Topic Suggestions

Suggest ideas for a blog post!
Add your ideas by (1) clicking the button on the bottom center of the page or (2) leaving a comment 

Here’s what has been suggested so far. If we blogged about it, there will be a link to the post (in brackets are links to somewhat related topics):

– drug/alcohol rehab/treatment vs residential treatment for EDs
– quality of life for ED patients, especially post-recovery
– evolutionary perspective on EDs
– treatment of EDs around the world
– health economics perspective
– depersonalization in eating disorders
– readiness for change/factors associated with that (age/maturity/ED duration?)
– link between eating disorders and depression
– personality disorders (changes in DSM-V?) and how they relate to eating disorders
– alternative/creative therapies in EDs (music, art, dance, drama)
– link between introversion and EDs (from a neurobio perspective)
– intelligence and EDs
– stealing and hoarding in eating disorders
– endorphins


Suggestions that have been blogged about:

dance and eating disorder recovery
– adult-onset eating disorders (especially adult-onset bulimia)
– vegetarianism and veganism and how it related to EDs and ED recovery
– autism and anorexia nervosa link (and this post to some extent)
– cross-cultural studies of eating disorders
– yoga in association with ED’s (when is it okay to start, is it helpful?)
– diabetes and eating disorders (diabulimia)
– longstanding/chronic eating disorder, palliative care/hospice care (ethics of force-feeding)
– eating disorders in the lesbian community
nonpurging bulimia (where does it fit?)
– memory loss (and related issues) and anorexia
– link between obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) & EDs
– experiences/perspectives of siblings of ED patients

Suggestions I’ve started to cover:

refeeding syndrome
– predictors of treatment success and remission (this, although focused on maintaining change after treatment)
– developmental/early life risk factors for EDs (this, though focused on prenatal risks)
epidemiology, demographics of EDs (prevalence, occurrence & mortality)
 PTSD and BN
– endocrinology and EDs (see category)


  1. I’m so glad I found this website, it is intelligent and informative and it has really helped me to understand eating disorders from a different perspective.
    One thing I’m curious about is the psychological after-effects of eating disorders. There is a lot of discussion about how PTSD/trauma can lead to disordered eating, but can having an ED cause PTSD? my case, I’ve been “recovered” for four years, and not until recently, due to various triggers, I started having nightmares and persistent flashbacks of those experiences. It’s very vivid, I feel in a way I’m re-experiencing what happened before, it’s like I never “recovered”, because the thoughts and bodily feelings are exactly the same. In fact it has become so intense and intolerable that I’ve relapsed somewhat. Is being in an emaciated state for several years considered a form of trauma? Is being stuck in the B/P cycle, and living through the constant shame of it a form of trauma? I can’t find any research on this subject, and I wonder how other people deal with this sort of thing after recovery?

  2. I am interested in any research/articles on the relationship between anorexia, migraines and serotonin. I have suffered from migraines for about 20 years, and an eating disorder for almost as long (although it wasn’t bad until the last few years). I have tried treatment after treatment to alleviate the migraines, but nothing seems to work. I am hoping that if I can restore my weight, I will see a decrease in migraines. I’m trying to use that hope as motivation, as it’s hard to change disordered eating habits that are 20 years in the making.

    • I’m also interested in this topic! My having migraines predated the development of my eating disorder (AN, restricting subtype for the first few years), and I noticed that my migraine episodes worsened in severity and frequency and that some of my other migraine symptoms changed during both of my anorexic periods.

  3. Hi.. how about high-functioning anorexia — perhaps an exploration of the factors that contribute to being high-functioning despite being at a low BMI (about 15-16). Does the body also adjust to being at a lower weight (in ‘chronic’ cases)?

    • I would love to see this covered too. I was BMI 15-16 for ten years and less before that, and not only did I think I was ‘fine’ but most people around me did too.

      • What are you labelling as high-functioning? Physical or mental? Or? Emma, in your case, what are you calling “fine”? I’m asking just to get a sense of what you mean so that I can figure out what to search for in my lit search. There’s a difference, after all, between physical and mental, and outward portrayal and inward chaos.

  4. Hi! I think a post on the unequal access to treatment for anorexia vs. bulimia vs. ednos vs. BED would be really interesting (more generally looking at uneven funding/ research/ interest/social discourse/ publications/ treatment etc…for different ED diagnoses) .
    I have crossed between diagnoses (anorexia vs. bulimia) and my experiences seeking treatment/help have been extremely different dependent on the diagnosis. When I have been anorexic accessing treatment has been much easier and more straight forward. In my experience, there is much greater concern from the medical community (including ED specialists) for anorexic patients compared to other diagnoses. There also seem to be far more resources available for anorexia treatment (in my area at least) compared to treatment options for other EDs.
    When I have been more bulimic seeking treatment has been much more difficult, despite the fact that I truly believe I am more ill and less able to function when bulimic compared to anorexic.
    Anyway, just an Idea! I love the blog and especially the broad range of topics you present! Thanks so much for your work!

  5. I’ve found myself asking the same questions that RC asked, in her Feb 9 2015 comment. Among older individuals who’ve honestly tried to recover, and yet still find themselves plagued with persistent ED thoughts and urges, one often hears these symptoms attributed to OCD, but at the same time, this persistence could be seen as mimicking the symptoms of PTSD as well. While trauma is often a part of the background of people with EDs, for some sufferers, is it possible that the ED itself is what provided the trauma ? If so, and if there is a subsequent measure of PTSD involved, it’s easy to see where some individuals could have an extra-difficult time shaking these intrusive thoughts and reactions in later life. When one reflects on the sheer level of emotional distress that people in the earlier “frantic” stage of their EDs often experience, it’s easy to see where it might qualify as trauma. Has there been any research in this area, and might it help explain that percentage of people who’s symptoms persist, often on into middle-age, and for years after they’ve committed themselves to recovery ?

  6. It would be very interesting if you wrote an article about what is the real content of food left in the stomach after a binge/purge episode. My nutritionists keeps saying that no matter what I do, I will only purge 50% of the calories I have consumed, but I know, and most bulimics know, that this is a lie, because otherwhise I’d be obese right know and I’m certainly not.
    The fact is that this seems to be based in a very old study that was done on a very small group of patients:
    My concern is that some ED specialist seem to ignore the fact that there seem to be a way to restrict calories through binging and purging and they just ignore it, and I think more research has to be done!

    • Hey Jhonny, a post on this issue is coming soon! It will be based on Kaye’s 1993 study because, as far as I know, that’s actually the only study that looked at this issue. I’m not sure why more research hasn’t been done on this.

      “but I know, and most bulimics know, that this is a lie” — Yup!

  7. Hi, I wanted to suggest/ask something. I am a teenage girl struggling with an eating disorder (am unsure of my diagnosis, I haven’t been to a psychiatrist or treatment clinic, but I b/p most days and binge/restrict sometimes). I see both a nutritionist and a therapist, and they seem to always jump to pin the cause of my ED onto the fact that I am a triplet. I have two brothers my age, and they think that my ED was caused by this and the fact that I was a premature birth. Is there truth to this? My family definitely has played a part, but does being a twin or a triplet-or a premie for that matter- predispose one to an eating disorder? Why? Thank you!

    • Hi Isabel,

      There is research I’m aware of that suggests being more premature puts one at a risk of neuropsychiatric disorders later in life. However, the relationship between the preterm birth and the ED is definitely not causal. It may have contributed, but it didn’t “cause” it (otherwise all preterm babies would have EDs, and they definitely do not, thankfully). I don’t know about being born a twin or a triplet though, good question!

      Why? Probably because there’s insufficient time for proper brain development in the womb? I’m not sure. I’d need to look into it.

    • Hey Jordan,
      I would too! I just don’t think anyone who writes for the blog is knowledgeable enough to really speak about set-point theory. I certainly am not. I don’t feel I have enough of a background to write intelligently about it :/

  8. Would you be able to post on “Hypermetabolism” and/or energy wasting in EDs? I’ve read a post recently back from the Around the Dinner Table forums, which from what I read implied, what we call “hypermetabolism” is actually “energy wasting”. It had a link, but it was broken/ didn’t work…In any case, would you know anything on this?

  9. I discovered this blog a few days ago and am in love! I’m still madly reading posts, but I would love to see something regarding anorexics who go on to develop binge eating. Or even just anorexics who go on to become overweight. I have read about 50% of anorexics cross over to bulimia at some point. However, I know many women who have started binge eating and aren’t able to vomit the food. Do most anorexics really maintain a low-normal weight, as I’ve mainly seen referred to in the literature? How many go on to become overweight? And is there any difference between the groups?

    I’ve been looking for answers to these questions for quite awhile, and I really can’t find anything that answers my questions. Maybe this is because some doctors consider anorexics who binge eat and are gaining weight to be “recovered.” In many cases, the only difference (in my opinion) from anorexics who go on to develop bulimia is that this group of anorexics can’t throw up. And, I wonder what the prognosis is for anorexics who do develop binge eating (without much, if any, purging)?

    On a slightly different topic, I am interested in the ways non-purging bulimia is defined. I know you have written a little about the research, or lack thereof, done on BN-NP. But, it’s hard to say what exactly qualifies. What if someone becomes significantly overweight, through binges or comfort eating, and then goes on strict dieting (eating under 1200 calories a day) and strict/over exercise to lose that weight? And then the cycle starts back up? I’m thinking this is not really BN-NP, but I wonder if there is literature about the problems defining BN-NP?

    • Lots of questions!

      My guess is that those who become overweight were overweight prior to development of ED and/or were always in the upper percentiles of weight for their height growing up. I did a few posts very early on on Kamryn Eddy’s work on Dx crossover (here). There’s also this post on predictors of Dx crossover.

      I would also guess that the percentage of those who binge eat decreases as the study is carried out for longer since I’d guess some of the initial “binge eating” is reactionary (emotionally/psychologically and/or physiologically) toward the restricting. Eventually, things will likely normalize, but if you measure early enough, it may seem like many binge eat. It is also difficult to assess binge eating, especially when asking a group of individuals with AN.

      I think non-purging bulimia has been taken out of the DSM-5.

      • Thanks for taking the time to reply. Though I hadn’t expected you to reply to all my questions; they were general ideas for topic possibilities.

        There’s a ton of info on this site, and I’m so enjoying (if that’s the right word) mulling through it. I’ve seen you mention that the articles are available through your dropbox. Can you tell me how to access it?

        I’m looking forward to checking out the links you provided in your reply. Thanks!!

        • Hi Sarah,

          At one point I think I had put a lot of the articles in a folder in my public Dropbox folder. I’ve gotten rid of that folder a while back (I think space reasons? I don’t know). If there are any specific articles you’d like access to, let me know and I’ll share them on Dropbox.


  10. Hi, I’m struggling with bulimia myself and your blog is absolutely fascinating. Thank you so much for writing such a comprehensive blog.

    One of the concern for me for a long time before seeking help this year, was because of my Asian culture. I grew up in Vietnam. Everyone is small and slim here, bombarded with the ideals from western media, I think a lot of women have disordered eating if not an actual ED. But it’s not recognised as such. It was hard to seek help because in such a conservative culture, talking about ED or seeking mental help was non-existence.

    I know you have done a post on cross-culture but I am curious if you have come across any studies done on Asian culture and ED/treatment.

    Best, L.

    • Hi Linh,

      Andrea has done a whole series of posts on cross cultural studies, and most recently, Jacqueline has written a few posts about Singapore (here), including a post on the thin ideal in Singapore. I wrote about a series of case reports about patients in China here.

      If you have specific requests for what you’d like to see, let me know. I think Jacqueline might be the best person to blog about that topic right now because neither I nor Andrea have much knowledge (and 0 personal experience) of/with Asian cultures.

      Cheers, Tetyana

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