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Orthorexia. Might Apply To Some Of Us.


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#1 Juliebove

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 02:37 AM

For those of you who don't know what this is, here is a link:

http://www.orthorexia.com/

I am reading a book by this man. And I got the book because I felt that I might have it. And the more I read, the more I do think I have it. But is it fair to classify this as an eating disorder to those of us with food allergies/intolerances/other medical problems that involve food? I think maybe not.

I guess in a nutshell this disorder leaves a person thinking that they are doing all they can do to eat a healthy diet. And they will go to extremes to keep it that way. Such as being fearful to eat in restaurants or other people's homes because the cook might not prepare our food properly for us. And really I suppose this could apply to a celiac who has no other food issues. I mean... Who wants to take a chance eating a food that might be cross contaminated or something that really *does* contain something like wheat flour, simply because the wait person or cook didn't understand? Such as the time I asked if the pork chops were breaded? I was told they were not and they came out with breading on them. I guess to the waitress, breading meant bread crumbs. She even knew that my daughter couldn't have wheat. But she didn't know that flour was made of wheat. Dur.

So my story is this. Daughter was diagnosed with what that particular Dr. referred to as IgG allergies. Aka food intolerances. Gluten and wheat were among these things. We changed her diet and really for a time I rid of the house of anything she might react to. This didn't set so well with my husband so we wound up getting her a little fridge and until we could afford to buy her a shelving unit were making do with a card table to put her special gluten-free and other foods.

My mom has always said that she had food allergies. And I spent my entire life being sick. I had chronic ear/sinus/throat infections. Skin problems. I threw up a lot. And I almost constantly had the big D. I was told that I was allergic to milk as a baby. Any and all kinds of milk. I don't think they had prepared formulas in those days. I was born in 1959. I would have been classified as failure to thrive had they had the term back then. And they did start babies on food early in those days. My mom said I threw everything up.

But then? They seemed to just ignore the milk allergy thing and forced me to drink milk every day. I ate cheese. They would insist that I eat ice cream because they liked it. But I hated it and usually resisted. Then at around age 16, a Dr. told my mom to stop giving me milk. She did...as in glasses of milk and my acne got a lot better. But... She is of the mind that stuff that is in other stuff doesn't count. Such as milk in mashed potatoes. Or bread. Or whatever. I know, I know but that's how she thinks and still does to this day. She also thinks a little bit of something won't hurt you. Even though my daughter and I know otherwise! So I was still being given cheese and ice cream. I used to walk around being angry when I saw other people smiling and acting happy. I would think... How can they be so happy when their stomach hurts so much? Because I assumed that *everyone* had an upset stomach all the time like I did.

So then a few years after my daughter was diagnosed with the food intolerances, I got myself tested. And sure enough! I could not have dairy. Eggs were the worst for me which I had already figured out on my own. And there were a few other things. Couple this with having diabetes and well... Long story short there, I decided to try a raw vegan diet.

I began feeling a LOT better. A lot of my medical issues resolved with the new diet. But... I couldn't follow it all the way because I did love things like popcorn and cooked beans. I was also leery of eating all the fruit that most raw vegans do, despite the fact that several diabetics claimed they could do the fruit and juice with no problems. In fact it was on a raw vegan forum that I first heard of orthorexia and I did in fact believe that quite a few of them had it. They would make nasty comments about various foods that other people ate and even referred to it as SAD...or the Standard American Diet. However they would laugh when they used the term "SAD" as though what those people were eating was really sad.

And then I found myself doing it! Maybe not to that extreme. I would never laugh at another person's food choices but as I went through the store or got in line I would check out other people's shopping carts. And I would think... Ew! That's a lot of junk food! And even on some forums and other places where people post what they are making for dinner I might think the same. Ew! Junk food! Dessert every day? No way! I do in fact eat some food that probably most people would consider to be junk food. Such as corn chips, potato chips and even popcorn although I usually pop it at home in a pan. But mostly I try to eat a healthy diet.

And another part of it for me is the strictness that I feel I must maintain. I have found out the hard way that a shred of cheese that made its way into my salad or the whey that I didn't notice in the ingredients of my tortillas will send me flying to the bathroom. So, yes, I read labels. I am careful in restaurants. And if I don't know for sure what is in something, I won't eat it. But according to this book, this is all orthorexia.

Then take it a step further. I have gastroparesis and because of this I had to stop eating the raw vegan diet. Because when you have this, you don't always digest fruits and vegetables and other high fiber foods. Or high fat foods, or even some meats for that matter. So many days my diet consists of little more than white rice. Until my digestion gets going again. And eating only white rice? Well that's orthorexia.

And then there are the supplements I take. I am careful. I run my diet through the Cron-O-Meter so that I know what all vitamins and minerals I am consuming and which ones I am not. I take the ones I am not. And then there are the herbs and other things I am taking for other medical conditions. Like psoriasis. And diabetic neuropathy. So then... That's orthorexia!

And then our food intolerances changed. My daughter's have actually changed three times. Nobody can keep up with this. Nobody but us can remember what all we can and can't have. And even I get confused because my list is very long. And it includes a lot of herbs and spices. Just tonight I was going to take a bite of the rice I had given to my daughter. She was full and didn't want to eat it. So she couldn't tell me if it was good or not. And I wanted to know because if it was, I wanted to buy more. But just as I was about to put my spoon in there, I freaked because I remembered that it contained chicken broth. And I am intolerant to chicken. Sometimes this chicken thing really bothers me. Although I don't actually like chicken, when I am not feeling well, sometimes I want chicken broth. And now I can't have it.

So according to this book, changing your diet to accomodate food allergies or intolerances or other medical problems is...orthorexia. And some of the examples in the book are really sad. Like the lady who could only tolerate to eat lamb and white sugar. Some people have died because their diets were so extreme that they became malhourished.

So what can people like us do? The author implies that we are not living life to the fullest because we spend so much time thinking about our diets, planning our diets, thinking about food. At least I do. He even implies that if we plan our meals out ahead of time, it is orthorexia. If we spend more than 3 hours a day thinking of food, it is orthorexia. But... Even before I knew of my food issues, I did this. I just love to cook! And when I took Home Ec and Family Living, they did teach us to plan our meals out for the week. Not only to make it easier for the shopping but to make it better for us in making the meals. That way we could have planned leftovers and there would be less waste. It is just the say I do things now, particularly with the economy being such as it is. I have to be frugal!

But also... It seems to me that we were not in fact living life to the fullest when we were walking around feeling sick and/or lousy in some way and not knowing why. And now that we *do* know why, we can *do* something about it! Yes, it is frustrating when your food intolerances keep changing and you can suddenly add some things back in while having to now avoid others. But it's sooo good to feel good! Isn't it? Am I wrong to want this? The author implies that sometimes we should just push these thoughts aside and have that piece of birthday cake. But this is not something I can bring myself to do. For starters I never even liked cake. But let's assume there is some mythical dessert that I did used to like (there really isn't) that has stuff in it that would make me sick. It is not worth it to me to have a taste of that stuff and then get sick and then maybe have high blood sugar to boot!

Before we knew of the food intolerances, we would shop at the miltiary commissary. I didn't for the most part have to pay attention to prices. I would buy two carts full of stuff evey two weeks. Yes, there would be extras for the pantry and freezer. I would just buy what looked good, keeping in mind my diabetes and the other issues I did have with foods in those days which would also probably be orthorexia. I preferred whole grains, no high fructose corn syrup and no soy. Soy messes with my thyroid. I also didn't want my daughter eating much sugar. And my husband was in the military. They were pushing for a healthy diet and he needed to lose weight. So really I was mostly buying what I presumed to be healthy foods in those days.

And then the organic foods hit. I went out of my way to buy those things. I didn't (like some people seem to think) think that they were more nutritious. But I felt it was better for us not to consume all of those chemicals. But now? The reports I have been seeing lead me to believe that even though they are not adding chemicals to those foods, they do in fact contain them simply from them being in the air, soil, water, etc. So for the time being, I have not gone out of my way to buy organic and am opting for cheaper fare.

And then there is the arsenic in our rice? If I am worried about that... Do I have orthorexia? I wouldn't even normally worry about it but my stomach has been acting up a lot and I have been consuming more rice than I normally would.

So bottom line... I think I have orthorexia. And I think I am not the only one here who has it. But is it really fair to label us as such? I have seen other cases where perhaps the person didn't have a specific medical problem. They just felt that they wanted to be super healthy or live longer or perhaps ward off some disease that ran in the family...like cancer. And then they went to dietary extremes. I do think that's a bit different. What about those of us who really do get sickened by specific foods? Is it so wrong for us to avoid them?
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#2 shadowicewolf

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 04:23 AM

Eh, they try to label everything nowdays.

I got this from wikipedia:

A diagnostic questionnaire has been developed for orthorexia sufferers, similar to questionnaires for other eating disorders. Bratman proposes an initial self-test composed of two direct questions: "Do you care more about the virtue of what you eat than the pleasure you receive from eating it?... Does your diet socially isolate you?" Other questions concerning those who may be suffering from orthorexia provided by Davis on the WebMD (2000) website are: Do they spend more than 3 hours a day thinking about healthy foods? When they eat the way they're supposed to, do they feel in total control? Are they planning tomorrow's menu today? Has the quality of their life decreased as the quality of their diet increased? Have they become stricter with themselves? Does their self-esteem get a boost from eating healthy? Do they look down on others who don't eat this way? Do they skip foods they once enjoyed in order to eat the "right" foods? Does their diet make it difficult for them to eat anywhere but at home, distancing them from family and friends? Do they feel guilt or self-loathing when they stray from their diet? If yes was answered to two or more questions, the person may have a mild case of orthorexia.

Some things, such as the rice, I don't tend to think to much about. So it has arsnic levels, what food in the south doesn't?
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#3 pricklypear1971

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 05:33 AM

People with food intolerances and/or allergies have a legitimate reason - not to mention "medical duty" to be cautious about the food we consume.

I'd gladly use that guy's book to start a fire to cook my gluten-free meal that I had to "think about" to shop for.
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Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today. ~ Mark Twain

Probable Endometriosis, in remission from childbirth since 2002.
Hashimoto's DX 2005.
Gluten-Free since 6/2011.
DH (and therefore Celiac) dx from ND
.
Responsive to iodine withdrawal for DH (see quote, above).

Genetic tests reveal half DQ2, half DQ8 - I'm a weird bird!

#4 Juliebove

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 06:12 AM

Eh, they try to label everything nowdays.

I got this from wikipedia:

A diagnostic questionnaire has been developed for orthorexia sufferers, similar to questionnaires for other eating disorders. Bratman proposes an initial self-test composed of two direct questions: "Do you care more about the virtue of what you eat than the pleasure you receive from eating it?... Does your diet socially isolate you?" Other questions concerning those who may be suffering from orthorexia provided by Davis on the WebMD (2000) website are: Do they spend more than 3 hours a day thinking about healthy foods? When they eat the way they're supposed to, do they feel in total control? Are they planning tomorrow's menu today? Has the quality of their life decreased as the quality of their diet increased? Have they become stricter with themselves? Does their self-esteem get a boost from eating healthy? Do they look down on others who don't eat this way? Do they skip foods they once enjoyed in order to eat the "right" foods? Does their diet make it difficult for them to eat anywhere but at home, distancing them from family and friends? Do they feel guilt or self-loathing when they stray from their diet? If yes was answered to two or more questions, the person may have a mild case of orthorexia.

Some things, such as the rice, I don't tend to think to much about. So it has arsnic levels, what food in the south doesn't?


According to his test there is no question that I do have it. I have gone to extremes on some fronts. For instance, I used to be what I would call an enabler when it comes to food. I do like to cook. I used to bake up a storm and make all sorts of candies and give them to people. Apparently I was good at it becuase people used to order things from me. I have for the most part quit doing that. I stopped when I found out that I had diabetes. Partly because I could not eat those things. But then I realized that some of the people I was giving these things to really didn't need them. I would secretly be happy if I saw someone that was say...fatter than I was. Or lost control when eating certain foods.

I did make a huge batch of chocolates when asked to do so by another military wife. They were selling them for charity for Valentine's day. I had to have my daughter help me because I couldn't really taste the fillings.

Then when she went gluten-free, I did try to do a lot of baking for her. I quit mainly because the results were not good. She could not have eggs and without those, I have found that most gluten-free baking doesn't work so well. But then I also realized that she didn't need these things. And now she is on the South Beach diet as per her Dr. so can't really have them anyway.

But if I were to give someone sweets, I would feel that I were enabling them to do something bad. Yes, I do eat sweets. I have to sometimes when my blood sugar is low. But otherwise I just have very bad feelings about them and I suppose that is not normal.

As for the arsenic, I do know that it is all around us. And I have a feeling if they were to start testing other foods, they would find it in there as well. I remember that they found it in apple juice a few years back. But it just kind of bugs me that I have to eat so much of it. I used to be able to eat instant potatoes but right now those aren't setting well with me. And there was a recent time when even the rice seemed to make me sick but that seems to have been an isolated incident.
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#5 Juliebove

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 06:16 AM

People with food intolerances and/or allergies have a legitimate reason - not to mention "medical duty" to be cautious about the food we consume.

I'd gladly use that guy's book to start a fire to cook my gluten-free meal that I had to "think about" to shop for.


Oddly enough he has diagnosed himself as having had it but... He did not have the medical issues. So perhaps then for a person without the medical issues it could be a true disorder? He said he was eating a vegan diet and would stop eating before he was full. I do know people who eat similarly to this. My mom had a friend who did what she called "gentle" eating. Would drive me nuts. She would take the tiniest of bites of things and have to chew each bite a ridiculous number of times. We'd finish eating, and I am a slow eater and she would have only consumed maybe 2 T. of her food. She took very tiny portions too. I don't think there were any foods that were off limits to her. I don't remember though. This was many years ago.
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#6 pricklypear1971

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 06:47 AM

Oddly enough he has diagnosed himself as having had it but... He did not have the medical issues. So perhaps then for a person without the medical issues it could be a true disorder? He said he was eating a vegan diet and would stop eating before he was full. I do know people who eat similarly to this. My mom had a friend who did what she called "gentle" eating. Would drive me nuts. She would take the tiniest of bites of things and have to chew each bite a ridiculous number of times. We'd finish eating, and I am a slow eater and she would have only consumed maybe 2 T. of her food. She took very tiny portions too. I don't think there were any foods that were off limits to her. I don't remember though. This was many years ago.


I'm sorry, I have a hard time reconciling all of this without being sarcastic.

Yes, there are eating disorders. Yes, some people in this board may have one or more.

However, if I'm to be classified as having one because I screen my food for gluten when I have a legitimate medical reason for doing so (and all that entails, which we all know can be a lot) the diagnostic criteria is quite frankly, bull.

I don't walk around preaching that gluten is a bogeyman, or obsessing over it...I have adjusted my diet and lifestyle to accommodate my AI diseases. It isn't convenient or enjoyable.
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Apparently there is nothing that cannot happen today. ~ Mark Twain

Probable Endometriosis, in remission from childbirth since 2002.
Hashimoto's DX 2005.
Gluten-Free since 6/2011.
DH (and therefore Celiac) dx from ND
.
Responsive to iodine withdrawal for DH (see quote, above).

Genetic tests reveal half DQ2, half DQ8 - I'm a weird bird!

#7 Juliebove

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Posted 24 October 2012 - 07:37 PM

I'm sorry, I have a hard time reconciling all of this without being sarcastic.

Yes, there are eating disorders. Yes, some people in this board may have one or more.

However, if I'm to be classified as having one because I screen my food for gluten when I have a legitimate medical reason for doing so (and all that entails, which we all know can be a lot) the diagnostic criteria is quite frankly, bull.

I don't walk around preaching that gluten is a bogeyman, or obsessing over it...I have adjusted my diet and lifestyle to accommodate my AI diseases. It isn't convenient or enjoyable.


I guess you would have to read the book to know what I am saying. I do find it to be a very interesting book, despite not agreeing with all of it. He is saying that if you avoid some social situations because of the food there or if you bring your own food to say...a party then you have this problem. Of course there is a lot more to it than that.

What really gets me is that one the one hand he is pointing out a problem but on the other hand he is not giving us a solution. Oddly, the symptom he keeps mentioning that people might have when eating a certain food is asthma. He is saying that it might be worth the pleasure of eating a piece of cake even if you know you will get an asthma attack from it. Now I don't have asthma. I do know some people who do. And that's not something I want. So for me, it wouldn't be worth it to eat something that I know might give me an asthma attack.

My symptoms are quite different. I might spend the night throwing up or hours sitting on the toilet. Or even days of hours sitting on the toilet. I might get an ear/sinus or throat infection that leaves me sick for weeks. I realize that my problems are not the same as a celiac. But they are still not little things to me. Now if my symptom was to sneeze three times and that would be that, it would certainly be a different matter. But to me, there is no pleasure in eating a food that I know will make me sick. There is only pain and discomfort.

He does mention life threatening food allergies but rather glosses right over them. And most of the time I think when he refers to allergies they are the ones that are not life threatening...aka food intolerances.

He even mentions the rotation diet which is something that some people with a lot of food intolerances sometimes have to do. It is a PITA. We have tried it. But sometimes necessary. And he calls that orthorexia as well.
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#8 SMDBill

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 04:39 AM

I'm new to celiac, but it sounds to me as if lumping certain groups into the theory makes the theory more plausible. The problem is that there are groups of people who must live that way and then there is everyone else. We have no choice but be selective about every single situation we put ourselves into. How long will we be there? Can I go that long without eating if the foods are potentially unsafe? Should I eat in advance? What are they serving? Do they have gluten-free foods? Do they have veggies or fruits available?

It's difficult to believe someone could consider it a disorder when we calculate our every meal, bite, ingredient, condiment, etc. We have no choice and my last 3 days of misery from glutening are exactly why we do so. One bad move and we're the ones who suffer. To me it's a lifetime strategy I have to follow, with me as the aggressor, or I suffer the consequences of my lack of attention, concern or knowledge.

I do believe there are disorders of all types. When you're forced into a situation your reaction is out of need. When you choose your situation, that may lead to your disorder. Very different in my eyes. I live how I live because I have no alternative.
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#9 1desperateladysaved

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 04:56 AM

I know some people near and dear to me who could have written this book about me. They just don't understand. Orthorexia or no orthorexia we do what we do, not as volunteers, but to avoid something worse. We aren't getting are kicks out of it, we are just trying to live.

Diana
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#10 Persei V.

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 05:49 AM

While I think orthorexia might be a real thing, it doesn't apply to people who do it for medical reasons. I myself don't think I have a problem for refusing to being ill for the rest of my life. I have my own problems with food, though restricting my diet a bit in order to be healthy certainly isn't one of them.
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Lactose free: 8/6/2006
Gluten and dairy free: 5/2/2012
Grain free: 11/12/2012

I am able to eat somre processed foods again (chocolate, lollipops, soysauce).

#11 Juliebove

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 06:46 AM

I'm new to celiac, but it sounds to me as if lumping certain groups into the theory makes the theory more plausible. The problem is that there are groups of people who must live that way and then there is everyone else. We have no choice but be selective about every single situation we put ourselves into. How long will we be there? Can I go that long without eating if the foods are potentially unsafe? Should I eat in advance? What are they serving? Do they have gluten-free foods? Do they have veggies or fruits available?

It's difficult to believe someone could consider it a disorder when we calculate our every meal, bite, ingredient, condiment, etc. We have no choice and my last 3 days of misery from glutening are exactly why we do so. One bad move and we're the ones who suffer. To me it's a lifetime strategy I have to follow, with me as the aggressor, or I suffer the consequences of my lack of attention, concern or knowledge.

I do believe there are disorders of all types. When you're forced into a situation your reaction is out of need. When you choose your situation, that may lead to your disorder. Very different in my eyes. I live how I live because I have no alternative.


Yes! I was trying to find out more about this online but everything I read tracks back to this one man. He keeps making references to patients who have what he calls food allergies and that their symptom was asthma. As I said before I have never had asthma. But I did once have pneumonia that turned into bronchitis. I had to go on a nebulizer and that was no fun at all. And then I was given an inhaler to use if I had difficulty breathing. The same sort of inhaler that people with asthma use. I hated using the inhaler because I hated the way it made me feel. Not only to breathe it in but the way I felt afterwards. All jittery and hopped up. If there had been some food I could have avoided to avoid having used that inhaler, you had better believe I would have avoided it!

Also, I thought of a situation that might apply to me in regards to his birthday cake theory. I used to like chocolate. It was one of the few foods that I actually would get cravings for. But then my GERD was diagnosed. Oddly enough I had no symptoms that I would recognize as symptoms of this. Once the Dr. told me what some of the symptoms were, I realized that I did have them. Such as my hoarse voice and frequent throat clearing.

But what I didn't have was the rip roaring bile that came up my throat into my mouth and tasted like a swear word. This is what my friends with GERD would complain of. But once he put me on the GERD meds, these symptoms began. I could not tolerate any of the typical GERD meds like Nexium and Tagamet. All caused severe migraines and weird dreams. So now I take Carafate an hour before meals and that is a pain. But... The pesky GERD symptoms have stuck with me. And what causes me the worse symptoms? Yep! Chocolate. I have eaten so little as a speck of the stuff. Just one cacao nib. Then the intense burning pain begins and sticks with me for hours. And nothing will stop it.

So for me? Chocolate is like poison now. Although I once craved it, any time now that I feel even a hint of a craving coming on, I want to cry. I try to avoid going near it in stores. Or being near people that are eating it. Just the smell strikes terror in me. It is that bad.

So once again, I have a really hard time imagining that there are people out there who would willingly and eagerly eat foods that they know would bring them pain later. And yet I do know some. They too have food intolerances but they ignore them. And then when the pain strikes or they are rushing to the toilet, they complain and want sympathy. And they do not get it from me! It is one thing to accidentally eat something despite your best intentions. Or eat something that was cross contaminated. But to knowingly consume the culprit? That's just stupid, IMO.
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#12 Juliebove

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 06:48 AM

I know some people near and dear to me who could have written this book about me. They just don't understand. Orthorexia or no orthorexia we do what we do, not as volunteers, but to avoid something worse. We aren't getting are kicks out of it, we are just trying to live.

Diana


That's exactly how I feel! I still haven't finished the book. It is a book that is so riveting to me that I do not want to skim it as I often to with books. He mentions most every kind of diet there is, including raw vegan, macrobiotic, the Zone, and tells not only what is so appealing about the diet but what is actually good and bad about the diet. He does say there is no one diet that could apply to all people and I really do agree about that. I just don't quite understand his notion about those of us with food allergies and intolerances and how he could call our eating a disorder.
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#13 Juliebove

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 06:56 AM

While I think orthorexia might be a real thing, it doesn't apply to people who do it for medical reasons. I myself don't think I have a problem for refusing to being ill for the rest of my life. I have my own problems with food, though restricting my diet a bit in order to be healthy certainly isn't one of them.


I very much agree! I do think just based on some of the things I do and how I feel that I do in fact have Orthorexia and not just based on the foods that I have to avoid for medical reasons. But I also think it was because of the medical reasons that I came to that point.

I also think that for some people, the reason they do get to that point does have a medical reason behind it. Take my daughter for instance. She was put on the South Beach diet and part of that diet is to totally avoid sugar. The theory is that sugar will set you up for carb cravings. It doesn't seem to do this for me but it does seem to for her. And she has admitted it. So once she realized that avoiding sugar means no more intense cravings for sugar, she avoids it. My dad has recently discovered the same thing even at his elderly age. Better late than never I suppose because he is a diabetic and mostly shouldn't be having sugar.

I do believe that we should eat find our own way to the diet that works for us and for the most part should not judge others or label them with things based on how they eat. Of course this can be difficult if someone is truly doing something harmful to their body such as eating extreme amounts of food to the point of being so grossly obese that they are bed ridden. Or eating so little that they are in danger of dying. Or throwing up their food on purpose. Or doing something really extreme like eating so many carrots that they turn orange on a regular basis. But even then I am not sure it is up to any one of us to step in because even if we did, it is not likely that they would change unless/until they saw it as a problem.

Love that cat, BTW.
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#14 ButterflyChaser

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 07:52 PM

I agree that this is yet another book stemming from the labeling mania that characterizes an era and a society insecure about its own cognitive/interpretive skills. But I am more bothered by something else, which is not the information about diets, which may be interesting, but the underlying assumption of the whole book:

a) this interpretation is politically problematic, to say the least. It pathologizes behaviours that have as a goal a person's health; conversely, it labels as "normal," and, since we live in a highly conformistic society, as "desirable," behaviours in which the individual acts on autopilot, and, in this case, eats without paying attention to the messages of his/her body.

I think I just saw mindfulness flying out of the window. This writer deserves a gold star for the silliest method of treating eating disorders, if that was the goal of this book.

Why do I say it is "politically problematic"? Because someone is going to benefit from a stigma on people interested in making healthy eating choices. And it's not the author of books like this, or ED therapists. It's companies that produce food-like substances that make us sick. I'm sorry, I've got a problem with that.

B) Such a sloppy and catch-all definition is actually dangerous in clinical settings. The lack of preparation of medical staff leads them to rely on protocols, and lists, only, rather than using critical and analytical thinking when making a diagnosis. If you diagnose and treat by "ticking all the boxes," chances are you're treating a piece of paper and not a patient. That. Is. Just. Dangerous. There are tons of people on these boards that have gone through years of misdiagnosis because of such mentality.

When it comes to psychic disorders that kind of labeling is just a disaster waiting to happen. I was sick for over six months a couple of years ago, losing weight, unable to sleep, tortured by D every time I ate, and hyperkinetic (unable to sit still, I was so restless I would walk for hours aimlessly trying to tire myself so that I would sleep, to no avail). I went to the doctor who know how many times, and their "diagnosis," done without any tests or exams, was that I had an ED, even if I was asking for help because I did not know why I kept losing weight. I was going thorugh thyrotoxicosis crises, and if they had just been awake during their endocrinology class, they would not have sent me home with a lecture and Diazepam. I had three major infections, one of which was caused by E. Coli.

They just told me I had orthorexia.

They just told me I had orthorexia and let me alone with their reproach and meds as I reached a BMI of 13, because they liked to label me. Their love for labels almost killed me, and severley damaged my health. I have been in menopause since then, and I am not even 30. My intestine was left untreated, because "it was just orthorexia," for so many months that now it's a complete disaster even if I do not have celiac disease. My metabolism is completely messed up. My bones were damaged. I lost my hair. And I was wretched, because on top of my physical misery I had to carry the blame that "it was all my fault." It took me a year of therapy to come to realize it was not my fault, but a disease, for so long the ignorant medical staff brainwashed me with this "orthorexia."

For some reasons, in the US it is considered OK to comment on other people's diets. I am a foreigner, and that still shocks me, because where I come from that is a huge, giant, taboo, and you'd be branded as rude even for a joke about a friends' diet. So now, besides having to hear friends mocking and shaming me because I don't partake of starches during lunch (clearly, everyone wants to hear about my gas and D over lunch, right?), I also need a book on the cheap pseudo-medicine that almost killed me. No, thanks.

Books like these are not just bad, and insulting for people who are sick. They are dangerous. For people who don't have EDs, but also for those who have them: stigma and shame, which are sisters of "labels," are the causes, not the cure, of EDs. Sounds like the author needs to g back to med/psy school.

Thank you, Juliebove, for bringing this up.
  • 2
Hashimoto's thyroiditis and Grave's disease (2011). It must have been a Black Friday.
Intestinal dysbiosis. Suspected damage to my vili (2012). NCGS according to my dermatologist upon seeing my post-wheat rash.

Gluten-free. Sept 2012.
Canola, almonds, soy = evil.

Grain-free, legume-free. December 2012.
No peanuts and tree nuts. February 2013.
Erb-Duchenne palsy from birth trauma.

My body is trying to kill me.



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