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Persistent brain changes seen in former anorexics

Posted Aug 23 2008 3:09pm
It continues to distress me that people think the brain doesn't need food, or a minimal amount will do, or that you can just opt out of certain foods or nutrient groups and your brain will make do.

It doesn't.

It is still unclear how much of an eating disorder precedes and how much is the result of restrictive eating, but this is clear: the brain is horribly damaged by malnutrition and erratic nutrition. Purging and restricting and bingeing do damage to the function and learning and structure of the brain. And you don't have to be "underweight" on some chart or visibly unwell. Anyone who is working to stay at or avoid a level of nutrition that the body resists is at risk.

Brain damage is invisible, but: persistent brain changes seen in former anorexics IS visible in behaviors and thoughts that perpetuate the illness and make for a miserable life. We should have a zero tolerance attitude about malnutrition.
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