Recovery From Eating Disorders Complicated By Genetics
When it comes to eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, people have to face a long-lasting battle which some times may end up really badly, as people can easily die from malnutrition.
Up until now, nothing much was known about how people suffering from eating disorder find it so hard to recover, but now, a group of researchers found some evidence of why people with eating disorders go through such hard times. According to the researchers, it seems that there may be some possible genetic variations that could influence a patient’s recovery from an eating disorder, like bulimia or anorexia nervosa, which are actually two of the worst eating disorders out there. From what the researchers said, it seems that they hope that this new study would provide enough insight into what concerns the appearance of new and improved treatments for eating disorders. “This study sheds light on important ‘SNPs’ or genetic variations within an individual’s DNA, associated with long-term, chronic eating disorders,” said Walter H. Kaye, M.D. Kaye went on saying that these particular variations may be genetic predictor for those people who may be more prone to develop eating disorders and who would find it very hard to overcome their condition.
What is even more interesting is the fact that these genetic traits about which Kaye was talking about have something to do with people who have higher levels of anxiety and concern over mistakes – these two things being very close related to bulimia and anorexia. Cinnamon Bloss, Ph.D., the lead author of the study, said that this new finding may bring doctors closer to finding a way to make the treatment for eating disorders more personal and thus, helping their patients a lot more. “Anorexia and bulimia likely stem from many different causes, such as culture, family, life changes and personality traits,” said Bloss. However, he went on saying that genetics and biology also play very important roles when it comes to how people respond to treatments. According to him, learning about a person’s genetic makeup may provide some good insight into what treatment would suit them best and thus, things would be easier for people suffering from eating disorders to overcome their illness and get better sooner.
Furthermore, previous studies (together with this one) have shown that anorexia and bulimia had a lot to do with people who had shown signs of personality traits and behavior which would have led them to develop this conditions in the first place. Bloss said that people who suffer from anorexia are more often than not unresponsive to treatment and they also lack awareness of the consequences of their actions in what concerns this particular issue. That is the main reason for which the group of researchers decided to make the study – they wanted to find out if genetics had something, anything to do with the fact that people with eating disorders have the worst of time when it comes to overcoming their illness.
In the study participated 1,878 women, who were recruited by the scientists as they wanted to find out if biological systems and genes could increase the tendency of people to develop eating disorders. Most of the women who took part in the study had been diagnosed with either anorexia or both anorexia and bulimia. What the researchers did next was to identify the 25 most statistically significant SNPs. This study comes to confirm the theory that genes may be responsible when it comes to the development of eating disorders in people. Bloss concluded by saying that further research must be made on the issue, in order to fully confirm this theory.11