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Orthorexia

I stumbled across an article about this and it caught my attention rather quickly. The first thing I thought of was how I acted when I was worrying about the connection between acne and food, and how I still worry about it even now, though I‘m not purposely trying to stick to any “acne diet“. I found myself reading that article and nodding my head several times while I did.

It’s thought of as an eating disorder. I have to say, I never would’ve thought I could even come close to developing any kind of eating disorder. I suppose I’ve always associated them with people who were obsessed with losing weight. I’ve never looked in the mirror and seen myself as anything other than what I am: naturally thin.

Back when I was trying to come up with an “acne diet� over the summer, I made the remark to my mother once while I was ranting and sobbing about my acne and how there was no food in the house [translated: food I could eat] and that I was starving, that “I never though I would develop an eating disorder - but this makes me feel like I have�.

I went back to eating more food and I’m no longer eating with the intention of sticking to an “acne diet�, but I still remain an obsessive label reader in the grocery store who sees an ingredient that’s “bad� and immediately puts the food back down or walks around the store for a period of time wondering if I should buy it or not. I usually don’t. I still avoid foods I would love to eat. I’m still incredibly paranoid about eating. This orthorexia thing just made me realize that all the more.

I answered these questions based on how I was and how I am now:

1. Do you spend more than three hours a day thinking about healthy food?

I don’t know the exact amount of time, but I know I spend a whole lot more time thinking about it than I used to. A lot more. On a day to day basis, I think about it constantly.

2. Do you plan tomorrow's food today?

Yes I do, and have ever since last spring when I started reading about acne and diets. It’s a hard habit to kick.

3. Do you care more about the virtue of what you eat than the pleasure you receive from eating it?

It’s not about “virtue� for me and I don’t mind the food that I’m eating but sometimes I don’t finish my meal or don’t feel hungry because I don’t have the variety or pleasure that I used to.

4. Have you found that as the quality of your diet has increased, the quality of your life has correspondingly diminished?

I’ve always had life issues, but these past months - from the obsession to the worrying, I can say that it’s interfered with my life. I don't know about my physical health, but it sure isn't doing anything for my mental health.

5. Do you keep getting stricter with yourself?

At first I did, then I let up on it a bit. I still find myself in a state of unhappy restriction though.

6. Do you sacrifice experiences you once enjoyed to eat the food you believe is right?

Well, I managed to eat Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas dinner with the family, but I used to eat more of a variety on those occasions than I did this past holiday. I haven’t had a piece of cake for my birthday in years. It isn’t really a matter of what’s “right�, just a matter of fear. My friends took me out once before I moved and we ended up at an ice cream & sweets cafe, someone‘s treat. I didn’t eat anything.

7. Do you feel an increased sense of self-esteem when you are eating healthy food? Do you look down on others who don't?

Sadly, yes, I have. My friend and I were out and they were eating and I wasn’t, and that was how I consoled myself mentally as I watched them eat something that I had loved, once-upon-a-time-before-acne. I told myself “I’ll be better off than them anyway. At least I have self control.�.

8. Do you feel guilt or self-loathing when you eat food you like, but isn't on your diet?

Yes. If I eat out or have even a bite of a cookie, I have feelings of guilt, like “I shouldn’t have ate that�. I started eating cereal (my favorite, favorite food in the world) again this past fall. (I’m lactose intolerant. I was originally using Lactaid milk, but my derm said milk was bad for acne so I cut milk and cereal until I decided to try rice milk). When I first started eating it again, I tried to "limit" myself with just a small bowl for breakfast. When I went past the "limit", I felt disgusting. I eat a big bowl every morning now without fail. I love cereal too much to deny myself and after taking that first bite in about five years, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. It is the one food that beats down the acne paranoia in my head because I love it so much. But I don’t eat the variety of cereal I used to because of said paranoia.

9. Does your diet socially isolate you?

I used to go out and eat with my friends and I rarely ever do that now because when I go I can’t bring myself to order something on the menu and end up watching them scarf down the chicken sandwich that I’d love to eat but don’t order because of the doubts and the worrying. I was recently over a friend’s house and they invited me to eat dinner with them. I was hungry and hadn’t eaten since breakfast but I declined and told myself I would eat when I got home. I got home too late and I never had dinner. I haven’t eaten with my family in years, with the exception of the holidays. They usually eat things that I haven’t ate in years.

10. When you are eating the way you are "supposed" to, do you feel a peaceful sense of total control?

I actually feel more the opposite. I feel out of control.

I wanted to post this, because I’m sure there’s people out there that can relate. I have a serious problem with this, as a result of acne. Whether or not I believe in “orthorexia� doesn't matter. When I re-read what I wrote, that problem becomes obvious to me.

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Interesting. I'm fascinated by eating disorders. I've never had one, but I watched my mother battle through them. And while I'll never (hopefully) understand it completely, it is one of the more destructive and harder to recover from illnesses I've come across.

Good for being able to recognize the problem. That takes hella guts.

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Yes, thank you Miss Josette

To anyone who is considering trying to use diet as a therapeutic measure, or to anyone who is/has: please take this to heart. Read through this site thoroughly and answer these questions honestly.

-

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You must find balance. In this day and age, if you do not read labels and know what you should absolutely avoid (ie trans-fats), then you are welcoming disease into your life.

However, if your digestive system - and other internal organs - are functioning properly, you can pretty much eat what you want (within reason) and you will be fine. The problem for most of us is that BECAUSE of a lifetime of eating crappy processed food, being exposed to countless toxic chemicals, stress, etc, our digestive systems AREN'T functioning very well, and that can manifest as acne or any number of other diseases. To get it back in working order DOES take some discipline.

I have done the strict diet thing. Some people would probably still consider my diet strict because I eat minimal processed food. I consider that common sense and good health insurance. But I have found a balance. I know to what degree I can "cheat" and not break out, AND the degree to which I can cheat gets larger the more internal cleansing I do.

It's great to be able to be free about what you eat, but there is NOTHING freeing about acne. Besides the fact that it sucks to have acne, it is also an indication that SOMETHING IS OUT OF WHACK - especially when you have it as an adult.

Just because you found yourself at one extreme (stressing about every thing you ate w/o knowing specifically what broke you out), doesn't mean you should swing to the other extreme of completely dismissing diet when it comes to acne.

Just some thoughts.

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You must find balance. In this day and age, if you do not read labels and know what you should absolutely avoid (ie trans-fats), then you are welcoming disease into your life.

However, if your digestive system - and other internal organs - are functioning properly, you can pretty much eat what you want (within reason) and you will be fine. The problem for most of us is that BECAUSE of a lifetime of eating crappy processed food, being exposed to countless toxic chemicals, stress, etc, our digestive systems AREN'T functioning very well, and that can manifest as acne or any number of other diseases. To get it back in working order DOES take some discipline.

I have done the strict diet thing. Some people would probably still consider my diet strict because I eat minimal processed food. I consider that common sense and good health insurance. But I have found a balance. I know to what degree I can "cheat" and not break out, AND the degree to which I can cheat gets larger the more internal cleansing I do.

It's great to be able to be free about what you eat, but there is NOTHING freeing about acne. Besides the fact that it sucks to have acne, it is also an indication that SOMETHING IS OUT OF WHACK - especially when you have it as an adult.

Just because you found yourself at one extreme (stressing about every thing you ate w/o knowing specifically what broke you out), doesn't mean you should swing to the other extreme of completely dismissing diet when it comes to acne.

Just some thoughts.

That is more or less how I feel about it. I am just a little wary at this point, because I have tried things that never worked. Though I feel like what I'm doing now is working (it is the most promising thing that I've tried so far), it might turn out that it isn't. I just haven't spent enough time to tell.

I don't think that experimentation is wrong. But we have to constantly take a step back and evaluate our behavior, especially with something like diet-- which can so easily turn into an obsession for some people. Did you read about that girl on the orthorexic site? Her experiments went so far out of whack that she actually died from it (as far as I can tell). That extreme example aside, the underlying theme of obsession is something we have to be mindful of.

And you are totally right, like with anything else in life, we must find balance. It is just that when working with something as intimate, subjective, and (potentially) ritualistic as diet, one must evaluate their behavior, often.

Whatever else, it is good that this discussion is taking place.

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taken from: http://www.beyondveg.com/billings-t/orthor...orexia-1a.shtml

"As a result of the internet discussion of Dr. Bratman's article, the following clarifications of the concept of orthorexia are given here to address the misconceptions and misunderstandings that seem to have arisen about it.

* Orthorexia is a long-term behavior pattern, not short-term. When one switches to a difficult/restrictive diet, one must pay considerable attention to food and related matters until the new dietary regime becomes habitual. Such a transition period may last for weeks. After the new diet is a habit, however, attention to food should then decrease to a very low level. Paying attention to food for a few weeks during a dietary transition is not orthorexia; constantly obsessing on food over the long run IS.

* In order for orthorexia to be a disorder, all that is required is for it to have a significant, negative impact on an individual's life. A person does not have to think of food 100% of the time to be orthorexic. (Even those suffering from severe anorexia nervosa, for example, think of many things besides food.)

* Adherence to strict religious food disciplines is also not orthorexia. Religions are based on love (at least in theory), so religious food disciplines are (in theory) also based on love, hence are not pathological (orthorexia is a pathological fixation on food). In contrast, the motivations for rawism promoted by some extremists--fear/hatred of cooked food, mucus, protein--when they become obsessive, can indeed become pathological. In short, love is not pathological, while fear, hate, and extremism, ARE pathological when they form one's ongoing basis for behavior.

When Close Attention to Diet Is / Is Not Appropriate

Close attention to diet is obviously needed and appropriate under the following circumstances:

* For a short period, while one is transitioning to a new diet. After the new diet becomes habit, your attention to dietary details can/should be reduced.

* Those who are are following a (nearly 100% raw) diet as part of a program for healing from serious illness may need to strictly follow the diet for an extended period. However, per the above, once the diet becomes habit, then attention to the details can be reduced. Also, once a person's health improves sufficiently, one may be able to be a bit less strict regarding the details of diet. Note also that attention to diet motivated by health is not pathological unless it is obsessive and/or based on predominantly negative motivations (e.g., fear of cooked foods, mucus, protein; other pathological motivations include obsessive fear of illness, aging, death).

Close attention to diet is usually not necessary when the following apply:

* One is established in a diet (it is habitual), it requires little thought, and one is not emotionally attached to the diet as a badge of self-identity.

* When one is stable in good health, then one may be able to make occasional exceptions to the usual dietary regime with limited or no antagonistic side-effects."

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CJB made good points.

All I can say is that it really sucks that, these days, people HAVE to be at least slightly obsessive (and what is often considered paranoid) to avoid terribly unhealthy food. There was a point at which these so-called "foods" weren't even available... people could hardly eat an unhealthy diet if they tried! Now it is the opposite.

I don't look down on people who can't stick to a healthy diet because it's really, really hard if you're a busy person... or if you're a teenager who can't exactly go buy your own food.

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Here is a comment that Dr Bratman had about orthorexia:

"Orthorexia is not intended to be a medical diagnosis," he argues. "Instead, I see it as similar to workaholism: it exists, it’s a problem for people, but it is not a clinical disease."

It is more of a personal, philosophical point. In that sense, it is something that you should work out on your own, balancing health/acne control (if you discover a personal connection with diet, or if there turns out to be any scientific merit to it) with living a "full life" (which is, ultimately, a personal philosophy)

The important thing is to be able to look at the big picture in life. That was Dr Bratman's whole point, I believe. But this applies to all areas of life where people find themselves absorbed.

It is true that acne can be socially isolating in itself. Therefore, we find ourselves between a rock and a hard place. Personally, despite the extra effort, I feel a lot better eating the way I eat now, independent of any ideological standpoint (which I don't have). (this might be indicative of food allergies)

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yep...i first heard about this a few years ago and all i could think was 'oh my god other people do this too?' since then it's toned down a lot and i go through phases of being obsessive and phases of eating whatever's around. honestly though, i feel soooo much healthier, at least physically when i'm in an obsessive mode. i just feel bloated and unworthy when i gorge [well....eat normally?]. but it just starts to take over my life. i dont even know what normal eating patterns are. the vast majority of my friends are at least borderline anorexic or bulemic. i mean nothing life threatening but definately disordered eating. i'm around this all the time. being thin was a huge deal at my school. i don't know where healthy becomes unhealthy. i think eating anything 'bad' means i have a bad diet and am terribly unhealthy and am going to die of some terrible disease and/or be fat

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honestly though, i feel soooo much healthier, at least physically when i'm in an obsessive mode.

I feel the same way (though, the degree to which I could call my behavior "obsessive" is debatable... I wouldn't call it that, but someone who doesn't concentrate on diet at all might). Actually, I feel much better mentally too. I am much better able to concentrate, and especially in conversation. So, ironically, working on not having fluctuating blood sugar levels actually connects me with people better. I have had some of the richest conversations, with my friends and parents, that I've had in years.

I was starting to worry about "orthorexia" before, but it just dawned on me that I'm much more connected with people than I was before--- and that's basically the whole point. (edit: okay, that isn't the whole point. What also must be examined is your own self-esteem issues as a result of how you eat. if you beat yourself up over something insignificant, that is a problem)

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It's everyone else that need to change their way, not *us*! It really shouldn't be that frigging difficult to get healthy food.

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i've definitely given this topic some thought. i've wondered if perhaps i'm being obsessive to the point of being unhealthy - but i've concluded the answer is a big fat no. the reason being is that i 'cheat' quite a bit, but it doesn't make me feel bad about myself. for example, for breakfast this morning i had two chocolate chip cookies. :shifty: of course i know that's not an IDEAL breakfast, by any means - but i also know my entire day will not be ruined by it. i think that's the critical connection in determining if one is going overboard. if i were to become depressed and fill my head with negative self talk as a result of my breakfast, it would indeed be a problem.

i agree completely with CJB, in that it's all about balance. i think that constantly eating without any consideration whatsoever as to what you're putting in your mouth and how it will effect you is unhealthy. and very unintelligent. on the other hand, obsessing over every little thing that goes into your mouth to the point to where your self worth is determined by your diet, is equally unhealthy. this in and of itself is what defines an eating disorder.

sure, my breakfast wasn't the best choice (although delicious)... but sometimes, things happen. the rest of the day i will eat healthy. for the most part (85-90% of the time), i make wise food choices. i'm on a generally restricted diet - but certainly not an extreme one. overall, i avoid certain foods because of the way my skin will react.

acne is symptom of something not working right within my system and through diet i've found a solution to heal my skin and feel healthier overall. i feel a great sense of accomplishment in this and the whole process has made me feel more confident in the sense that i can control my acne. after years and years and years of feeling completely helpless and not understanding what on earth was wrong and hating my skin. but again, maintaining a healthy sense of control through diet is indeed a fine line to walk for some (myself included).. and it is important to remember balance.

i think basically it's important to keep in mind that we are what we eat - but that certainly is not ALL we are!!

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I don't feel I'm healthy. I honestly feel I'm unhealthy.

Two things for sure: I'm not clear, and I'm not happy. I'm bitter, irritable, paranoid, anxious, afraid and incredibly obsessive over food. I'm those things on a regular basis. That's obviously not mentally OR physically healthy. I can eat all the health food in the world and if I'm those things, none of it will make any positive difference on my life. I'll still be unhappy. And I bet I'll still have acne too.

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I don't feel I'm healthy. I honestly feel I'm unhealthy.

Two things for sure: I'm not clear, and I'm not happy. I'm bitter, irritable, paranoid, anxious, obsessive, and afraid. I'm those things on a regular basis. That's obviously not mentally OR physically healthy. I can eat all the health food in the world and if I'm those things, none of it will make any positive difference on my life. I'll still be unhappy. And I bet I'll still have acne too.

I am sorry that you feel that way. I believe that a percentage of people feel that way regarding any solution they take if A) It yields no results or B) It wasn't done properly (that's debatable).

I've always been for holistic healing but over the years and years of research and experimentation I've learned that people will probably be disappointed, bitter, and afraid if people pick the WRONG solutions for them!

Of course, "healthy" means nothing in this world today unless you pick foods and a lifestyle that is healthy for YOU as an Individual! What is healthy for me is not healthy for example healthy for Teplo, CJB, or even you. Sometimes we share similar dietary habits and lifestyles, but in other ways we do not.

I've heard of Orthorexia from another board and I'm very pleased with the way conversations have been conducted regarding this topic. Just like other members that have responded to this thread, I have to say that this is not me either! I've been on this diet for over 3.5 years now and over time, as I've learned what affects me, I have become "stricter" because it has yielded me greater results. Yet it only takes a few looks at the ingredient labels and a few tastes for me to know what not pick. Reading ingredient labels are easy for me because if what I'm avoiding isn't already in bold (most are top allergens, but I'm not allergic to any of it, just hypersensitive) I know not to pick it up. Or I've become so good at spotting what I'm looking for that it takes no time at all, and usually I don't have much faith in commercial food anymore that I don't even buy canned or packaged food much because I already know what I'll find. Although sometimes I'll do the ingredient check on new foods or brands and sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised!

As for my social life...wow I really think that is what Orthorexia is all about. My friends and family are generally curious about why I don't eat something and sometimes they are open to trying my dairy-free, sugar-free, and gluten-free meals! While gluten-free means there are other grains I'm free to consume I don't neccessarily always take advantage of this, but when I find something I like I love sharing it with my friends and family. I was a pasta fan, eating some form of it almost daily, and now I eat it perhaps 1 - 2x a month at best. Don't ask why that is since my pasta is now made from Brown Rice (which I'll get several times a week) or Corn or Quinoa, and my sauces are free of any added sugars, but that's just the way my habits automatically changed to. I don't carbohydrate count by any means, but I did do so a few times just for other's interest and I'm consuming 50% less carbs daily (now 200 - 300g), but that's more so due to a loss of grain based carbs & added sugars because I eat far morefruits and vegetables now than I ever did before!

Furthermore, because I'm not eating all of this packaged food or as much fast food as I used to (I still eat certain types of fast food and I still eat out at restuarants I just usually pick what I know is safe for me or ask the waiters) I have to cook the majority of my meals. Whether I am eating out or cooking my own meals, it can be something as boring as chili or fried chicken (no batter) or something more fancy like chicken cordon bleu (no cheese or batter though), grilled salmon & asparagus, tomato & eggplant salad, spinach & romaine w/ strawberries & sunflower nuts, etc which kinda beats pizza and burgers any day! Now that I've gone on to study nutrition, interestingly enough most are cooking courses and so I'm learning not to be so afraid in the kitchen and I'm learning how to properly handle and cook foods and that increases my desire to eat good tasting nutritious foods and makes my time in the kitchen even more enjoyable! In fact right now I'm in a class that's more managment based and yet my professor is making it more like a culinary course where we have to prepare these fancy dinners for 300 people! To top it off, practically everything we'll serve will be made from scratch from the calamari, pasta, and vegetable tarts to the chocolate and sorbetto. The menus we have planned are really fantastic and most of the courses that we will be offering I'd be able to eat as is or if we substituted the pasta for gluten-free so that has definately further ignited my desire to cook more often! So honestly not only has my acne improved greatly (99% usually, but sometimes 100% if I'm cooking everything myself), my pores are nearly invisible, my horribly painful menstrual cramps have disappeared, my mild hirsutism has slightly improved, but also my social life has improved, my self esteem has improved, plus my cooking skills and palatte have also improved. I look forward to trying new foods without fear (most aren't problematic for me), new recipes, and enjoying it. Honestly when you do try certain foods and you do cook things a way that is enjoyable to you, the processed packaged stuff tends to pale in comparison so in that respect my dietary changes have definately enhanced my life and social life (pot luck meals or fancier or more exotic restuarants)!

So if you are honestly doing everything right, have you considered that you need to see an Endocrinologist to find out where your hormonal imbalance lies? If not do so, knowledge is power, and once you know what you have then you can go about treating your problem naturally, or not, in a more appropriate manner.

All the best!

P.S. I still eat burgers only with no bun or wrapped in lettuce with unsweetened ketchup or avocados or salsa, etc and if I wanted pizza I could make it gluten-free! I can still have most traditional foods, only with different ingredients. Variety, that was something my diet lacked before and now I have much more of!

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I don't feel I'm healthy. I honestly feel I'm unhealthy.

Two things for sure: I'm not clear, and I'm not happy. I'm bitter, irritable, paranoid, anxious, afraid and incredibly obsessive over food. I'm those things on a regular basis. That's obviously not mentally OR physically healthy. I can eat all the health food in the world and if I'm those things, none of it will make any positive difference on my life. I'll still be unhappy. And I bet I'll still have acne too.

Have you read Dr Bratman's book? I haven't, but he says it contains information on how to find balance, to find the "Middle Way" (to quote him quoting eastern philosophy). It might be worth your while to read it.

Hope you sort this all out.

-

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Good post, SweetJade1980. I wouldn't have believed that diet would make a difference it until I tried it for myself (which I haven't 100% confirmed yet, so I reserve the right to take that statement back in the future... though I haven't had any breakouts since I've started this lifestyle).

It does take commitment, and if you are doing something wrong or out of misguided belief or at the expense of "living" life, then it is a very big problem (long term, that is. however, when you are learning something new.. it takes time to absorb that information in the short term, nothing wrong with that).

Mistakes are often valuable for what you can learn from them (just as Dr Bratman admits)... you just have to be able to honestly admit to yourself that you have made a mistake (or are continually making them). This takes maturity and experience. It might be difficult to achieve a level of maturity and experience in health (in our society) without verging on orthorexic tendencies, early on.

All that having been said, I still sympathize with you Miss Josette and hope you find balance

-

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Thank you.

I think I need to seek professional help. Not from a doctor, a nautropath or a nutritionist or a dermatologist....but from a psychiatrist. .......I haven't even said that aloud, I'm just typing it, but I can't describe to you how I feel about that. Never thought I'd need that. My family cannot relate, my friends cannot relate, I cannot speak to them about this. I think that could possibly be the best thing to do for my well being, more than any diet or cream or whatever.

Perhaps by seeing someone, I can move on from this, move on from acne whether I clear up or not, and regain control of my life. I'd like to believe that I could do it on my own, but I don't think I can.

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Thank you.

I think I need to seek professional help. Not from a doctor, a nautropath or a nutritionist or a dermatologist....but from a psychiatrist. .......I haven't even said that aloud, I'm just typing it, but I can't describe to you how I feel about that. Never thought I'd need that. My family cannot relate, my friends cannot relate, I cannot speak to them about this. I think that could possibly be the best thing to do for my well being, more than any diet or cream or whatever.

Perhaps by seeing someone, I can move on from this, move on from acne whether I clear up or not, and regain control of my life. I'd like to believe that I could do it on my own, but I don't think I can.

You aren't alone in this and this is one of the things that I'll have to look out for as a dietician in a clinical setting. I know there are a few members here that have found that dietary changes DO work for them, but due to having past eating disorders there are still fears of overdoing it and some opted not to continue doing so. Definately when it comes to this I think you are doing the right thing by seeing a psychiatrist, if you may need medication and/or a psychologist if you'd like to try to overcome this through various behavior modification techniques. If some time along they way you are ready to see a specialist, I would still suggest seeing at least an Endocrinologist because sometimes a metabolic or hormonal disorder can directly or indirectly be connected to some neurological imbalances and the goal should be to "cure" the disorder instead of treating each and every individual symptom (acne, depression, etc).

Please take care :angel:

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Orthorexia is a tricky thing to diagnose. The symptoms are present in almost all women, and have to be present to some degree to live healthfully. You have to plan what you'll eat days later at the grocery store, or else you'll wind up going to get a pizza because you have nothing good. And some of the stronger symptoms that aren't necessarily good also don't always signify an eating disorder. It's when it gets to a point of dysfunction that it becomes a disorder -- when it starts to impair one's ability to function in everyday life or when it leads to physically damaging behaviors. There are orthorexics who have gotten themselves sick by taking too many vitamins because they were obsessed with nutrients and supplements. If you are not getting enough calories or nutrients not because you're trying to lose weight but because of your obsession with eating "right" then you have a problem. If you neglect to seek medical attention for symptoms because you think you can cure them with diet or if your fatigue from not eating enough or your constant thoughts about food impair your ability to enjoy life or concentrate on other things, you likely have a problem. Having the symptoms isn't really enough -- half (at least) of the young women in america would be orthorexic then. But if you find yourself to the point where your diet is actually damaging psychologically, physically, or functionally, then you need help. Eating disorders are extremely difficult to treat. I'm not sure about orthorexia but I know that it's rare for an anorectic to ever fully recover -- even once they stop starving themselves the thought patterns are there. So it's important to seek therapy when you realize you have a problem.

Personally, I wouldn't advise any sort of restrictive diet to someone who had had an eating disorder. Some psychological trait or issue led to the eating disorder in the first place, and you're just tempting it to flare up again. In my case it was a desire for control -- which never went away -- and that's a common thing, but it could also have to do with self-esteem issues or obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Regardless, unless you've made massive changes in yourself psychologically you're still an ED-prone personality. It will be too easy for you to go from eliminating all wheat, sugar, and animal products to cutting further and further back on quantity and types of food. Frankly it's like an alcoholic drinking socially. Maaaayyyybeee if you have willpower of steel and you've been through lots of therapy you could handle it, but probably not, and there's no reason that you need to do it so why put yourself in such a risky position? Former anorectics need to learn to stop taking out their desire for control or self-worth or self-destruction on their diets and that's hard to do when your is so restrictive that you do have to think about food all the time, and it would be much healthier for them to use their usually extensive knowledge of nutrition to create a healthy diet of balance and moderation.

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