For the "you don't say?" file:

Brain volume found to change following weight gain in adults with anorexia

What continues to amaze me is how anyone believes food is optional. People have come to think of food as something you decorate with, or express yourself by, or that you can choose your appetite as a moral measure of worth.

Eating too little - even a little too little - leaves your body gasping. It has to slow down to compensate, it is primed to jump on food the next time it makes itself available, it robs non-essential functions like reproduction and THINKING ABOUT ANYTHING ELSE.

You can't choose how many calories, how much of each vitamin, grams of fat that your brain needs. Your brain is part of the body and it isn't going to be less damaged than your other tissues - in fact, it is damaged more.

Imagine the brain of a growing adolescent being eroded and failing to develop.

Did we really need proof of this? Or is this what it will take to convince families and doctors and therapists to take malnourishment seriously? Not just after weight has been lost, but for every hour spent at less than optimal health. Malnourishment is brain damage.


  1. I like the last sentence. Maybe that should have been the title of the study...

  2. The question the Columbia team answered with this research was, "Is damage reversible?" Positive findings give reason for great optimism. Important and worthwhile research IMO.

  3. sometimes i wish my body would just go ahead and shut down already, especially my brain then I wouldn't have to feel these intense emotions anymore, anything would be better than this even death.

  4. Anonymous,

    I care. Can I help? You are in such despair - could you let someone in your life know? Would you let me talk with someone in your life? I care and so does everyone reading this. You CAN feel better. You can live free of those intense emotions: LIVE. It is worth it. YOU are worth it.

  5. Anonymous--The way you described how you're feeling is a way I've felt often during my own battle against ED. I know it feels like life isn't worth living, this pain is utterly unbearable, but I implore you to hold on, hang in there. This pain will pass. Really. Nothing in life is constant; therefore, you will one day feel better. Just hang in there. Reach out (like you did by posting). Talk. There are lots of places to get support, to give your emotions a voice, and to realize that you're not alone, despite the way it feels.

  6. Anonymous many moms out there are hurting for you and caring and hoping you are getting some help--DBT therapy can help with emotion regulation---

    Laura, I also think it's very important to show that the changes in brain volume are reversible in AN--it helps people have incentive to get going with the feeding and it gives moms like me hope that my d's brain damage is reversible....


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