their inpatient stay. Likewise, 11% of those surveyed, report that they entered in-patient treatment suffering exclusively from symptoms of Bulimia and exited with symptoms of Anorexia as well.

Anyone treating this population knows that the most difficult group to treat by far is the group suffering from symptoms of both Anorexia and Bulimia, or Bulimarexia. Likewise the risk of mortality is greater with this group than that of either group alone. If it isn’t apparent, the medical consequences of cycling between restricting sufficiently to be at an extremely low weight, followed by periods of bingeing and purging, are dramatic and often deadly. Thus, a treatment approach that may actually increase the likelihood of the development of Bulimarexia is a serious problem.

Obviously not all patients with Bulimarexia have developed the disorder while in an in-patient program. However, I am finding that an alarmingly high number of individuals “graduating” from inpatient treatment end up with Bulimarexia. Since I often see patients that other practitioners will not take into their practice because they are so sick, the number of Bulimarexic patients I see is probably higher than it would be in most practice settings. None-the-less, this issue doesn’t appear to be on the radar of researchers and many practitioner groups which is a serious problem in my opinion.

To date, there is not even a diagnostic code specifically for Bulimarexia in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fourth Edition (DSM IV).

In the DSM-IV, the closest thing we have is a code for two types of Anorexia:

Restricting Type: During the current episode of Anorexia Nervosa, the person has not regularly engaged in binge-eating or purging behavior (self-induced vomiting or misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas).
Binge Eating/Purging Type: During the current episode of Anorexia Nervosa, the person has regularly engaged in binge-eating or purging behavior.

These definitions do not capture the nature of Bulimarexia. For example, whether the individual started as Anorexic or Bulimic makes a difference in terms of their current symptoms. The more Anorexic Type restricts most of the time and may or may not binge, but purges almost everything she does eat. In other words, she is more likely to have “subjective” binges, i.e. a small amount of food seems like a binge to her so she is forced to purge it.

The more Bulimic Type of Bulimarexic can keep some food down, and/or has more flexibility in terms of what she allows herself to eat, i.e. she may eliminate fat altogether from her diet but allow foods with carbohydrates. She will have some criteria that she uses to establish a “good” day versus a “bad” day. “Bad” days trigger the need to binge and purge whereas a “good” day allows her to skip this part of the cycle. These distinctions may not seem important, but they are critically important when it comes to treatment effectiveness. The therapist that does not understand such subtleties is going to be much less effective treating these disorders and could end up doing more harm than good.

More attention needs to be paid to this problem, we need better in-patient alternatives and we need more research on outcomes in general, i.e. we need to look at the impact that both inpatient and outpatient therapy has on the incidence of Bulimarexia. Graduate students looking for research opportunities contact me at drnorton@eatingdisorderpro.com.

My experience treating this population has been that treatment effectiveness is driven by customizing strategies to the individual and not using a One Size Fits All © approach. In general, I believe that inpatient approaches have tended to lump all eating disorders together in terms of treatment. The upshot is often an increase in the type of symptoms during or following discharge, or crossover from one disorder to another. This is a serious problem given the increased medical and psychological complications that result.

Excerpt from Dr. Norton’s upcoming book One Size Fits All Copyright Dr. J. Renae Norton 2010 All rights reserved.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2010, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

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Night Eating Syndrome & Sleep Related Eating Disorders

Night eating syndrome treatment cincinnati

Night Eating Syndrome and Sleep Related Eating Disorders; When “Midnight Snacks” Turn into Calorie Loaded Nightmares.

It is estimated that over 6 million Americans are affected by Night Eating Syndrome (NES) or Sleep Related Eating Disorders (SRED), yet most of us have never heard of either of these disorders. Essentially they involve consumption of large quantities of high carb foods during the night. Because NES and SRED share the characteristics of other eating, mood and sleep disorders they can easily be misdiagnosed and mistreated. Those affected by NES or SRED often feel misunderstood, isolated and hopeless. These feelings can exacerbate other eating disorders and perpetuate a cycle of disturbed eating patterns during the day as well as during the night.

How are NES and SRED different?

While they are similar in as which they involve uncontrolled night eating that interferes with sleep and daytime activities they are fundamentally different. Those with NES have a difficult time falling asleep and wake frequently with an intense urge to eat, sleep is prevented until the urge is satisfied. This syndrome usually occurs when the individual is battling stress and depression. SRED is the act of preparing and eating food while sleep walking, these individuals will awake with no memory of eating the night before. This disorder is very common in those who suffer from restrictive eating disorders.

Is Treatment Available for NES and SRED?

Yes, treatment is available. NES and SRED are a combination of disorders so each disorder must be addressed. The most effective treatment involves a combination of psychotherapy and behavior therapy, in some cases medication may also be necessary. When seeking treatment it is advised that you find a health care provider that has experience with NES and SRED.


Sources:

Allison K, Stunkard A, Thier S. Overcoming Night Eating Syndrome. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications; 2004.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2009, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2009, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Characteristics of Binge Eating

Binge Eating Disorder Treatment Cincinnati

Binge eating is mostly associated with Bulimia but it is also a characteristic of other eating disorders such as Bulimarexia and Binge Eating Disorder. There are two definable types of binge’s, objective and subjective. Binge eating has often been associated with purging but not all binges are followed by a purge. It should be noted that vomiting is not the only means of purging; excessive exercising and the use of diet pills, diuretics, and laxatives are other methods of purging. Some may just use one of these methods and others use a combination of these.

Objective and Subjective Binge Eating

An objective binge consists of as much as 20,000 calories in one episode (which may last from minutes to many hours) or huge amounts of low calorie foods, such as 6 heads of lettuce with no fat butter. Binges generally have a function or serve a purpose such as procrastination, avoidance, or relieving anxiety and boredom. The binge is usually thought out and requires a block of time and privacy.

A subjective binge is the intake of normal foods in normal amounts that the individual feels uncomfortable eating. The person may feel uncomfortable because it contained a taboo such as fat, sugar or carbs. Or it may have been “healthy” but they ate too much. The most common reason for a purge is that the individual feels too full. Research shows that Bulimic’s and Bulimarxics are unusually sensitive to the sense of fullness.

Situational Binge Triggers:

Meal Preparation, a person with an eating disorder can often be triggered into a binge by preparing a meal, as they are preparing the food they will begin to nibble on the ingredients used to prepare the meal. The amount of food they consume during the preparation of the meal can be as much as the meal itself, the result is consuming twice as much food as intended. This may lead to purging, depending on the type of eating disorder.

Dining out with a Group, this is usually very difficult for a person with an eating disorder. The person with the eating disorder will usually consume an appropriate amount of “healthy” food while those around them are eating “taboo” foods. This often angers the person with the eating disorder and can lead the person to binge on those “taboo” foods when they get home in private.

DID YOU KNOW?

According to Dr. Norton’s online survey, in which over 130 people responded, over half of those that binge often find themselves fantasizing about foods to binge on while grocery shopping.

Occurrence by Eating Disorder

* Bulimarexia – 57.1%

* Bulimia – 53.3%

* Emotional Eaters – 53.3%

If you are looking for Binge Eating Disorder Treatment in Cincinnati for yourself or your loved one, there is help available! Call 513-300-8042 to set up a consultation!

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2009, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2009, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Inpatient vs. Outpatient Treatment for Eating Disorders…What People Are Really Saying About Their Treatment

eating disorder treatment cincinnati

photo used under a creative commons license

According to recent result’s of Dr. Norton’s online survey, in which more than 125 people have participated, Out-Patient Psychotherapy was found to be the most therapeutic of the following treatment options: Hospitalization for medical stability, Forced weight gain via feeding tube, In-Patient residential, In-Patient therapy group, Out-Patient psychotherapy, Out-Patient therapy group, Over Eaters Anonymous, Nutritional Counseling and Gastric Bypass Surgery.

Participants in Dr. Norton’s Survey rated their forms of treatment as follows:

Out-Patient Psychotherapy

*39.7% found Out-Patient Psychotherapy to be Very Therapeutic and

*36.2% found it to be Somewhat Therapeutic

*3.4% felt that this therapy did more harm than good

In-Patient Residential

*20.9% found In-Patient residential treatment to be Very Therapeutic and

*33.9% found it to be Somewhat Therapeutic

*18.3% felt that In-Patient Therapy did them more harm than good

Limitations of In-Patient Treatment

The learning taking place often does not generalize to the home environment. Patients are put on meal plans and are monitored 24/7 by staff such that they are not really learning to make new choices. Also the daily stressors of family dynamics, school/work pressures and social demands are not present. The patient has been removed from daily triggers that may have contributed to the eating-disorder in the first place. Finally this treatment can also be very costly and often results in no insurance coverage as many HMO’s will not cover once the person has been in-patient.

Pro’s of Out-Patient Treatment.

Out-Patient Treatment, especially if it includes Family Treatment, allows the individual to deal with the eating disorder in their everyday setting and provides an atmosphere conducive for family involvement which can be key to recovery. This method also involves persistent effort for the person with the eating-disorder to get better on their own. Finally Out-Patient is more cost effective when compared to In-Patient treatment.

Our Strategy: We approach the problem by aligning with the patient rather than colluding against her, blaming her, or casting her in the role of someone who is incapacitated. While those suffering from an eating disorder do have severe and/or debilitating distortions regarding food, weight and body image, they will ultimately have to choose for themselves whether or not to face their fears and change their relationship with food. Taking away control only delays that decision and may have serious side effects.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2009, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

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HOW CHORES HELP CREATE HEALTHY HAPPY FAMILIES

benefits of household chores

3 Good Reasons to Assign Household Chores for Children:

1. It can help create healthy habits. On average children age 8 – 18 spend 3 hours a day either watching t.v., playing video games or on the computer. The responsibility of a household chore would get them away from the t.v. and up and moving. Vacuuming, mopping, mowing the lawn and gardening are all good ways to increase your heart rate. Children need at least 90 minutes of moderate to strenuous physical activity a day, chores are a great way to get your child moving.

2. It can help reduce stress and family tension. A messy, cluttered house can cause a lot of tension and resentment within a family. Often parents just complain or yell at their children for not helping. This can create feelings of failure and anger for both the parent and the child. A sedentary lifestyle combined with feelings of shame, failure and anger can lead into emotional eating habits.

3. Allows parents more time to spend with their children. Why should parents spend their evenings and weekends doing all the housework? When the kids pitch in the work could be done in half the time. This time could be used to go for a family bike ride, walk or maybe even a game of chase or hide and seek. Remember ” a family that plays together stays together”.

The prevelance of childhood obesity in the United States is increasing at an alarming rate. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the percentage of overweight children 2-5 years of age has doubled, with one in four pre-schooler’s being overweight or at risk for obesity. Fifty percent of these children will become obese adults. For more information about this study you can visit the CDC’s website at HERE.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2009, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

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Grocery Shopping – Simple Task or Time Consuming Nightmare?

grocery shopping eating disorder anxiety

I don’t know of many people who actually enjoy the mundane task of going grocery shopping but for those who suffer from an eating disorder it can be an absolute nightmare. For them going to the grocery can be time consuming, mentally exhausting and costly. Check the results we collected from Dr. Norton’s Online Survey concerning grocery shopping.

  • 75.2% debate whether or not to purchase each particular item
  • 44.4% find themselves fantasizing about binging on certain foods while grocery shopping
  • 30.1% spend more than they can afford on food

These statistics, which are from a sample of over 125 respondents, are good examples of why Dr. Norton provides the service of shopping coach.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2009, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2009, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

BULIMAREXIA, DID YOU KNOW?

Bulimarexia Treatment Cincinnati

BULIMAREXIA – An eating disorder that has the characteristics of both Anorexia and Bulimia. The person affected by this disorder will cycle between the restricting habits that are associated with Anorexia and the bingeing and purging characteristics of Bulimia. This eating disorder is very dangerous and is physically and emotionally damaging.

After reviewing the data from Dr. Norton’s online survey we found that Bulimarexia had the largest population of those who took the survey.

  • 38% identified themselves as having Bulimarexia
  • 25% identified themselves as having Anorexia
  • 12.5% identified themselves as having Bulimia
  • 10.8% identified themselves as Emotional Eaters
  • 13.3% identified themselves as Obese

Why Bulimarexia Is So Dangerous

1. The fact that it is not a recognized diagnosis yet so many people suffer from it causes a serious problem for the therapist/physician and creates a serious gap in treatment.

2. The cycle of binging and restricting is very dangerous and can cause many serious health problems such as decreased bone density, loss of menses (difficulty conceiving), tooth decay and kidney damage just to name a few.

3. Bulimarexia often goes undetected or thought of as “just a phase”. For example a parent might notice their child’s decreased food intake and some weight loss but just as they start to take notice of this the child cycle’s into the binging component of this disorder. The parent is relieved to see their child eating again and their previous concerns are dismissed.

If you are in the Cincinnati area and are seeking treatment for your eating disorder, whether it be anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder or bulimarexia, there is help! You can set up a consultation with me by calling 513.205.6543.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2009, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2009, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

What is DBT?

DBT cincinnati

What is DBT Training?

The term ‘dialectical’ is derived from classical philosophy. It refers to a form of argument in which an assertion is first made about a particular issue (the ‘thesis’), the opposing position is then formulated (the ‘antithesis’) and finally a ‘synthesis’ is sought between the two extremes, embodying the valuable features of each position and resolving any contradictions between the two.

Truth is seen as a pattern that develops over time in transactions between people, i.e. DBT is transactional in nature, or the result of human interactions. From this perspective there can be no statement representing absolute truth as patterns are always changing and new truths always emerging. In a disagreement, from a dialectical perspective, truth is viewed as the middle way between two opposing points of view.

The dialectical approach to understanding and treating human problems is therefore non-dogmatic, i.e. it is not restricted to a particular theory of pathology such as psychodynamic, gestalt or behavioral. Instead, the source of a problem, as well as its solution, is always open-ended and emerges over time as a result of a pattern, or patterns, of behavior.

Another important assumption in systems theory is that problems are not necessarily linear in terms of what causes them. In other words, you may miss a lot if you believe that A causes B, i.e. molestation causes Anorexia. Sometimes it is A plus B in the context of C&D that actually causes a problem, i.e.

A. An unusually sensitive child;

B. Overhears a conversation about being overweight;

C. At a time when her body is changing because;

D. She is going through puberty.

The key dialectic in DBT Training is ‘acceptance’ on the one hand and ‘change’ on the other. Thus DBT includes specific techniques of acceptance and validation that are designed to counteract the self-invalidation that many individuals with emotional problems experience. Along with the acceptance and validation techniques are problem solving skills. These act as a counterbalance to the acceptance skills. Finally, the therapy is behavioral in that, without ignoring the past, it focuses on present behavior and the current factors, which are controlling that behavior.

How is DBT Training Done?

Skills training is usually carried out in a group context and is divided into four modules or four groups of skills:

1. Core Mindfulness Skills.

2. Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills.

3. Emotion Modulation Skills.

4. Distress Tolerance Skills.

  1. The ‘core mindfulness skills‘ are derived from certain techniques of Buddhist meditation, although they are essentially psychological techniques and no religious allegiance is involved in their application. Mindfulness is the capacity to pay attention, non-judgmentally, to the present moment. Mindfulness is all about living in the moment, experiencing one’s emotions and senses fully, yet with perspective. It is the foundation for the other skills taught in DBT, because it helps individuals accept and tolerate the powerful emotions they may feel during DBT training or when voluntarily exposing themselves to upsetting situations as a result of DBT training, that they would usually avoid.

2. The ‘interpersonal effectiveness skills‘ which are taught, focus on effective ways of achieving one’s objectives with other people: to ask for what one wants effectively, to say no and have it taken seriously, to maintain relationships and to maintain self-esteem in interactions with other people. They are very similar to those taught in many assertiveness and interpersonal problem-solving courses.

Many of us possess good interpersonal skills in a general sense. The problems arise in the application of these skills to specific situations. The interpersonal effectiveness module is intended to maximize the chances that your goals in a specific situation are met, without damaging the relationship or either person’s self-respect

3. ‘Emotion modulation skills‘ are ways of changing distressing emotional states. Individuals suffering from eating disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, PTSD, and anxiety disorders frequently experience intense emotion. Because you can be angry, intensely frustrated, depressed, or anxious the assumption is that you will benefit from help in learning to regulate your emotions.

Dialectical behavior therapy skills for emotion regulation include:

  • Identifying and labeling emotions
  • Identifying obstacles to changing emotions
  • Reducing vulnerability to emotion mind
  • Increasing positive emotional events
  • Increasing mindfulness to current emotions
  • Taking opposite action
  • Applying distress tolerance techniques

4. ‘Distress tolerance skills’ include techniques for dealing with these emotional states if they cannot be changed for the time being. Many treatment approaches focus on changing distressing events and circumstances. They have paid little attention to accepting, finding meaning for, and tolerating distress. Dialectical behavior therapy emphasizes learning to bear pain skillfully.

Distress tolerance skills have to do with the ability to accept, in a non-evaluative and nonjudgmental fashion, both oneself and the current situation. Although this is a nonjudgmental stance, it is not one of approval or resignation.

The goal is to calmly recognize negative situations and their impact, rather than becoming overwhelmed by them or trying to avoid them with numbing techniques such as overeating, overspending, excessive drinking, obsessive cleaning, abusing drugs, etc. This will allow you to make wise decisions about whether and how to take action, rather than falling into the intense, desperate, and often destructive behaviors you may be using currently in response to emotional distress.

You will learn three skills for acceptance which include:

  • Radical acceptance
  • Turning the mind toward acceptance
  • Distinguishing between “willingness” (acting skillfully, from a realistic understanding of the present situation) and “willfulness” (trying to impose one’s will regardless of reality).

You will also learn four crisis survival skills, to help deal with immediate emotional responses that may seem overwhelming:

  • Distracting oneself
  • Self-soothing
  • Improving the moment
  • Thinking of pros and cons

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2012, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Prevention: Getting Your Child Off the Couch

childhood obesity treatment cincinnati

Currently in the United States we are experiencing an epidemic of obesity, especially among children. The fastest growing age group is from 2-5 years old. Many of my patients started out as overweight children.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the percentage of overweight children 2-5 years of age has doubled, with one in four pre-schooler’s being overweight or at risk for obesity. Fifty percent of these children will become obese adults. Prevention requires reaching children before the age of 6.

Here are a few tips to help your child be more active. Organized sports are great, but not all children are comfortable with competitive activities or they just get burned out on them. That can turn them off to being physically active, sometimes for good.

There are lots of other activities your child may enjoy besides organized sports. Your best bet is to lead by example and keep it simple. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to keep your child active but it may require some creativity and it does take time. For busy parents, that means making the most of every opportunity. For example, little children love to help with things like vacuuming or gardening. It won’t be as efficient, but it teaches them good habits and gets them off the couch.

Probably the single most important thing that you can do is limit the amount of time your child spends in front of the TV, and/or with electronic devices such as Game Boys and computers. These devices keep your child absorbed for long periods of time during which there is no physical activity. There is a growing body of research suggesting that the over use of electronics compromises neurological development and can lead to sleep disturbances, excessive aggression and even wrist and back injury. And of course, we know that the lack of activity is a key factor in the increased incidence of obesity.

Here are some other activities that may interest your child:

• Riding a bike – ride with them if you can. The best thing you can do is set an example!
• Climbing on a jungle gym – If you don’t have one, they are in almost every park today.
• Jumping rope – this can even be done in-doors if you have a basement.
• Playing hopscotch – can also be done indoors on a foam version of this old time favorite
• Bouncing a ball, throwing a ball, hitting a ball…children love balls
• Dancing – my grandsons (a 3 year old and a 14 month old) become hysterical when we dance together. We can do it on and off for hours to the beat of pop music. We even “seat dance” during long car rides. You can teach a 2 year old to “raise the roof” which provides more exercise than you might think.
• Shooting hoops – you can now get back-boards that are adjustable for younger children and simply grow with them. If that isn’t in the budget, many parks have hoops, just bring your own basketball
• A trampoline – either an in-door or an out-door version, is a great way for kids and their parents to get exercise in a confined space
• Hiking is a great family activity – or barring a convenient place to hike, walk with your child to a nearby store instead of driving

In general, the more fun it is, the more likely they are to engage. For example, little children love running through water sprinklers, even the ones who don’t enjoy swimming. They can get plenty of exercise at a water-playground, which more and more parks have instead of pools. Or you can purchase an attachment for your backyard hose that many children find delightful.

Maybe your child doesn’t like organized sports such as basketball, soccer, soft-ball or tennis. Let him or her kick the soccer ball around in the park, or hit a tennis ball against the garage or play a game of PIG with you at a local park. Parents tend to lose sight of why children need sports in their life. They need the exercise. Yes they need to learn self-discipline and sportsmanship and how to be a part of a team, but too often the pressure to be great at all of these things backfires and the child’s self-image is damaged. Some children turn to food as a way of compensating for low self-esteem. Others decide that they are inadequate when it comes to sports and refuse to engage in any physical activities as teenagers and young adults.

The idea, especially for little children, is for them to have fun using their bodies and being creative when it comes to entertaining themselves. If you are a city dweller and your child does not have access to a soccer field, but you live on a street where there isn’t much traffic, help the neighborhood children organize a street ball or sand lot game. Children learn a lot about cooperation and teamwork when they are the ones responsible for organizing their free time.

This is all easier if you start them off on the right foot, i.e. when they are very small. But don’t worry if you haven’t. There is no time like the present. Start slow and keep trying. You couldn’t make a better investment in your child’s health and well-being!

Sources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Childhood Obesity Facts (//www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth/obesity/facts.htm)

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2008, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2008, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

Eating Disorder as Addiction

Refeeding, A Step at a Time

Refeeding, A Step at a Time

Re-feeding: What is Normal?

The central and most difficult issue to be dealt with in the treatment of serious eating disorders is the issue of re-feeding and/or the establishment of a healthy relationship with food. The degree to which the patient can do this determines her success in conquering her disorder. The problem is that “normal” eating is a very complicated phenomenon, let alone the intricacies of re-feeding. This is one of the reasons that the “cure” rate for eating disorders is so low.

In some ways, it is more difficult to treat a severe eating disorder than it is to treat alcoholism or drug addiction. There is no such thing as cold turkey when it comes to eating. We have to eat every day, preferably 5 or 6 times a day. Likewise we cannot avoid the situations that trigger maladaptive eating behavior like the alcoholic or drug addict can do in an attempting to recover from their addictions. We eat for many reasons, under many different circumstances. We eat when we are hungry, not hungry, starving or full. We eat to socialize, to celebrate and to mourn. We eat to reward, nurture or punish ourselves. We eat when we are procrastinating, trying to relax or as part of a “working” breakfast/lunch/or dinner. We eat when we are happy, sad, mad, or for some of us, whenever we feel emotional.

Dieting Doesn’t Work

An equally important part of eating is the whole “not eating” thing, also known as “dieting”. Ninety-five % of US women believe that they are overweight and 65% of the general population diets. The dieting mind-set is so well ingrained in our society that some 5 and 6 year olds are worrying about how many calories and how much fat is in their Lunchables. Indeed, so many people in the US are dieting that it is a 93 billion dollar a year industry. There are hundreds of “diets”, diet workshops and diet programs, the vast majority of which fail. In fact, without exercise, 95% of all diets fail.

So why do so many people do it? We try to lose weight out of fear, vanity, pride or guilt or we may diet to feel stronger, more disciplined, superior and/or healthier, or we may just diet because everyone else seems to be doing it. The combination of being bombarded with advertisements to eat along side strong media pressure to be thin is constant in our culture.

Eating Disorders

All of the above behavior comes under the heading of “normal” eating. For those whose eating problems have risen to the level of a disorder, eating triggers feelings such as euphoria, guilt, shame and intense anxiety. Those suffering from Bulimia or Bulimarexia (restricting, binging and purging or just restricting and purging) engage in mindless eating or bingeing to numb or distract themselves from stressful situations or unhappy thoughts and memories.

Purging by vomiting or abuse of laxatives can last hours, keeping the individual up late into the night or causing her to miss work or school when she cannot resist the impulse to binge and purge during the day. One patient recently described a nightmarish scene in which she could not purge into her toilet because it was broken and so took a chance on using the tub drain as she showered. Unfortunately, the food would not go down that drain either. In horror she continued to vomit into the tub until she was standing in a foot of water thick with vomit. It took her and her mother hours to scoop the vomitous water out with buckets, which they then had to carry to another bathroom and flush down another toilet. The unbelievable part? Though repulsed by the mess, she was astonished and secretly impressed by the amount of vomit that she was able to produce!

Once she has binged (or simply eaten something she is uncomfortable eating) the need to purge is often so compelling that it goes beyond all reason, as in the case above. However this is a temporary “fix”. The purging gives the individual a temporary “high” followed by feelings of guilt and anxiety and a determination not to repeat the experience. Unfortunately this leads to restricting, which eventually leads to bingeing and the cycle begins again.

Sounds like drug and alcohol addiction, doesn’t it? Eating disorders are very much like other addictions, i.e. they are part of a classic addictive cycle. This includes an increase in tension, which the addict believes can only be relieved by the “fix”. In most addictions, relief from the fix is of shorter and shorter duration before the cycle begins again. This is what is known as a very vicious cycle.

Though not as obvious, the individual suffering from Anorexia is also an addict of sorts, i.e. she restricts to overcome feelings of inferiority, helplessness and hopelessness and to make herself feel in control. Often, she can only be proud of herself when she is pushing starvation to the extreme. This is her “fix”. Many of my patients describe the feeling of being able to function or stay alive on as few calories as possible as a “high”. Indeed there is scientific evidence that fasting does cause the release of endorphin’s, which do make us feel good. Not coincidentally, they report to the same part of the brain that drugs and alcohol do.

To summarize, even “normal” eating behavior can be stressful. Disordered eating takes over the individual’s life, much like alcoholism and drug addiction take over the addict’s life, robbing her of her relationships, her independence, her health and in far too many cases, her life. The mortality rate for eating disorders is higher than that of any other psychological disturbance.

Unfortunately, eating disorders are less likely to be understood as addictions, and more likely to elicit a judging stance from the general public, families and even a surprisingly high proportion of treating professionals. It seems as though the more serious the disorder, the more likely it is to be viewed as an attempt at getting attention or being manipulative.

Take, for example, the Cincinnati physician that said to one of our very attractive patients suffering from Bulimarexia, “You’re beautiful and you’re rich. You have it all. You should be counting your blessings. Why would you want to do something as stupid as refusing to eat?”

But the topper might be the psychiatrist that had another very attractive patient stand up at her first appointment so that he could “assess” her physique and make the following brilliant observation “Yup, you have breasts, hips and thighs. In other words you have curves, what’s the problem?” Individuals such as this often view Anorexia and Bulimia or Bulimarexia as vanity issues.

What Causes An Eating Disorder?

The causes are complicated and for most of the people suffering from an eating disorder, not the result of one factor, but many. The well-known causes are societal pressures to be thin, peer pressure, a major set-back at a critical point in the individual’s life, such as a loss or a traumatic event, childhood disturbances and/or dysfunctional family relationships, etc. However, there are also bio-physiological issues that play a significant role, although they tend to be poorly understood.

Many eating disorders are driven by cravings that are part of a classic addictive cycle, which may actually be perpetuated by food industry profits. In the early 70’s, the food industry discovered that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was much less expensive than sucrose. This was primarily because it was much sweeter. So, in it went into our foods, everything from baby food to hot dog buns and cigarettes! They ultimately took it out of most of the baby food, but it is still in the cigarettes, just in case cigarettes aren’t addictive enough without the sugar!

In Cincinnati, there are many fast food establishments still using HFCS’s in their buns, including; Arby’s, Blimpie, Burger King, Chick-fil-A, Dairy Queen, Jack in the Box, KFC, McDonald’s, Subway, and Taco Bell. You’re not safe at the Cincinnati Kroger’s either, or any of the major grocery chains for that matter, since it is actually harder to find foods at the supermarket without HFCS’s, than it is to find foods with it. For example, there are no less than 10 teaspoons of HFCS’s in a single 12 once can of soda. Likewise they are found in almost all snacks, dairy products, condiments, canned goods, cereals, bread, even supplements and vitamins. In total, the average American eats 83 pounds of corn syrup a year plus 66 pounds of sucrose, for a total of 149 pounds of refined sugars.

What does that mean in terms of unnecessary weight gain? Well let’s do the math: We have 159,360 calories from the corn syrup, and 102,168 from the sucrose totaling 261,528 calories per year from sugar. If it takes 3500 calories more than you use in a given period of time to gain 1 pound, that means that unless you work it off, you could gain 75 lbs/year from ingesting sugar you don’t need and probably don’t realize you are eating. To avoid gaining weight from the HFCS’s added to processed foods, the average person would have to run a total of 438 hours per year or 8 hours per week. The net/net of all of the above is to avoid processed foods, i.e. if it didn’t have a face (meat, poultry, fish, fowl) or come out of the ground (fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes), think twice about eating it. (The exception would be dairy products, such as yogurt, soft European cheeses, and milk. The lower fat varieties of these foods are very good for you, especially when they are lactose free.)

Sugar and Eating Disorders

Sugar Cubes

photo used under creative commons license

What does HFCS have to do with eating disorders? For starters, sugar has recently been shown to be the main culprit in insulin resistance, which is the precursor to obesity. In this country, obesity has become the nation’s most critical health problem. Ultimately it leads to such chronic diseases as Type II diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. These diseases are threatening to dismantle our entire health care system because of their increased incidence and skyrocketing cost of treatment.

Binge eating, bulimia, and bulimarexia are basically sugar addictions, as most individuals suffering from these disorders binge on simple carb’ s (highly refined foods that are often loaded with HFCS’s). Simple carbohydrates convert to sugar in the blood stream. Research has shown that sugar is as addictive as alcohol and/or cocaine.

Recovery from a food addiction (eating disorder) requires a basic understanding of the addictive nature of food and a commitment to replace the offending food(s) with something equally satisfying but less addictive. Otherwise you find yourself in a perpetual and very vicious cycle of restricting or deprivation (dieting) followed by the onset of withdrawal symptoms (food cravings, obsessive thoughts) a build up of anxiety and behaviors designed to quiet the beast, (bingeing, cutting, compulsive spending, binge drinking) and possibly efforts to compensate (purging with vomiting, excessive exercising, abuse of laxatives and/or diet pills). This leads to guilt and a profound sense of failure, which is followed by renewed determination to stop the cycle by not “eating so much” which is a euphemism for restricting or dieting, at which point the cycle begins again.

Unfortunately, many in an effort to avoid the offending food(s) restrict too much and end up avoiding the foods that could break the cycle, proteins or complex carbohydrates i.e. low fat meats, cheeses and fish or fresh fruits and vegetables. Instead they eat foods that actually contribute to the food addiction and cause the cycle to begin again. For example, so many of my patients avoid all protein because of their fear of fat and eat simple carbs, like pretzels or diet soft drinks when they are in restricting, dieting or “being good”. Or worse, they eat candy that has no fat, like jellybeans, thinking that this is a safer snack than a piece of chocolate or a handful of nuts. The chocolate, especially if it’s dark chocolate, does have some fat, but it has fewer sugars than a bag of jellybeans and, because it is dark chocolate, it has antioxidants. And the nuts have a good deal of fiber, which means that they usually have a glycemic load of 0. (This means that they do not enter the blood stream as a sugar and therefore do not contribute to a sugar addiction, which is the primary culprit in the weight gain that leads to obesity).

The jelly beans, on the other hand, and even the diet drink, make the problem much worse because they enter the blood stream almost immediately as glucose, adding to the sugar addiction, which in turn drives more binging behavior. They also have dyes and additives and no nutritional value. The real kicker however, is the long term negative impact that carb loading followed by purging or restricting has on ones’ metabolism, i.e. it slows it down to such a degree that it is almost impossible for the individual suffering from bulimia to eat normally without gaining weight. Until she understands which foods and supplements will stimulate her metabolism instead of suppressing it, she is stuck in this terrible self-perpetuating vicious cycle.

Once she understands how delicious real food can be and how much more of it she can eat without fear of gaining weight if she is exercising and supplementing, she has begun the journey toward a healthy relationship with food and the end of her eating disorder. But this requires courage, patience and lot’s of support from family, friends and allied professionals.

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2008, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2008, Dr J Renae Norton. //edpro.wpengine.com’

ADHD and Incidence of Eating Disorders

ADHD and eating disorders

Eating Disorders Common In ADHD Girls: Compulsive Behavior Tied To Body Image Problems

Girls with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are more likely to have an eating disorder, a new study said. “Adolescent girls with ADHD frequently develop body-image dissatisfaction and may go through repeating cycles of binge eating and purging behaviors that are common in bulimia nervosa,” said University of Virginia psychologist Amori Yee Mikami.

ADHD is thought to be three times more common in boys than girls, so researchers are still learning its long-term effects on girls. But eating disorders are 10 times more common in girls. “Our finding suggests that girls may develop a broader range of problems in adolescence than their male counterparts,” Mikami said. She said girls often go undiagnosed and untreated for ADHD, which could increase the risk of eating disorders. “As they get older, their impulsivity may make it difficult for them to maintain healthy eating and a healthy weight, resulting in self-consciousness about their body image and the binging and purging symptoms,” she said.

The results are based on a study of 228 girls in the San Francisco Bay area; 140 had ADHD. “An additional concern is that stimulant medications used to treat ADHD have a side effect of appetite suppression, creating a risk that overweight girls could abuse these medicines to encourage weight loss, though we have not yet investigated that possibility,” Mikami said. The findings appeared in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. Note: if you treat both eating disorders and ADHD, then consider joining our sister organization at www.addreferral.com

Source:

UVA Today – Adolescent Girls with ADHD Are at Increased Risk for Eating Disorders

Medical Advice Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.

© 2008, Dr J Renae Norton. This information is intellectual property of Dr J Renae Norton. Reproduction and distribution for educational purposes is permissible.

Please credit ‘© 2008, Dr J Renae Norton.