A new study conducted by researchers at Douglas Mental Health University and Queen's University have found that the longer an individual suffers from anorexia nervosa, the more likely they are to have disorder-relevant changes in their DNA methylation.
When a person's DNA methylation undergoes change, the ways in which their genes are expressed also changes. Individuals who have struggled with anorexia chronically tended to show alterations in the genes involved in anxiety, nervous system functions, immunity, social behavior and the functioning of peripheral organs.
"We already know that eating disorders once established, have a tendency to become more and more entrenched over time," said the lead author of the study. "These findings point to physical mechanisms acting upon physiological and nervous system functions throughout the body that may underlie many of the effects of chronicity. All in all, they point to the importance of enabling people to get effective treatments as early in the disorder process as possible."
These results confirms the fact that anorexia is not a choice that some people make, but rather a disease that has mental, emotional and physiological effects on its victims. This condition can be extremely damaging to patients' personal lives as well as their bodies, and can even be fatal. However, there is hope for those struggling with the disease. With professional treatment, patients can achieve long-term recovery and enjoy happier and healthier lives.
If you think you may be suffering from anorexia, contact Fairwinds Treatment Center today. Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef founded Fairwinds over 25 years ago while pioneering his dual diagnosis method of treatment, which views therapeutic counseling as a crucial element of recovery. Dr. Pauline Powers heads the eating disorder program at Fairwinds, and is a nationally and internationally renowned expert in the field with over 40 years of clinical experience.
Call Fairwinds to receive treatment from one of the top eating disorder treatment centers in the nation.