Anorexia: Biology behind the disease
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Anorexia: Biology behind the disease

August 23, 2019


YOU CAN WATCH OUR KSAT DIGITAL FEATURES TEAM AND FIND OUT WHAT TO EXPECT THIS YEAR. STEVE: 30 MILLION PEOPLE SUFFERING FROM SOME FORM OF AN EATING DISORDER LIKE ANOREXIA OR BULIMIA. MUCH OF THE RESEARCH IS FOCUSED THE BRAIN AND MENTAL ASPECT OF THE DISEASE. THERE MAY ALSO BE A BIOLOGICAL DISEASE. LESLIE MOUTON SHOWS US WHY WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE GUT MAY INFLUENCE WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE BRAIN. REPORTER: WHEN CAROLYN LOOKS BACK ON THE YEARS SHE WAS TROUBLED WITH ANOREXIA, SHE KNOWS IT WASN’T JUST ABOUT WANTING TO BE SKINNY. I KNEW IT WAS SERIOUS. I DON’T THINK I REALIZED THE EXTENT OF THE MENTAL ASPECT TO BE PERFECT, YOU KNOW? REPORTER: HAS TO DO WITH THE BACTERIA IN THE GUT. THERE ARE TRILLIONS IN THE INTESTINAL TRACK THAT DIGEST FOOD, REGULATE WEIGHT, AND MAKE SEROTONIN, A CHEMICAL THAT CONTRIBUTES TO FEELINGS OF HAPPINESS. WHAT WE FOUND WAS THAT THE DIVERSITY OF THE INTESTINE WAS FOR THE FIRST TIME MEANT TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH MENTAL HEALTH. REPORTER: WHEN HE COLLECTED STOOL SAMPLES, HE FOUND THOSE HAVE LESS DIVERSITY THAN THE AVERAGE HEALTHY PERSON. AS THE WOMEN BEGAN TO EAT, IT IMPROVED AND SO DID THEIR DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY. THIS HELPS PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND THERE’S BIOLOGICALLY SOMETHING DIFFERENT ABOUT SOMEONE STRUGGLING WITH THE DISEASE. REPORTER: THE STUDY OPENS UP NEW POSSIBILITIES FOR TREATMENT. THE PATIENTS SUFFER PAINFUL STOMACH PROBLEMS WHEN THEY INCREASE CALORIES, PART OF THE REASON MANY RELAPSE. CAN MANIPULATE MY STOMACH TO HELP WITH THE ANXIETY OR THE FEAR TO MAKE IT EASIER TO GAIN WEIGHT, I WOULD BE ALL ABOUT IT. NOW THAT RESEARCHERS KNOW THAT GUT BACTERIA PLAYS A ROLE IN EATING DISORDERS, THE NEXT STEP IN THE RESEARCH WILL ENTAIL FINDING OUT IF ALTERING IT WILL

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