If it is changing your bones, imagine what it is doing to your frontal lobe...

The lack of alarm about malnutrition during an eating disorder really frustrates me. While we wave our arms and worry and wait for a patient to "want" to get well, they suffer brain damage. While we settle for mild malnutrition because we think they "can't tolerate" full restoration and "at least he/she isn't starving any more," we risk permanent bone changes.

The best way to treat osteopenia and osteoporosis in anorexia?
"early detection and weight restoration are of utmost importance"

The same treatment all people with anorexia need!

We need to redefine "medical danger." Right now, the standard is based on how bad it has to be to require hospitalization. We need to set the standard at FULL HEALTH. That means full weight restoration to optimal functioning, not just out of life-threatening range.

Just as bone changes are not visible, so are brain changes - it requires many months of nutritional stability for the brain damage of anorexia and bulimia to repair and allow healthy learning and development. No level of eating disorder behavior is safe.


  1. Not only do we need to redefine what constitutes a person in need of help, we need to loosen the gripping fear of treating patients who are in danger. My daughter and I tried to see a nutritionist but were told that she was too underweight to be seen. She was also turned away by over a dozen inpatient facilities before we found a hospital that was willing to help her. It is so terrible to me, that these people will turn a blind eye for fear that I might sue them if there was any sort of complication with my daughter's health. Don't they realize that if she had continued on the way she was, she would have died? What could be a more upsetting complication than that? I could understand if she had a severe heart problem, but her EKGs were normal, her heart rate was only slightly lower than normal. The only shocking thing was her weight. :sigh: I wish that the medical and insurance world would stop focusing so much on money, and care more about actually helping people.


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