People with eating disorders can be difficult to treat, and rehabilitation therapy may last many years. Chiropractic can be a helpful part of an overall treatment plan.
Anorexia and Bulimia
Anorexia is a disorder marked by weight obsession, eating refusal, exercise abuse, and it can sometimes contain a component of binging and vomiting (or other elimination methods, such as laxatives), called bulimia. Anorexics tend to be perfectionists who fear getting fat. They may lie about eating, as well. Some studies say a zinc deficiency may be part of these disorders. People who suffer from these disorders may also have food allergies and amino acid imbalances. Teenage girls are the most likely population to have anorexia and bulimia. Menstruation can cease in females, males may become impotent, the body can waste away, the skin can yellow and dry, and there can be anemia, low blood pressure, sleep problems, and frequent pain and sensitivity from touch.1 Bulimics may additionally have gum disease and tooth decay from vomiting. Some anorexia may have its roots in rigid thinking patterns, sexual abuse, or obsessive-compulsive disorders; controlling food is a coping mechanism. Certain brain chemical imbalances may also be involved. Aside from the short-term effects of the disease, long-term medical problems can result: dehydration, ulcers, malnutrition, diabetes, heart and kidney failures, osteoporosis, and liver and pancreas failures. This may lead to hospitalization and rehabilitation.2
Chiropractors can help anorexic patients by suggesting vitamin supplements, such as zinc, vitamins E and D, and B12. Besides the nutritional therapy and changes in diet, chiropractors can assist with helping immunity, resolving allergies and gastrointestinal issues, and balancing hormone levels. Depression and suicidal thoughts may also be helped with chiropractic care. For those with bulimia, aromatherapy may be recommended, as well as hydrotherapy, and there can be Ayurveda foods, supplements, and herbs recommended, along with massage. Chiropractors may also suggest magnetic field therapy, biofeedback, hypnotherapy, and Chinese Medicine components.3 Nutrition Science News suggested that a B1, or thiamin, deficiency can lead to “depression, mood swings, and loss of appetite—symptoms typical of anorexia nervosa”.4 Chiropractors believe in overall, holistic health. In doing so, they may recommend not only nutritional support but exercises. A study showed that anorexic patients who practiced healthy exercise during treatment “gained 40 percent more weight compared to those who did not exercise”. Unlike the excessive exercise that might have been practiced by the anorexic or bulimic for weight loss, the researchers found that healthy and rehabilitative exercise should be focused on promoting “positive attitudes about the body” and helping to establish a “mind-body connection” to reduce “physical and mental stress”. The exercises in the study included Pilates, yoga, resistance training, partner work, and sports conditioning. The patients were encouraged to focus on breathing and how their body felt during the exercises, instead of comparing oneself to others.6 Chiropractic adjustments may also assist in resolving subluxations in patients.7
1, 3 http://chiropractor.com/anorexia-nervosa-eating-disorder/#.UHhRY8XA95Y