Can we be Too Thin? ~ Yes!

Happy Monday Dear Readers!

This morning while getting myself ready for the day (ie: standing in front of the bathroom mirror) I was thinking about what I was going to make for breakfast.  It may have been 6:00 am and I knew I wouldn’t be eating for at least another 3-4 hours, but I like to think ahead about what I’m going to eat, now that I’m trying to eat healthy again. (The weekends don’t count ;))

So at first I thought about a couple of poached eggs on a toasted slice of my homemade bread, perhaps with some mushrooms and low-fat cheese.  I went on about the morning doing various things, some wash, ironing, feeding the cats, figuring out what to make for dinner, etc.

Then a song came on the radio and I didn’t know who was singing it.  The DJ did not mention who the artist was after the song was over (thanks Chris) but he might have mentioned it prior to playing it and I didn’t hear it.  This then forced me to get out my laptop and go to the radio website to find out what the song was (they give a listing of all the songs they play).

After checking the song (I think I Love You – originally done by the Partridge Family was sung by a group called Voice of the Beehive from the early 90’s) I decided to peruse the internet for muesli on South Beach Diet as my thoughts for breakfast changed from eggs to muesli.  While searching, I came across the SBD message boards; a site I use to frequent.  I sometimes go back to it and look at the forum with the before and after pics of people who lost weight.  Some are absolutely amazing and it’s a great motivator.

Then one title caught my eye.  It said ‘I lost 60 pounds!’ so I was intrigued.  This woman did not have a before picture as she said she didn’t have a good one (sorry, but no ‘before’ picture is going to look good anyway!) but she had her after picture.  You can see it here.

Hence, the subject of this post (finally!).  Does she think she looks healthy?  Many of us want to lose weight but I can’t imagine why some people want to be so thin that they look like a skeleton with skin.  Her profile indicates she started at a weight of 145lbs…and she said she lost 60 which puts her at 85lbs. (She’s age 21)  She has put herself in more danger health-wise, than she thinks.  It’s obvious the comments she received are of concern, but she never responded back.

Anorexia is a major problems in the UK and the US.  Here are some facts that you may or may not know about Anorexia Nervosa.

  • Anorexia nervosa appears more in the Caucasian and Hispanic female as opposed to the Black or Asian female.
  • Anorexia nervosa is more prevalent in the age group of the 15-year-old to 23-year-old female although a younger agegroup is appearing at an alarming rate.
  • Excessive dieting and exercising can be seen in the anorexic leading to an extreme thinness in the body.
  • On the average it is estimated that 1% of females in their teens and early 20s develops this eating disorder.
  • Studies have shown that 10% to 15% will die of complications arising from anorexia nervosa.
  • Peer pressure and an ever-increasing emphasis of today’s model society seem to play a very real part in the development of anorexia nervosa.
  • Anorexics have a slower and sometimes abnormal heart rate, low body temperature, electrolyte imbalances, and lower blood pressure.
  • A sufferer will sometimes have a soft downy hair growth on their arms and other body parts, which develops from lack of essential vitamins and minerals lacking in the diet.
  • An anorexic patient will weigh 15% or more under the norm for their height and weight.
  • Women with anorexia nervosa will have lack of or an abnormal menstrual flow.
  • Because typically seen in the female the male anorexic is often misdiagnosed.
  • People with anorexia will severely limit their dietary intake even though wanting to eat and being very hungry out of fear of becoming fat.
  • People suffering from anorexia, even when dramatically thin, will see a distorted image when looking in the mirror and will see a very heavy person.
  • A person afflicted with anorexia nervosa has erosion of the tooth’s enamel and an increased incidence of cavities.
  • People with anorexia can sometimes develop kidney infections and kidney failure.
  • Studies have shown that genetics may or may not be attributed to the development of anorexia nervosa. Researchers theorize that a genetic component will make a woman or man more prone to using this method of controlling a stressful environment or answer the need for perfectionism.
  • After a very small meal an anorexic will feel bloated due to extreme shrinkage of their stomach.
  • Studies have shown that 50% of all anorexics will suffer from osteoporosis.
  • A person with anorexia nervosa will often shield themselves from the outside and will avoid social gatherings due to fear of being in an “eating” situation.
  • Someone with anorexia nervosa will often have intolerance to cold temperatures due to low body weight.
  • In the younger person with anorexia nervosa, growth may be slowed and cause short stature.
  • In severe cases of anorexia nervosa hospitalization may be required.
  • In some cases of anorexia nervosa medication may be needed to treat underlying depression or an obsessive-compulsive disorder which thereby complicates this psychiatric illness.
  • Proper medical treatment involving physicians, psychiatric professionals, family and friends play an important role in the success of the person who is diagnosed with anorexia nervosa.
  • It is estimated that only 4 out of every 10 person afflicted with anorexia nervosa will make a full recovery.

These are some pretty eye-opening facts.  The question that remains is why does an individual suffer from an eating disorder?

For some an eating disorder may develop from a response to a difficult life experience such as abuse, or social pressure that often arises around puberty. It may be the result of depression, or the result of some kind of obsessive disorder. These eating disorders are also more common in cultures where it is considered desirable to be slim.

Treatment is available although it can be very costly and most insurance won’t cover the treatment.

Here are some danger signs to look for:

  • losing a significant amount of weight
  • continuing to diet (although thin)
  • feeling fat, even after losing weight
  • fearing weight gain
  • losing monthly menstrual periods
  • preoccupation with food, calories, nutrition and/or cooking
  • exercising compulsively
  • bingeing and purging (more common with Bulimia)

If you concerned about someone who might be on the verge of anorexia, there are many websites available where you can find out more and may be able to find help for them or check with their doctor if you can.

If you need to lose a few pounds, do it in a healthy way by eating fresh fruit and veg, whole grains and nuts, good fats like olive oil and avocado, low-fat dairy and lean meats and fish.

Don’t starve yourself…you may lose more than just weight.

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One thought on “Can we be Too Thin? ~ Yes!

  1. i enjoyed reading your blog and your goals for healthy weight release…I am making a long over due effort to nourish myself for good health ….years ago i had goodluck with Weight Watchers and remember the essence of how to do it so I am trying to just do it on my own….rather than spend money on the program…we will see….as i go along I intend to cook well for myself as I love cooking…money saved will go to arts pursuits as a reward….Tonight I made a veggie/minestrone soup so that should stave off hunger pangs…I will check in on your blog from time to time….best wishes from Canada!

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