Anorexia nervosa, bulimia - medical causes of eating disorders - symptoms, treatment, diagnosis
Defining the Terminology | Diagnostic Criteria | The Author Tells His Story | More Misdiagnosis Cases | A Quick Overview of the Genesis of Anorexia Nervosa | Medical Disorders And Conditions That Can Cause Anorexia, Weight Loss, Or Vomiting | Medical Tests | Diagnostic Deficiencies | A Message To Parents | A Message to Physicians | A Message to Therapists | A Quick Lesson on Human Nature | A Skeptical Look at the Conventional Wisdom | Public Awareness Campaigns Backfire | Depression and Anorexia | Classical Conditioning and Anorexia | Obsessive Compulsive Disorder | Excessive Exercise | Perfectionism | Sexual Abuse and Anorexia | Laxative Abuse | Bulimia Nervosa | Starvation Response | Malabsorption and Weight Loss | Body Mass Index : A Flawed Concept? | The Anorexic Voice | Art Therapy | Pro-Anorexia Web Sites | Celebrity Role Models | How Belief Skews Perception | Vegetarianism and Anorexia | Disturbing Trends in Medicine | Eating Disorder Clinics - Medical Testing | Frequently Asked Questions | About the Author | Contact Us | Bibliography | Disclaimer | The Future of Eating Disorders

Note:  A more current version of this website is now located at:

Anorexic and Bulimic Patients Urged
To Insist on Diagnostic Testing to Rule Out
Medical Illness

The latest research suggests that the phenomenon of Anorexia Nervosa may not be strictly a psychiatric disorder, but rather for many may just be predictable, instinctive responses to undiagnosed digestive tract disorders. There may be many patients in eating disorder programs who are actually suffering from chronic medical disorders rather than mental illness. Current treatment protocols involving refeeding and behavioral therapy have often had poor outcomes, with a high rate of morbidity, mortality, and high rates of suicide.
Unfortunately, the belief that Anorexia Nervosa, and it's close cousin Bulimia, are strictly psychiatric disorders is so entrenched among psychotherapists, nutritionists, and physicians, that in many cases  proper diagnostic studies are not being performed to rule out underlying medical disorders.
Those who have a chronic digestive or metabolic disorder may not realize it, and when they start a strenuous exercise program, begin a diet, or experience the increased caloric demands of puberty, they may not develop an appropriate appetite for their energy requirements. Conversely, athletes, dancers, figure skaters or models who maintain strict diet and exercise regimens may be vulnerable to dangerous weight loss due to medical illness if the condition is not properly diagnosed and treated. Severe malnutrition may ensue due to inadequate caloric intake or reduced absorption while trying to maintain their training regimen.
This site, authored by the father of a girl misdiagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa, explores this fascinating and puzzling phenomenon, offering many insights and suggestions for future research.
You'll discover how in many cases, treating a medical problem with psychotherapy had disastrous results. You'll also be surprised to find how little diagnostic testing is done in many eating disorder programs, and that little effort is expended to search for underlying medical causes of anorexia, nausea or binge eating.
You'll find how many public awareness campaigns have backfired, actually contributing to this epidemic, and how a huge eating disorder industry came into existence in just a few short years.
The author examines the seemingly bizarre compulsions associated with this illness, making sense of them in light of physical illness. Laxative abuse, excessive exercise, perfectionism, binging and purging, food preoccupation, body dismorphic disorder, depression and suicide, hiding food, pro-anorexia websites, and many more phenomenon are analyzed and shown to be a result of normal human nature.
You are encouraged to be an active participant in the search for truth about Anorexia and Bulimia. If you have been misdiagnosed with AN or bulimia only to find that you had an underlying medical problem causing the eating disorder, please contact us and tell us your experiences!
If you are a psychotherapist, physician, nutritionist, animal behaviorist, surgeon, or were in an eating disorder program yourself, please contact us and tell us your thoughts and experiences. If you are the parent of someone with an eating disorder, please contact us and tell us what you've been through.
The goal of this site is to expose the truth about Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia and  to hopefully help alleviate the terrible human suffering these disorders cause.

The death of dogma
is the birth of reality.
                   Immanual Kant

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