What is anorexia? The free online medical dictionary defines anorexia nervosa as “an eating disorder usually occurring in adolescent females, characterized by refusal to maintain a normal minimal body weight, fear of gaining weight or becoming obese, disturbance of body image, undue reliance on body weight or shape for self-evaluation, and amenorrhea. The two subtypes include one characterized by dieting and exercise alone and one also characterized by binge eating and purging.”
The psychiatric industry has their own answer to the question, what is anorexia? They have decided it is a psychiatric disturbance. Typical of their inability to trace a problem to its true source, psychiatrists prescribe antidepressants to anorexia suffers, although there is no proof that these drugs have any effect whatsoever on the condition.
In a recent study of over five hundred anorexic women, over 50 per cent of the group had been prescribed antidepressants or antipsychotic drugs. In fact, 48 per cent were on an antidepressant, and an unbelievable 83 percent cent reported taking one of the newer SSRIs.
Psychiatrist Dr. Allegra Broft, who works in the eating disorders research unit at Columbia University Medical Center had this to say about the use of antipsychotic drugs in treating anorexia:
“It’s a jarring thing to hear that medications are being prescribed when the proof is not in.”
Broft also reported that they have “pretty good studies” saying SSRIs do not help anorexia nervosa, and there is absolutely no benefit as far as weight gain is concerned.
When a prominent psychiatrist such as Dr. Broft states “It’s definitely a very concerning issue in our field that [these drugs] are being used without the science,” the lay world might want to pay attention, especially those suffering from anorexia or concerned for those who do.
Besides the already well known side effects of these drugs such as:
- Increasing the risk of suicide and violent behavior in both children and adults
- Increasing the frequency and chronic state of depression.
- movement disorders
- sexual dysfunction
- improper bone development
- improper brain development,
- gastrointestinal bleeding
Anorexic women have another risk factor peculiar to their condition; loss and increased risk of bone fracture due to the drugs.
If this condition is not a mental one, what is anorexia, really?
According to a study done and reported in the US National Library of Medicine, of the National Institutes of Health, a zinc deficiency is closely linked to anorexia.
In this study, teenagers with anorexia nervosa were evaluated for evidence of zinc deficiency. A double-blind controlled trial was done which suggested that these patients had an inadequate zinc intake.
When zinc supplementation was added, there was a lowering of the depression and anxiety level, assessed by testing.
According to this report, “Our data suggest that individuals with anorexia nervosa may be at risk for zinc deficiency and may respond favorably after zinc supplementation.”
In another study involving 20 young women with anorexia nervosa aged 14 to 26 years, the effect of oral zinc had miraculous results. When the results were followed over 8-56 months, 17 of the 20 women had a weight gain of more than 15%. One patient had a body weight gain of 24% over a 3 month period. None of the patients developed bulimia, and none of them lost weight.
If psychiatrists took the time to read such reports instead of dosing their patients like laboratory rats, the suffering of anorexia patients might be relieved instead of enhanced. Perhaps even psychiatrists will someday learn the truth of what is anorexia.