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)


    • Claire, I was wondering if you would be interested in writing a guest post for SEDs on this topic as you have lived experience & expertise and thus I’m sure can do deeper justice to the issue than Tetyana, A., Gina or I who can only appreciate in the abstract the complexity and difficulties that having diabetes brings to having an ED. And I know you’re a good writer. :)

      No pressure, just a thought. Take care.

    • Claire – I agree with Saren, I think you would do a much better job of writing about this important topic than any of us currently contributing to the blog. If that doesn’t sound good for you right now, feel free to ask others who you think would do a good job/have experience with diabetes and eating disorders. You can send me an email at tetyana[@]scienceofeds[.]org to discuss.

    • I’m not in recovery (yet) but I just really wanted to get a better understanding of something. So here’s my story: I have been restricting my calories for 2 years now. I didn’t realize I had a problem until a year into falling into this disorder. And it was too late.. I started having chest pains, blacking out, my skin was orange, cold all the time (I would wear a sweatshirt in 80+f degree weather), etc. and I was scared. So I attempted self-recovery while still staying under 1,000 calories. My self-recovery only lasted 2 or 3 months and gained 5lbs. Now I’ve gained even more weight (about 5lbs more) and I can’t loose weight even with eating 300-580 calories a day. My BMI is now 15.2 My skin is no longer orange, I’m not nearly as sensitive to cold as I use to be, my hair looks (mostly) heathy again, skin isn’t so dry it bleeds, and I don’t black out anymore. So my question is, how is it possible that I feel so much better (physically) with eating so little and not losing weight? I’m not asking for tips or anything of course, I’m just really confused and curious.


      • At your extremely low intake, your metabolism is probably severely suppressed so a little can go a long way–although I suspect most of the weight you’ve gained is just water retention. Please don’t mistake the minor improvements you’ve seen for being ‘healthy.’ You’re still severely underweight and your heart and other organs are likely dangerously weakened. I would urge you to seek help to gain weight to a sustainable level and repair your body fully.

  1. I wondered if you could post some research to do with non-purging bulimia, particularly bingeing/starving. I know it’s relatively uncommon, but if you cam across anything in your studies that would be super helpful! Thank you x

    • Yup! Great idea. There was a prevalence study that showed it is not really as uncommon as we might think. I think it was as high as 25%. Can’t recall what study now, though. I will add it to the list, thanks.

      If there’s anything specific you want to see about the topic, let me know.

    • I can, yes.

      Is there anything specific? What would you like me to post about, because it is a huge area.

      The reason I haven’t done anything on BED is really just because I don’t find myself reading those papers or being that interested in the research, so I don’t feel like I have enough background on it. It is not because I don’t think it is an eating disorder (it is!) or that it is any less important (it isn’t!), it is mostly that I find myself gravitating toward research on restricting and purging.

      That said, I can do posts on it if people are interested in reading about. I will also ask Liz because I have a feeling she has more knowledge on that.

      Thanks for the suggestion!

  2. People with BN or AN-b/p “doing it” together. A potential phenomenon that may exist… Doubt there’s any empirical science on it tho.

  3. Pre-morbid BMI, weight restoration, and amenorrhoea in relation to set-point theory? I know that DSM-5 is removing the amenorrhoea criteria from the AN diagnosis, but I’d like to know more about why it occurs at different BMIs for different people (aside from the fact that BMI isn’t a great measure of health), and how post-recovery BMIs compare to pre-morbid BMIs…I was intensely annoyed at finding that I had to reach a BMI of 20 (rather than 18.5 as was often quoted at me) to get my periods back!

  4. I would like to hear your opinion on the “Mini Maud” guidelines of recovery for AN, “restrictive eating disorders” given on the website “Your Eatopia”

  5. Dear Tetyana, Great blog! Recently Duclos 2013 and her colleagues tested Sodersten and Bergh’s theory against my adapted-to-flee-famine hypothesis of AN. Their evidence supported my Guisinger, 2003 article. Understanding that the powerful urges of anorexia nervosa made sense when starving hunter gatherers needed to travel to find food helps AN patients resist them.Anorexia nervosa sufferers need a compelling narrative to help them defy the anorexic voice that tells them not to eat and to run. Thank you, Shan Guisinger

    • Hi Shan,
      Thank you so much for your comment. I actually have your Guisinger et al. article on my computer but have yet to read it; I will download Duclos et al. paper. What do you mean “a compelling narrative to help the defy the anorexic voice”? Defy or understand? The evolutionary side of things is definitely interesting to think about, but as you know, difficult (if not impossible) to test experimentally.

  6. Thank you so much for your work and this blog! I would love to see something along the lines of experiences/perspectives of spouses of ED patients.

    • Thanks for the suggestion Danielle, it is very good! I’ll see if Andrea would like to write about this as it seems like something right up her alley.

  7. Great work here! I was wondering if you could research and post some info on PANDAS/PANS and it’s relationship to eating disorders. I know of several cases of PANDAS morphing into eating disorders. Thanks!

    • Interesting! I have to look into that. I have not even heard of PANDAS/PANS before. Thank you for the suggestion.

  8. I would love to see if any clinical research has been done on the effect of EDs and orthopedic injuries. I am almost recovered from an ED myself and used to be an over exerciser, which I am not anymore. However, I am 31 and have had many orthopedic issues, particularly with my foot. I always wonder if it’s because I didn’t treat my body right, nutritionally, for half my life. What role does nutrition have on orthopedic issues, particulary when it comes to tendonitis/tendonosis, arthritis, etc. The effects on bones has been studied and known.

  9. Hi! Do you have/could you find/could you cover research regarding gender nonconforming women and EDs? Especially any that aren’t just comparing rates with other women! Some friends and I have been striking out finding much.

  10. i’d love to see more research on link between introversion and EDs (from a neurobio perspective), as well as OCD and ED and PTSD and EDs. thank you for your blog.

  11. I would love to read about atypical anorexia (specifically restrictive eating disorder with no B/P symptoms that doesn’t meet weight criteria for AN)

  12. Hi! What about women with anorexia wanting to start a family in the future but have not had a menstrual cycle in almost 10 years?!


  13. Can you do a post about “casual bulimia” and how some people are able to b/p regularly/ over a long period of time without it becoming a full-blown disorder/ addiction?

      • I mean people who somewhat regularly binge and purge, yet it hasn’t actually transformed into a full-blown disorder for these people (i.e., they do these behaviours “casually”, and it’s only disordered eating, rather than actual bulimia).

  14. I have often had a problem eating when I’ve felt anxious and this would seem a fairly common symptom is what I guess would be referred to an a normally-anxious population – it seems to be generally accepted sympathetically that when “normal” people go through a stressful time, their appetite may decrease and they might lose weight etc. I’ve previously been diagnosed with an eating disorder but I still have always had periods of stress-induced lack of appetite and weight loss. Usually the triggers for the stress resolve and things pick up, appetite resolves, weight stabilises but on occasions the stress does not let up and on those occasions eating-disorder mode kicks in with unrelenting anxiety. Is is possible to have or have-had an eating disorder but to experience “normal” appetite/stress reactions sometimes? Has any research been done on this? I feel as if I am treated sometimes as if I’m somehow expected to be immune to stress in a way that non-eating-disorders people are not and that the assumption that people leap to is that I would come up with any excuse not to eat even when they admit that they would probably find the same stressful situations difficult to cope with and may find it hard to eat under the same stressful circumstances.

  15. I was wondering whether you guys could address the whole “extreme hunger” thing? I know it’s a concept that the YourEatopia/Minniemaud relies heavily on, but lately the “anti-MM” faction of tumblr has been insisting that it’s all pseudoscience and that there’s absolutely no scientific evidence to support the idea that extreme hunger is real. Would you agree with this? Thanks!

    • Hey M,
      I am not entirely familiar with the evidence Gwyn points to for extreme hunger (outside I guess of the MSS, which I am not nearly as familiar with as she is). I can look into it, but I am not sure if I’ll find enough to comment on it that’s more than just speculation. I have a lot of hunches/thoughts on this (i.e., hard to study this if, for example, people with AN do not admit to experiencing hunger, which is common), but I’d need to read the evidence Gwyn puts forth and what people are defining as “extreme hunger.”

  16. As far as “tribal knowledge” goes on the ED forums, there’s a general census among members that if a person is “wired” to get an ED, they’re inevitably going to get one. When I brought up the idea that “triggers” are needed in order to set off an ED, and that people who are indeed “wired” to get one might escape an ED, if they were fortunate enough not to be exposed to the proper triggers, the overwhelming response was that it’s simply impossible to avoid triggers these days, because of the nature of modern society. My sense is that at this point in time, it would be impossible to deny or confirm this hypothesis (that EDs are inevitable in some individuals…and conversely that others are protected, no matter their exposure to triggers) but it’s an interesting concept none the less, and one that currently receives a lot of play among the tribe.

  17. 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?

  18. 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.

  19. 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)?

  20. 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!

  21. 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 ?

  22. 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!

  23. 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!

  24. 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?

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