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Eating Disorders

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Eating Disorders

Postby sunstone » Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:51 pm

Is there a link between Aspergers and eating disorders? I have noticed a few posts that have mentioned this (I had an eating disorder) but still struggle with good. One of my 'talents' is being able to recite every calorie, carb, fat gram of both natural and processed food as well as the glycemic index and glycemic 'load' following the digestion of carbohydrates. :oops:

If there is a link, does anyone know why?
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Re: Eating Disorders

Postby UK-SW » Mon Mar 15, 2010 10:18 pm

topaz wrote:Is there a link between Aspergers and eating disorders?


No.
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Re: Eating Disorders

Postby onlysleep » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:15 pm

I'm not aware of any link between eating disorders (i.e. anorexia nervosa, bulimia) and Aspergers (though I read somewhere about anorexia in girls being some kind of indication of aspergers), although I have had bulimia. I think there may be a link between Aspergers and fussy eating, probably due to our hypersensitivity, in the case taste and texture in the mouth. Whenever I'm forced to go to a restaurant, I lament the fact that I can't order off the kid's menu. And on the few occasions I've had to go to a really fancy and expensive restaurant, I usually eat before, then play with my gourmet food so it sort of looks like I've eaten some of it. If I try to eat it, my eyes water and I struggle to suppress my gag reflex, so I end up looking a complete idiot.
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Re: Eating Disorders

Postby Mayhem » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:39 pm

18% - 23% of girls with eating disorders also show signs of AS, according to some articles I read online.

http://autismaspergerssyndrome.suite101 ... d_anorexia
http://autismaspergerssyndrome.suite101 ... s_syndrome

I developed an eating disorder when I was just turning eighteen, two years ago. A lot of things in my life were outside of my control and it was horrifying. I had moved away from home, moved countries, and left my family and friends behind to be with my fiancee (now wife). She was working twelve-hour shifts, I wasn't working because it wasn't legal to yet - we were applying for my residency. I couldn't control anything in my life, and food and I had never really gotten on, because of how hypersensitive I am to taste and texture in my mouth. I felt guilty because, in living with her, I believed I was domestically abusive. I was cold and closed off, I wasn't excited to see her when she got home, I spent all night and day on my computer and I was awkward around my new friends who my wife and room mates were introducing me to. So, I stopped eating.

I think it started off as control. I wanted to control something in my life - I couldn't work, so I couldn't help with our finances, I couldn't go out because I was scared to explore the city, I was homesick and I felt guilty about what I was doing to my wife emotionally (though to this date I have never, ever hit her; that's a line I refuse to cross and I know I never would). One of my room mates was bipolar and emotionally abusive; she picked on me cruelly because I was thinner and prettier than her, and my accent and "cute young shy awkwardness" (because I was by far the youngest, I guess that's what they saw it as) made me "popular" with her friends. She would insist on cooking everything and, well, if I couldn't eat it because I was fussy, that was my problem. The portions were smaller than I was used to at home, so I felt guilty for still being hungry, and she wouldn't hesitate to pick on me for helping myself to seconds on the days I did like what was cooked. Looking back, it was a pretty disgusting living situation to be in.

What I ate and what I didn't eat was something I could control myself with no prompting - so that, coupled with the crazy!chick's emtional abuse (such as telling me I probably was getting fat, when I sobbed in my room about feeling disgusting and useless and fat, because I was hitting my adult years), was probably was instigated by eating disorder. I kept a calorie count on my computer and a strict list of everything I ate during the day so that, if I overate, I would have to look at it later. I practised techniques to keep myself from feeling hungry (such as chew-and-spit), and chewed my nails (bad habit for me) down to nearly nothing. I was bulimic for a while. I lost a lot of weight, and I've always been thin in the first place. To this day, I still feel sick when I eat though I am eating mostly my recommended allowance of calories, and I can feel "the fat" clinging to my body before, during and after all meals.

I've always been picky about food - the hypersensitivity makes me gag and feel physically sick if I put anything in my mouth a) I don't like the taste of, b) that has a texture I don't like (anything with pulp or bits in it, for example, freaks me out), or c) that consists of too many different textures/tastes (a burger with all the fixin's, a sandwich, curry, most pizzas, salads). Putting new foods in my mouth had always been a touchy subject for me. Both me and my brother were extremely fussy, but I think he being 2 years younger and looking up to me got that from me and my hypersensitivity (my brother shows no signs or symptoms of AS, though my mum has a crippling OCD/manic-depression and is medicating).

I'm guessing that if there is a link between AS and anorexia nervosa, it most likely either stems from the hypersensitivity to food, some form of self-harm from self-blame and guilt (it's hard to not know why you have no empathy, or why you can't make friends, or to deal with bullying), or because of needing to control something - anything - in your life. That's from my experience, anyway.
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Re: Eating Disorders

Postby sunstone » Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:52 am

Thanks for your replies.

I remember reading that some studies found a correlation between girls with high IQ and anorexia. A lot of the individual case studies I read all linked 'fussy eating' as children but I don't recall Aspergers being mentioned.

I think it would be interesting if there was a study done into it. Thanks for the links I will read them on the commute.

(Mayhem: that was a lot to go through and I hope you are over that bad time)
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Re: Eating Disorders

Postby Mayhem » Tue Mar 16, 2010 7:58 am

Not a problem. :)

Yeah it's mostly over now. I mean, the emotional damage is done but I'm in a happier place now. I guess I would kinda fit that study - I have an IQ of around 140, but yeah, also AS.
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