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Root Causes of Eating Disorders


One area of interest to me is eating disorders, because it hits very close to home for me and I've dealt with it most of my life.


I've learned some interesting facts about disorder eating today.


  1. In eating disorders, we're using food (or restricting food) as a way to: gain control, fill a void, or deal with/pacify/quiet past trauma. I think that's my trigger - past trauma.

  2. If yours is also a trigger from trauma, I learned that it usually happened between the ages of 8-16. This is certainly true for me.

Side note: I keep things very real around here and very authentic, so I'm about to get very personal.


A lot of things were happening to me between the ages of 8-16. First, in the younger years of things, I was being sexually abused by a neighbor. Second, around age 10, I started dealing with hormonally-induced depression, suicidal thoughts, and cutting. Third, around the age 16 mark, I met a boy who was 5.5 years older than me (that should've been my first red flag) and he was abusive in a few different ways. These were all pretty traumatic things. I have done A LOT of therapy over the years to work through all of those, and there are layers to healing from things like that. I am now in a very good head space, emotional space, spiritual space around all of that. However, I developed habits and trained my brain to use food as my way to cope. Some people use alcohol, some people drugs, some people sex, etc. My numbing choice was food.


So, why am I sharing my story with you?


I want to bring you hope.


First, I'm a practitioner that is going to understand YOUR story, because I'm right there alongside with you (2 Cor. 1:3-4). I've been through it and am still going through it. We can help each other out. I might be ahead of you in my journey, but I might not. Maybe I can learn something from you, too.


Second, and probably the most important thing that I want to bring to you is this: sometimes eating disorders have actual biological reasons behind it.


  1. Parasites or Candida - These can actually send chemical messages to your brain compelling you to feed it. Guess what they eat? Sugar and "junk food" carbs. This is typically what people end up bingeing on. This doesn't give us permission to binge. It's a wakeup call that something isn't right in our body and we need a practitioner to help us get to the bottom of it.

  2. Neurotransmitter Balance - Our chemicals in our brains can get out of balance. If they're out of balance, you will have: low serotonin and/or gaba levels, high cortisol, high norepinephrine levels, and/or high dopamine. When this happens, it can increase our feelings of overwhelm and anxiety and what do we do? We turn to food. Why? Because food is actually physically calming the nervous system. How? Carbs/Sugar increase serotonin levels! Again, not an excuse to binge, but to hire a professional who can run labs for us and see if this is what's happening.

  3. We can learn to rewire our brains! Neuroplasticity is a fascinating topic, but for now all you need to know is that it's possible to create new pathways, therefore creating new habits and new reactions to the impulses that plague us. With hard work, and repetition, healthier choices are only a new neuro pathway away! There are many programs out there to choose from, but the one that I'm currently working on is DNRS.

If you're someone who deals with disordered eating, I am so sorry. I wish I could reach across the screen right now and hug you and cry with you. But, know that there IS hope! You can lead a healed, healthy, and whole life!


Healing Hugs,

Amy




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