Viewing blog posts categorized under "Anorexia Nervosa"

The Surprising Similarities Between Anorexia and Obesity

posted by Julie O'Toole on January 28, 2015 at 10:14am

One thing I've observed over the years is that those readers who are interested in anorexia nervosa seem to have little interest in obesity, which they often seem regard as an lifestyle choice irrelevant to them, while those who study obesity often ask themselves what this rare condition (AN) has to do with their vastly more prevalent (read: important) condition of obesity (OB)? Quite a lot, as it turns out. And by the way, it’s worth repeating at the outset, neither condition is one…

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Game Plan For The Holidays

posted by Julie O'Toole on December 18, 2014 at 8:05am
Christmas is not just one single holiday at Kartini Clinic, it is several. In fact it’s a season involving many celebrations and special events. Some of our patients’ families do not celebrate Christmas as such, of course, but for those who do, some “highlights”: Baking… baking… baking. It’s a problem in many ways. And the truth is, no matter how appealing the picture of doing so may be, or how often it’s been done before in your family, probably not everyone should… Read More

Taking A Moment To Vent

posted by Julie O'Toole on November 19, 2014 at 9:27am
My good friend and colleague Therese Waterhous, a PhD, RD eating disorder specialist and board member of the parent organization F.E.A.S.T., called me the other day.  She needed to vent, and now, apparently, I do too. It’s not that her annoying experience was rare or new, it’s just the fact that such ignorance persists and that at this point -- given the avalanche of new information about pediatric eating disorders --  such ignorance seems willful. You can update your database.… Read More

The Promise of Personalized Medicine

posted by Julie O'Toole on September 3, 2014 at 8:15pm

Advances in medicine come in all shapes and sizes: vaccines, antibiotics, anti-virals, immune system boosters and reducers, technological changes and recently, the hope that faster, cheaper and more accurate genetic analysis can bring us the new approach to medicine and medications: personalized medicine.

As I have mentioned in a previous blog, a leading proponent of personalized medicine has been Dr Eric Topol, editor-in-chief of Medscape and director the Scripps Translational…

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Making ‘em Mad

posted by Julie O'Toole on August 13, 2014 at 10:43pm

I’m sometimes not sure whom I make madder: some kids, some parents, or some insurance companies!

Making kids mad:

Me:  “Jill, help me understand why your weight would be way down this week?”

Jill (shrugging):  “I don’t know.  I actually exercised less and ate exactly what I was supposed to.”

Me:  “OK. I guess your body is just telling us you need more food.”

Jill:  “What!!?? No way!  I refuse to have more food.”

Me:  “Well…. unless you can think of something that didn’t go…

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Parental Supervision

posted by Julie O'Toole on August 7, 2014 at 1:45am

Eating disorders strike children at virtually all stages of development. Sometimes we think it’s most difficult when they strike a very young child, sometimes it seems the most difficult when a “child” is about to go off to college, or a student exchange program, or start a new school. Personally I think mid adolescence is one of the most difficult times for an eating disorder to strike a child.

Childhood and early adolescence are characterized by learning new skills, but also by…

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Can I Tell You About Eating Disorders?

posted by Julie O'Toole on July 25, 2014 at 1:27am

Have you ever wondered what to tell your other children and family members about your child’s eating disorder?  Have you ever wished you had a child friendly, succinct and upbeat resource to share?

Along comes a small book to be published shortly from from Jessica Kingsley Publishers, written by Bryan Lask and Lucy Watson called Can I tell You About Eating Disorders?   This little book is apparently one of a series of books written about what the authors refer to as “limiting…

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The Stigma of Mental Illness

posted by Julie O'Toole on July 17, 2014 at 2:28am

Lots of ink is been spilled on the subject of the stigma associated with having an eating disorder.  And in order to discuss the subject sensibly we need to get a few terms straight. It was considered a giant step forward in our field when Dr. Thomas Insel, head of NIMH, began blogging, writing and speaking about the fact that all mental illnesses are brain disorders, and that anorexia nervosa in particular was a severe mental illness.  Prior to that it had been possible to…

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Intranasal Treatment for Anxiety

posted by Julie O'Toole on July 3, 2014 at 1:36am

Providers are finally beginning to dip our toes in the waters which have flowed from the realization that psychiatric and psychological disorders are brain disorders.  Case in point: social anxiety.

I don’t know whether we see quite a few eating disordered patients with social anxiety because these diagnoses frequently run together or because social anxiety is so prevalent in the general population, but we do.

And now comes an article by Michael Liebowitz and colleagues from Columbia…

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Do Parents Cause Eating Disorders?

posted by Julie O'Toole on June 19, 2014 at 12:59am

Sometimes things happen to me that cause me to wonder what planet I have landed on.  Five years ago -- to say nothing of ten or fifteen -- whenever I insisted that parents didn’t cause eating disorders, any more than they cause schizophrenia or bipolar disorder or autism, I was treated like I hadn’t done my homework.  Thankfully, that has changed. Virtually no responsible eating disorder professional of any stature believes that parents cause severe mental illnesses, of which…

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