Guide To Understanding Anorexia Part 1/2

June 26th, 2007

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What is Anorexia?

Anorexia Nervosa, often just called Anorexia, is an eating
disorder wherein an individual has a distorted body image. This
misperception leads to an avoidance of food and severely
restricted caloric consumption. Low body weight and an intense
fear of gaining weight are characteristic traits. Anorexia is a
psychophysiological disorder which, if left untreated, can
eventually lead to death.

Who might be at risk of developing Anorexia?

Anyone can develop an eating disorder, however there are
certain individuals who seem to have an increased risk. Women
are, of course, more likely to develop an eating disorder than
are men. That said, the rates of Anorexia Nervosa in men is
increasing somewhat. More research is needed to determine the
cause of eating disorders, however those at risk may include
high strung individuals with a stringent set of ideals. People
who exhibit perfectionism in their pursuits both academically
and extracurricular. Someone with a family history of obesity.
An individual prone to dieting on a regular basis. A history
of physical or sexual abuse. Someone who has been subject to
bullying and/or teasing. Elite athletes who believe their
success depends on maintaining and achieving a certain ideal
weight. Aspiring to a profession which focuses on weight and
appearance (dancers, models, actresses, etc.) Someone who
struggles with depression or anxiety. A tendency toward
addictive behaviors, perhaps manifest in alcohol or substance
abuse.

What are the signs and symptoms of Anorexia?

The symptoms of Anorexia can be easy to hide, initially, but to
a concerned and watchful parent they should become relatively
easy to spot, particularly as the disorder progresses. Keep in
mind, however, that generally the person suffering from the
eating disorder will feel guilt and shame and will try to
prevent anyone from noticing their struggles. Warning signs may
include;
●A refusal to eat certain foods. This may be in the form
of cutting out an entire food group, i.e. carbohydrates, sugar,
fat. It may also be just individual foods like no longer eating
beef or refusing to eat bread.
●Always being `on a diet’. This can become a common
excuse for avoiding food and social situations where food may
be served. It is so common for young women, in particular, to
be on a diet that until the weight loss becomes excessive this
may not be considered a problem.
●Strange eating patterns. Cutting up food into tiny
pieces, chewing each bite a certain number of times, eating
only one food at a time, refusing to let foods touch, pushing
food around the plate.
●Excessive exercise. Anything more than an hour per day
of high intensity exercise would be considered excessive. Many
elite athletes do exercise more than this, but for the average
young woman this could be cause for concern. Current
recommendations are 2-3 days per week of weight bearing
exercise with 8-12 repetitions of the exercise per body part.
3-5 days of cardiorespiratory training for 20-60 minutes per
session. 2-3 days per week of flexibility training.
●Wearing baggy clothes to hide her figure. This could be
because the individual feels fat and wants to hide her supposed
horrible figure. It could also be an attempt to hide the
excessive weight loss from not eating. Additionally, sometimes
there is a desire to avoid growing up and baggy clothing can
hide the fact that a womanly figure is emerging.
●Preoccupation with food. Wanting specific information
on nutritional values of foods, knowing the exact fat and
calorie content of foods, talking about and thinking about food
all of the time.
●Weight loss. This is a relatively obvious sign, however
initially the weight loss may be seen as a good thing. If the
young woman was somewhat overweight, the initial weight loss
may be complimented. This acknowledgment and attention may
feed the desire to lose even more weight. Anorexics typically
can get down to less than 85% of normal height and weight for
age.
●Sensitivity to cold. Loss of body fat leaves the body
sensitive to temperature and feeling cold when everyone around
is comfortable.
●Labeling foods `good’ `bad’ etc. Giving a moral
connotation to the foods available and feeling guilty for
eating `bad’ foods. Eventually even healthy foods can be
designated as `bad’ because of a high calorie content. Good
examples of this would be nuts and avocado.
●Dizziness or lightheadedness. Drop in blood pressure,
dehydration, iron deficiency anemia. All can lead to dizziness
and lightheadedness. This may be particularly sensitive to
change in position.
●Frequent headaches.
●Avoidance of social situations which may involve food.
As mentioned above, the excuse that she is “on a diet” may be
used to avoid social situations. People who have Anorexia
don’t necessarily want people watching them eat. This may be
because they don’t want people analyzing what, if anything,
they are eating. Additionally, it could just be a way of
avoiding the temptation of food. It is a common misperception
that Anorexics don’t get hungry. This is not the case. They do
feel hunger, but their fear of weight gain and desire to be `in
control’ of their appetite is stronger than their hunger.
●Absence of menstrual periods (amenorrhea). Strict
dieting and excessive exercise can lead to a disruption in the
flow of hormones. Consequently, the body doesn’t produce
enough estrogen and progesterone. Ovulation is suppressed and
menstruation stops.
●Anxiety and/or depression. This is a vicious cycle in
regards to eating disorders. Feelings of anxiety, depression,
and low self worth can lead to Anorexia. The physical and
mental effects of the Anorexia can lead to even more depression
and anxiety. The eating disorder and depression continue to
feed off of each other, each aggravating the other.
●Eating rituals such as only using a certain cup to drink
out of or always insisting on a certain fork. These are small
methods of exerting control over the environment where food is
involved.
●Increased interest in food, cooking, collecting cook
books etc. Although someone with Anorexia will avoid eating,
the hunger causes a huge interest in food. Being around food
and providing food for others become almost an obsession as the
body fights for the nutrients it needs but is being deprived of.

About The Author: Visit http://www.avalonhills.org for more
information.

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Ignorance And Lack Of Knowledge Can Lead To Dog Anorexia

June 25th, 2007

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When a dog refuses to eat or eats only a portion of the dog
food he needs or what he usually eats every day will produce an
imbalance in his dog nutrition. The term Anorexia is used to
describe the condition when a dog refuses to eat. Many dog
owners take their dog’s eating for granted until the dog
actually stops eating. A dog’s eating habits are normally
controlled by hunger, appetite, and the satisfaction of these
two. This control may be abnormally affected by emotions,
sensations, or the taste of the dog food.

Another thing that causes a disturbance of the dog’s natural
eating behavior is mechanical interruption. Broken jaws, a fish
hook in the tongue or a rubber ball stuck in the throat are
typical examples of mechanical anorexia. A lot of dog owners
think that it is normal for all dogs to miss a meal and that a
missed meal is not something to be concerned about. However, a
healthy dog is always hungry at meal time, just as a healthy
person is. Any time a dog refuses to eathisn dog food, it is a
signal to you that something is not right. If the dog refuses
two meals in a row, you can be certain that there is something
wrong, either with your dog or with his dog food.

Obviously with the lack of dog nutrition, a dog gradually
losses weight once he stops eating. A 20 lb Beagle will lose
0.4 pound (six and one-half ounces) each day he refuses to eat.
This weight loss occurs because the dog is breaking down and
using up his own body. Since there is no dog nutrition coming
in, a dog with anorexia must literally burn itself up in order
to obtain the energy and nutrients needed for his essential
life functions. When extra demands from disease are piled on
those suffering from anorexia, the burn-up is even faster. That
Beagle cannot afford to lose =BD lb of his body weight every day
for very long!

Included within the weight lost will be fats, carbohydrates and
protein. The most important loss to a dog is protein. By the end
of only two days of anorexia, that 20 lb Beagle will already
have lost about 3% of his total body protein. This becomes
increasingly important if one considers that protein is
essential not only for normal metabolism but for wound healing,
tissue repair and combating infections. Actions to replace the
intake of anorectic dogs should be implemented immediately.
Unwillingness or failure to overcome the deficiencies of
calories and nutrients created by anorexia can mean the
difference between recovery and death during an illness.

The same dog food the dog was eating before anorexia is
suitable, as long as the cause of the anorexia does not make it
unsuitable. Because dogs become inactive with anorexia, their
calorie need is somewhat less than for most dogs. If they have
a fever, however, this rapidly increases their caloric
requirements.

Dogs with anorexia must be force-fed either by spoon feeding or
by intragastric intubation. This type of dog food diet should be
fed only long enough to get a dog back to eating satisfactorily
on his own and should never become a substitute for actually
determining the cause of the anorexia or for overcoming that
cause.

About The Author: John Mailer has written many articles about
dogs and puppies and how to train them.His main business is as
an internet marketer.
http://www.basicsdogtraining.com/dognutritionfood.html
http://www.howtostartonlinehomebusiness.com

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Nutrition and Eating Disorders

March 13th, 2007
As children progress into their teen years, they become concerned about their appearance. A child’s body and hormones change during puberty. Many children at this point begin to feel self-conscious about their shape and size and their outlook on life can change for the worse. New social pressures are also introduced into a child’s life with the onset of puberty.A child’s preoccupation about how heavy they are often leads to obsession to lose weight, causing unhealthy fluctuations and physical and emotional damage. Eating disorders typically begin in the late pre-teen years. Millions of teens develop eating disorders, and though they are more common with girls, boys do develop them. Eating disorders usually develop with a peculiar attitude toward food and in secrecy and are hidden from family and friends for years while the teen suffers silently.

There are preventative steps a parent can take in a child’s early years to help prevent an eating disorder from developing. A child’s self-esteem needs to be nurtured from an early age. Parents also need to promote nutrition and a child’s positive attitude toward their appearance. Parents should not assume that all is well with their teenagers eating habits if they are not told anything is wrong. Be aware of warning signs and talk with your teenager if you think there is a problem. Medical help is required if your child has an eating disorder.

There are different types of eating disorders. Eating disorders begin when the negative thoughts and feelings a child has about food and their body image disrupt normal daily activities and functions. Anorexia nervosa drives children to starve themselves to be thin and lose unhealthy amounts of weight. Children suffering from Bulimia find the urge to binge and vomit causing harmful weight fluctuations. The two eating disorders both include compulsive exercise. Compulsive exercise is one of the cues for parents to be aware of with eating disorders.

Children coping with eating disorders need to develop new attitudes and thought patterns about food, nutrition and body image. Treatment for eating disorders typically involves a combination approach of counseling, close monitoring and therapy sessions. Severe cases require hospitalization. Nutritional management is important in treating anorexia nervosa, though not enough information is available for effective treatment. Aggressive attempts at weight gain early in the treatment process can be potentially dangerous. The body’s nutritional deficiencies must be addressed before adding weight is attempted.

Nutritional therapy is an important part of the recovery process. A qualified nutritionist should be highly involved in developing and monitoring a successful plan. Nutritional therapy may also involve conversations around eating behaviors and weight as they relate to the patient’s feelings and emotions.

Elizabeth Radisson is the editor of Nutrition.OurGoodHealth.org where you’ll find articles and information healthy eating and related subjects. Visit OurGoodHealth.org for information on other healthy topics.
Denver Movers

Little Known Facts on The Importance of Self Image

March 11th, 2007

It is not a surprise to most people that health studies point to
popular culture as a perpetrator of body image which has
corresponded to the self image and well being of women AND men.
What may surprise you is that this is not a new phenomenon.
Is the rail thin appearance of runway and magazine models a new
obsession which has started young girls and women on a path
towards starvation, malnutrition and disorders such as anorexia
and bulimia?
Actually, No.
The western world created a popular culture of ‘you can never be
to thin’ as early as the 20’s when flapper styles caused women to
starve and over exercise their bodies to attain the flat chested,
androgynous look that was popular at that time.
The fuller figure did make a comeback during the depression, but
quickly reverted in the 60’s with thinness being equated with
physical beauty.
Studies on self image indicate that women tend to consider
themselves heavier than they really are. This distorted body
image is linked to unhealthy dietary practices like anorexia and
bulimia.
Although distorted body image affects men and women of all age
ranges, it is middle and upper class women who are most commonly
affected in thinking they are too heavy and need to loose weight.
Girls as young as nine are following the paths set down by
mothers, sisters and others.
On the other hand, men with body image problems often feel they
are too thin and use of steroids by youths trying to build muscle
mass shows that they are also adversely affected by media
portrayals of the body.
Bad self image is learned. This can be clearly illustrated by a
study conducted by WHO with Canadian students. The study showed
that the confidence of children dropped dramatically through the
pre-teen years. The percentage of 11 year old boys and girls who
felt confident all of the time was 47% and 35% respectively. By
age 15 the percentage dropped to 30% for boys and a disappointing
14% for girls.
What are we teaching our children?
In a quote from Health Canada based on a research program for
VITALITY the following report was made: “Slimness in western
cultures is associated not only with success and sophistication,
but with character virtues. Conversely, obesity is the opposite
of all these things and, particularly in the case of women, is
associated with failure and a collapse of self-discipline.”
Self image is tied to several factors, only one of which is body
image. Self image is part of self awareness and starts early in
childhood, even before speech. As we become adults many tie their
self image to such factors as job success, relationships and
abilities. Body image – if a person has a negative view of
themselves physically – can be one of the most dramatic
influences.
Health Canada’s findings show that although self image may be
subject to change throughout our life, our “fundamental sense of
feeling worthy or unworthy (self-esteem) remains relatively
stable”. This means that it is while children are still young
that the most impact is made on their future self image. Creating
a safe, nurturing and loving environment can be the greatest
protection against negative body image and low self-esteem.
The information contained in this article is for educational purposes
only and is not intended to medically diagnose, treat or cure any
disease. Consult a health care practitioner before beginning any
health care program.

About the Author

Emily Clark is editor at Lifestyle Health News and Medical Health News where you can find the most up-to-date advice and information on many medical, health and lifestyle topics.

Bulimia affected Teens

March 9th, 2007

Bulimia is an eating disorder that mostly affects young women of 12. Characteristics of bulimia include episodic binge eating followed by feelings of guilt and self-condemnation. Bulimia can actually damage a person’s stomach and kidneys as a result of constant vomiting. Bulimia can also cause a person’s teeth to decay because of the acids that come up into the mouth while vomiting. Teens suffering from bulimia often show signs of the eating disorder by eating a large amount of food in a small time frame and immediately purging themselves of the food ingested by causing themselves to vomit.

Difference between Bulimia and Anorexia:
Bulimia is a bit different from anorexia because the person with bulimia doesn’t avoid eating. Instead, he or she eats a large amount of food then gets rid of it quickly by vomiting or taking laxatives. Like anorexia, bulimia tends to affect girls and young women more than guys. A teen that is bulimic can have some of the same symptoms as an anorexic, but she may not lose much weight and may actually appear healthy.

Symptoms of Bulimia:

Makes excuses to go to the bathroom immediately after meals
Eats huge amounts of food, but doesn’t gain weight
Uses laxatives or diuretics
Withdraws from social activities

Prevention of Bulimia:

There are the few steps that parents, teachers, coaches and others who work with teens can take to help avoid bulimia. Tips are:

· Modifying and adapting expectations you have of your teen.
· Examining your own perceptions and attitudes towards food, body image, physical appearance and exercise.
· Do not give off the message that you cannot do activities such as dance, swim, or wear certain types of clothing because of the way you look or how much you weigh.
· Encourage eating in response to physical hunger.
· Encourage eating a variety of foods.
· Help teens to appreciate their bodies and encourage them to engage in physical activity.
· Do not use food as a reward or punishment.
· Do not criticize your own weight or the way you look by avoiding the use of such phrases as “I’m too fat” or “I’ve got to lose weight.”
· Love, accept, and acknowledge the teen’s value verbally.

Treatment for teens suffering from bulimia has been advancing in recent years. There are the few web sites that are very useful for you:

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The sites help you to understand effective communication, and then show you how to overcome your specific problems and in the best possible way. It specifically designed to support the parents of Troubled Teens. The purpose of communication is to get your message across to others clearly. Their services are devoted to the parent who is overwhelmed and in need of immediate assistance (coaching) in order to locate the perfect troubled teen school or program for their child. Troubled teens guide is a listing of articles specifically designed to support the parents of Troubled Teens. It provides them proper guidance about teen’s problems and in the process save the parent time, energy, and thousands of dollars.

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Food Addiction Can Lead to Death

March 7th, 2007

Food has been described as ambrosia and the elixir if life. For some, eating is a biological necessity for others it is a passion that can turn into an obsession. Experts define food addiction to be a disorder where the addict is preoccupied with food, the availability of food, and the pleasure of eating. There are three recognized addictions:

• Overeating, where the addict has no control over the amount or the number of times he eats. The person has no concept of being overweight or the servings a person must eat normally. Being an overeater, the addict will indulge in uncontrolled eating binges. Being obese, the addict will be prone to hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases, arthritis, and cancer.

• Bulimisa Nervosa, where the addict binges and then tries to maintain weight by vomiting, using laxatives, excessive exercise, or even fasting. Such addicts will develop dental problems like thinning of enamel, excessive number of cavities, swollen salivary glands, fluid and electrolyte disturbances, as well as calluses and scars.

• Anorexia Nervosa, where the addict fears weight gain and so starves himself. Obsessed with weight gain and body shape anorexics will exhibit obsessive behaviors in maintaining themselves. In the process, they develop problems like disruption of menstrual cycle, emancipation, hair loss, unhealthy skin pallor, and a lack or fluids.

The most common health problems are obesity, alcoholism, diabetes, bulimia, food allergies, and food intolerance.

The signs that you are addicted to food are:

• Uncontrolled cravings for particular foods. Some are addicted to sweets, others to soft drinks, yet others to coffee.

• Continuous or frequent eating. No fixed meal times an addict will eat throughout the day.

• Sharpened hunger on consumption of specific foods.

• Anxiety attacks, feelings of nervousness, low sugar, a headache, stomach gripes and grumbles.

• Withdrawal symptoms.

• Fatigue.

• Extreme irritations.

• Intolerance to foods.

• Feelings of guilt at having eaten.

The very cornerstones to curing the addiction are to:

• Identify and avoid what are known to be trigger foods or drinks.

• Put into practice a diet that is nutrient rich, healthy, and helps maintain or loose weight.

• Make lifestyle changes. Adopt a healthier lifestyle and include plenty of fresh air as well as exercise.

• Focus on personal and spiritual development. Seek inner peace, calm, and joy. Practice meditation and deep breathing.

• Plan to have activity filled days to distract the mind from food.

Even if you have a niggling doubt that you may be a food addict you must seek help. Nip the problem in the bud before it grows into something unmanageable and serious. You must consult a nutritionist, doctor, psychologist, or an eating addiction center or specialist. There are programs run by groups like Overeaters Anonymous that run 12-step programs which are extremely beneficial.

Paul Wilson is a freelance writer for http://www.1888Discuss.com/food/, the premier REVENUE SHARING discussion forum for Food Forum, including topics on all about food, food network, food recipe, health food, food gift, different food and more. His article profile can be found at the premier Food Article Submission Directory http://www.1888Articles.com/food-and-drink-articles-13.html

Eating Disorders in Teens

March 5th, 2007

According to a survey eating disorders most often affect young women. Less than 10% of people with eating disorders are boys and men. Eating disorders affect a person’s physical and emotional health. They are very dangerous illnesses and can be fatal if they are not treated.

Eating disorder is a condition when teen refused to eat and gain in weight. Eating disorders are a harrowing addiction — affecting teens physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. These disorders are characterized by a preoccupation with food and a distortion of body image. There are two common types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa.

People affected with anorexia have an intense of being fatty. A person with anorexia may weigh food before eating it or compulsively count the calories of everything. The key elements of anorexia nervosa are losing weight below a normal weight. While people affected with bulimia, eats a large amount of food then gets rid of it quickly by vomiting or taking laxatives. People feel guilty and anxious and then they want to get rid of food by vomiting or by exercising.

Symptoms There are so many signs of eating disorder that are given below

Refusing to eat
Eating in secret
Distorted body image
Large changes in weight, both up and down
Hiding weight loss by wearing bulky clothes
Hoarding and hiding food
Muscle weakness
Disappearing after eating—often to the bathroom
Depression
Dizziness
Feeling cold all the time
Irritability
Sleep problems
Thinning of hair on head, dry and brittle hair
Muscle weakness
Dizziness
Feeling cold all the time
Sleep problems

Causes

Eating disorders are often associated with feelings of helplessness, sadness, anxiety, and the need to be perfect. This can cause a person to use dieting or weight loss to provide a sense of control or stability. The one other main reason is magazines, movies, and the tobacco industry promotes unrealistic role models for beauty and weight. So teens started Dieting to reduce their weight. It is not effective but harmful.

Eating Disorder Treatment

There is no proper treatment for the eating disorder; family therapy is one of the keys to eating healthily again. The main problem is to recognize this. They may be secretive about their eating habits so that even their family and friends are not aware that they have a problem. Eating disorder will not disappear overnight like many people wish for. Parents and other family members are important in helping a person see that his or her normal body shape is perfectly fine and that being thin doesn’t make anyone happy.

It takes a joint effort between parents and their son or daughter to fight this eating disorder (overweight). The doctor may recommend that a person stay in the hospital for a few days if the medical condition is unstable or dangerous.

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Pathological Eating Disorders and Poly-Behavioral Addiction

March 3rd, 2007

Proposing a New Diagnosis and Theory for Patients with Multiple Addictions
By James Slobodzien, Psy.D., CSAC

When considering that pathological eating disorders and their related diseases now afflict more people globally than malnutrition, some experts in the medical field are presently purporting that the world’s number one health problem is no longer heart disease or cancer, but obesity. According to the World Health Organization (June, 2005), “obesity has reached epidemic proportions globally, with more than 1 billion adults overweight – at least 300 million of them clinically obese – and is a major contributor to the global burden of chronic disease and disability. Often coexisting in developing countries with under-nutrition, obesity is a complex condition, with serious social and psychological dimensions, affecting virtually all ages and socioeconomic groups.” The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (June, 2005), reports that “during the past 20 years, obesity among adults has risen significantly in the United States. The latest data from the National Center for Health Statistics show that 30 percent of U.S. adults 20 years of age and older – over 60 million people – are obese. This increase is not limited to adults. The percentage of young people who are overweight has more than tripled since 1980. Among children and teens aged 6-19 years, 16 percent (over 9 million young people) are considered overweight.”

Morbid obesity is a condition that is described as being 100lbs. or more above ideal weight, or having a Body Mass Index (BMI) equal to or greater than 30. Being obese alone puts one at a much greater risk of suffering from a combination of several other metabolic factors such as having high blood pressure, being insulin resistant, and/ or having abnormal cholesterol levels that are all related to a poor diet and a lack of exercise. The sum is greater than the parts. Each metabolic problem is a risk for other diseases separately, but together they multiply the chances of life-threatening illness such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke, etc. Up to 30.5% of our Nations’ adults suffer from morbid obesity, and two thirds or 66% of adults are overweight measured by having a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 25. Considering that the U.S. population is now over 290,000,000, some estimate that up to 73,000,000 Americans could benefit from some type of education awareness and/ or treatment for a pathological eating disorder or food addiction. Typically, eating patterns are considered pathological problems when issues concerning weight and/ or eating habits, (e.g., overeating, under eating, binging, purging, and/ or obsessing over diets and calories, etc.) become the focus of a persons’ life, causing them to feel shame, guilt, and embarrassment with related symptoms of depression and anxiety that cause significant maladaptive social and/ or occupational impairment in functioning.

We must consider that some people develop dependencies on certain life-functioning activities such as eating that can be just as life threatening as drug addiction and just as socially and psychologically damaging as alcoholism. Some do suffer from hormonal or metabolic disorders, but most obese individuals simply consume more calories than they burn due to an out of control overeating Food Addiction. Hyper-obesity resulting from gross, habitual overeating is considered to be more like the problems found in those ingrained personality disorders that involve loss of control over appetite of some kind (Orford, 1985). Binge-eating Disorder episodes are characterized in part by a feeling that one cannot stop or control how much or what one is eating (DSM-IV-TR, 2000). Lienard and Vamecq (2004) have proposed an “auto-addictive” hypothesis for pathological eating disorders. They report that, “eating disorders are associated with abnormal levels of endorphins and share clinical similarities with psychoactive drug abuse. The key role of endorphins has recently been demonstrated in animals with regard to certain aspects of normal, pathological and experimental eating habits (food restriction combined with stress, loco-motor hyperactivity).” They report that the “pathological management of eating disorders may lead to two extreme situations: the absence of ingestion (anorexia) and excessive ingestion (bulimia).”

Co-morbidity & Mortality

Addictions and other mental disorders as a rule do not develop in isolation. The National Co-morbidity Survey (NCS) that sampled the entire U.S. population in 1994, found that among non-institutionalized American male and female adolescents and adults (ages 15-54), roughly 50% had a diagnosable Axis I mental disorder at some time in their lives. This survey’s results indicated that 35% of males will at some time in their lives have abused substances to the point of qualifying for a mental disorder diagnosis, and nearly 25% of women will have qualified for a serious mood disorder (mostly major depression). A significant finding of note from the NCS study was the widespread occurrence of co-morbidity among diagnosed disorders. It specifically found that 56% of the respondents with a history of at least one disorder also had two or more additional disorders. These persons with a history of three or more co-morbid disorders were estimated to be one-sixth of the U.S. population, or some 43 million people (Kessler, 1994).

McGinnis and Foege, (1994) report that, “the most prominent contributors to mortality in the United States in 1990 were tobacco (an estimated 400,000 deaths), diet and activity patterns (300,000), alcohol (100,000), microbial agents (90,000), toxic agents (60,000), firearms (35,000), sexual behavior (30,000), motor vehicles (25,000), and illicit use of drugs (20,000). Acknowledging that the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality was risky behavior lifestyles, the U.S. Prevention Services Task Force set out to research behavioral counseling interventions in health care settings (Williams & Wilkins, 1996).

Poor Prognosis

We have come to realize today more than any other time in history that the treatment of lifestyle diseases and addictions are often a difficult and frustrating task for all concerned. Repeated failures abound with all of the addictions, even with utilizing the most effective treatment strategies. But why do 47% of patients treated in private treatment programs (for example) relapse within the first year following treatment (Gorski,T., 2001)? Have addiction specialists become conditioned to accept failure as the norm? There are many reasons for this poor prognosis. Some would proclaim that addictions are psychosomatically- induced and maintained in a semi-balanced force field of driving and restraining multidimensional forces. Others would say that failures are due simply to a lack of self-motivation or will power. Most would agree that lifestyle behavioral addictions are serious health risks that deserve our attention, but could it possibly be that patients with multiple addictions are being under diagnosed (with a single dependence) simply due to a lack of diagnostic tools and resources that are incapable of resolving the complexity of assessing and treating a patient with multiple addictions?

Diagnostic Delineation

Thus far, the DSM-IV-TR has not delineated a diagnosis for the complexity of multiple behavioral and substance addictions. It has reserved the Poly-substance Dependence diagnosis for a person who is repeatedly using at least three groups of substances during the same 12-month period, but the criteria for this diagnosis do not involve any behavioral addiction symptoms. In the Psychological Factors Affecting Medical Condition’s section (DSM-IV-TR, 2000); maladaptive health behaviors (e.g., overeating, unsafe sexual practices, excessive alcohol and drug use, etc.) may be listed on Axis I only if they are significantly affecting the course of treatment of a medical or mental condition.

Since successful treatment outcomes are dependent on thorough assessments, accurate diagnoses, and comprehensive individualized treatment planning, it is no wonder that repeated rehabilitation failures and low success rates are the norm instead of the exception in the addictions field, when the latest DSM-IV-TR does not even include a diagnosis for multiple addictive behavioral disorders. Treatment clinics need to have a treatment planning system and referral network that is equipped to thoroughly assess multiple addictive and mental health disorders and related treatment needs and comprehensively provide education/ awareness, prevention strategy groups, and/ or specific addictions treatment services for individuals diagnosed with multiple addictions. Written treatment goals and objectives should be specified for each separate addiction and dimension of an individuals’ life, and the desired performance outcome or completion criteria should be specifically stated, behaviorally based (a visible activity), and measurable.

New Proposed Diagnosis

To assist in resolving the limited DSM-IV-TRs’ diagnostic capability, a multidimensional diagnosis of “Poly-behavioral Addiction,” is proposed for more accurate diagnosis leading to more effective treatment planning. This diagnosis encompasses the broadest category of addictive disorders that would include an individual manifesting a combination of substance abuse addictions, and other obsessively-compulsive behavioral addictive behavioral patterns to pathological gambling, religion, and/ or sex / pornography, etc.). Behavioral addictions are just as damaging – psychologically and socially as alcohol and drug abuse. They are comparative to other life-style diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease in their behavioral manifestations, their etiologies, and their resistance to treatments. They are progressive disorders that involve obsessive thinking and compulsive behaviors. They are also characterized by a preoccupation with a continuous or periodic loss of control, and continuous irrational behavior in spite of adverse consequences.

Poly-behavioral addiction would be described as a state of periodic or chronic physical, mental, emotional, cultural, sexual and/ or spiritual/ religious intoxication. These various types of intoxication are produced by repeated obsessive thoughts and compulsive practices involved in pathological relationships to any mood-altering substance, person, organization, belief system, and/ or activity. The individual has an overpowering desire, need or compulsion with the presence of a tendency to intensify their adherence to these practices, and evidence of phenomena of tolerance, abstinence and withdrawal, in which there is always physical and/ or psychic dependence on the effects of this pathological relationship. In addition, there is a 12 – month period in which an individual is pathologically involved with three or more behavioral and/ or substance use addictions simultaneously, but the criteria are not met for dependence for any one addiction in particular (Slobodzien, J., 2005). In essence, Poly-behavioral addiction is the synergistically integrated chronic dependence on multiple physiologically addictive substances and behaviors (e.g., using/ abusing substances – nicotine, alcohol, & drugs, and/or acting impulsively or obsessively compulsive in regards to gambling, food binging, sex, and/ or religion, etc.) simultaneously.

New Proposed Theory

The Addictions Recovery Measurement System’s (ARMS) theory is a nonlinear, dynamical, non-hierarchical model that focuses on interactions between multiple risk factors and situational determinants similar to catastrophe and chaos theories in predicting and explaining addictive behaviors and relapse. Multiple influences trigger and operate within high-risk situations and influence the global multidimensional functioning of an individual. The process of relapse incorporates the interaction between background factors (e.g., family history, social support, years of possible dependence, and co-morbid psychopathology), physiological states (e.g., physical withdrawal), cognitive processes (e.g., self-efficacy, cravings, motivation, the abstinence violation effect, outcome expectancies), and coping skills (Brownell et al., 1986; Marlatt & Gordon, 1985). To put it simply, small changes in an individual’s behavior can result in large qualitative changes at the global level and patterns at the global level of a system emerge solely from numerous little interactions.

The ARMS hypothesis purports that there is a multidimensional synergistically negative resistance that individual’s develop to any one form of treatment to a single dimension of their lives, because the effects of an individual’s addiction have dynamically interacted multi-dimensionally. Having the primary focus on one dimension is insufficient. Traditionally, addiction treatment programs have failed to accommodate for the multidimensional synergistically negative effects of an individual having multiple addictions, (e.g. nicotine, alcohol, and obesity, etc.). Behavioral addictions interact negatively with each other and with strategies to improve overall functioning. They tend to encourage the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, help increase violence, decrease functional capacity, and promote social isolation. Most treatment theories today involve assessing other dimensions to identify dual diagnosis or co-morbidity diagnoses, or to assess contributing factors that may play a role in the individual’s primary addiction. The ARMS’ theory proclaims that a multidimensional treatment plan must be devised addressing the possible multiple addictions identified for each one of an individual’s life dimensions in addition to developing specific goals and objectives for each dimension.

The ARMS acknowledges the complexity and unpredictable nature of lifestyle addictions following the commitment of an individual to accept assistance with changing their lifestyles. The Stages of Change model (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1984) is supported as a model of motivation, incorporating five stages of readiness to change: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. The ARMS theory supports the constructs of self-efficacy and social networking as outcome predictors of future behavior across a wide variety of lifestyle risk factors (Bandura, 1977). The Relapse Prevention cognitive-behavioral approach (Marlatt, 1985) with the goal of identifying and preventing high-risk situations for relapse is also supported within the ARMS theory.

The ARMS continues to promote Twelve Step Recovery Groups such as Food Addicts and Alcoholics Anonymous along with spiritual and religious recovery activities as a necessary means to maintain outcome effectiveness. The beneficial effects of AA may be attributable in part to the replacement of the participant’s social network of drinking friends with a fellowship of AA members who can provide motivation and support for maintaining abstinence (Humphreys, K.; Mankowski, E.S, 1999) and (Morgenstern, J.; Labouvie, E.; McCrady, B.S.; Kahler, C.W.; and Frey, R.M., 1997). In addition, AA’s approach often results in the development of coping skills, many of which are similar to those taught in more structured psychosocial treatment settings, thereby leading to reductions in alcohol consumption (NIAAA, June 2005).

Treatment Progress Dimensions

The American Society of Addiction Medicine’s (2003), “Patient Placement Criteria for the Treatment of Substance-Related Disorders, 3rd Edition”, has set the standard in the field of addiction treatment for recognizing the totality of the individual in his or her life situation. This includes the internal interconnection of multiple dimensions from biomedical to spiritual, as well as external relationships of the individual to the family and larger social groups. Life-style addictions may affect many domains of an individual’s functioning and frequently require multi-modal treatment. Real progress however, requires appropriate interventions and motivating strategies for every dimension of an individual’s life.
The Addictions Recovery Measurement System (ARMS) has identified the following seven treatment progress areas (dimensions) in an effort to: (1) assist clinicians with identifying additional motivational techniques that can increase an individual’s awareness to make progress: (2) measure within treatment progress, and (3) measure after treatment outcome effectiveness:
PD- 1. Abstinence/ Relapse: Progress Dimension
PD- 2. Bio-medical/ Physical: Progress Dimension
PD- 3. Mental/ Emotional: Progress Dimension
PD- 4. Social/ Cultural: Progress Dimension
PD- 5. Educational/ Occupational: Progress Dimension
PD- 6. Attitude/ Behavioral: Progress Dimension
PD- 7. Spirituality/ Religious: Progress Dimension

Considering that addictions involve unbalanced life-styles operating within semi-stable equilibrium force fields, the ARMS philosophy promotes that positive treatment effectiveness and successful outcomes are the result of a synergistic relationship with “The Higher Power,” that spiritually elevates and connects an individuals’ multiple life functioning dimensions by reducing chaos and increasing resilience to bring an individual harmony, wellness, and productivity.

Addictions Recovery Measurement – Subsystems

Since chronic lifestyle diseases and disorders such as diabetes, hypertension, alcoholism, drug and behavioral addictions cannot be cured, but only managed – how should we effectively manage poly-behavioral addiction?

The Addiction Recovery Measurement System (ARMS) is proposed utilizing a multidimensional integrative assessment, treatment planning, treatment progress, and treatment outcome measurement tracking system that facilitates rapid and accurate recognition and evaluation of an individual’s comprehensive life-functioning progress dimensions. The “ARMS”- systematically, methodically, interactively, & spiritually combines the following five versatile subsystems that may be utilized individually or incorporated together:

1) The Prognostication System – composed of twelve screening instruments developed to evaluate an individual’s total life-functioning dimensions for a comprehensive bio-psychosocial assessment for an objective 5-Axis diagnosis with a point-based Global Assessment of Functioning score;
2) The Target Intervention System – that includes the Target Intervention Measure (TIM) and Target Progress Reports (A) & (B), for individualized goal-specific treatment planning;
3) The Progress Point System – a standardized performance-based motivational recovery point system utilized to produce in-treatment progress reports on six life-functioning individual dimensions;
4) The Multidimensional Tracking System – with its Tracking Team Surveys (A) & (B), along with the ARMS Discharge criteria guidelines utilizes a multidisciplinary tracking team to assist with discharge planning; and
5) The Treatment Outcome Measurement System – that utilizes the following two
measurement instruments: (a) The Treatment Outcome Measure (TOM); and (b) the Global Assessment of Progress (GAP), to assist with aftercare treatment planning.
National Movement

With the end of the Cold War, the threat of a world nuclear war has diminished considerably. It may be hard to imagine that in the end, comedians may be exploiting the humor in the fact that it wasn’t nuclear warheads, but “French fries” that annihilated the human race. On a more serious note, lifestyle diseases and addictions are the leading cause of preventable morbidity and mortality, yet brief preventive behavioral assessments and counseling interventions are under-utilized in health care settings (Whitlock, 2002).

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded that effective behavioral counseling interventions that address personal health practices hold greater promise for improving overall health than many secondary preventive measures, such as routine screening for early disease (USPSTF, 1996). Common health-promoting behaviors include healthy diet, regular physical exercise, smoking cessation, appropriate alcohol/ medication use, and responsible sexual practices to include use of condoms and contraceptives.

350 national organizations and 250 State public health, mental health, substance abuse, and environmental agencies support the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Healthy People 2010” program. This national initiative recommends that primary care clinicians utilize clinical preventive assessments and brief behavioral counseling for early detection, prevention, and treatment of lifestyle disease and addiction indicators for all patients’ upon every healthcare visit.

Partnerships and coordination among service providers, government departments, and community organizations in providing treatment programs are a necessity in addressing the multi-task solution to poly-behavioral addiction. I encourage you to support the mental health and addiction programs in America, and hope that the (ARMS) resources can assist you to personally fight the War on pathological eating disorders within poly-behavioral addiction.

For more info see:
Poly-Behavioral Addiction and the Addictions Recovery Measurement System,
By James Slobodzien, Psy.D., CSAC at:
http://www.geocities.com/drslbdzn/Behavioral-Addictions.html
Food Addicts Anonymous: http://www.foodaddictsanonymous.org/
Alcoholics Anonymous: http://www.alcoholics-anonymous.org/

James Slobodzien, Psy.D., CSAC, is a Hawaii licensed psychologist and certified substance abuse counselor who earned his doctorate in Clinical Psychology. The National Registry of Health Service Providers in Psychology credentials Dr. Slobodzien. He has over 20-years of mental health experience primarily working in the fields of alcohol/ substance abuse and behavioral addictions in medical, correctional, and judicial settings. He is an adjunct professor of Psychology and also maintains a private practice as a mental health consultant.
References
American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition,
Text Revision. Washington, DC, American Psychiatric Association, 2000, p. 787 & p. 731.
American Society of Addiction Medicine’s (2003), “Patient Placement Criteria for the
Treatment of Substance-Related Disorders, 3rd Edition,. Retrieved, June 18, 2005, from:
http://www.asam.org/
Bandura, A. (1977), Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review,
84, 191-215.
Brownell, K. D., Marlatt, G. A., Lichtenstein, E., & Wilson, G. T. (1986). Understanding and preventing relapse. American Psychologist, 41, 765-782.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Retrieved June 18, 2005, from: http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/
Gorski, T. (2001), Relapse Prevention In The Managed Care Environment. GORSKI-CENAPS Web
Healthy People 2010. Retrieved June 20, 2005, from: http://www.healthypeople.gov/
Publications. Retrieved June 20, 2005, from: www.tgorski.com
Lienard, J. & Vamecq, J. (2004), Presse Med, Oct 23;33(18 Suppl):33-40.
Marlatt, G. A. (1985). Relapse prevention: Theoretical rationale and overview of the model. In G. A.
Marlatt & J. R. Gordon (Eds.), Relapse prevention (pp. 250-280). New York: Guilford Press.
McGinnis JM, Foege WH (1994). Actual causes of death in the United States. US Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC 20201
Humphreys, K.; Mankowski, E.S.; Moos, R.H.; and Finney, J.W (1999). Do enhanced friendship networks and active coping mediate the effect of self-help groups on substance abuse? Ann Behav Med 21(1):54-60.
Kessler, R.C., McGonagle, K.A., Zhao, S., Nelson, C.B., Hughes, M., Eshleman, S., Wittchen, H. H,-U, & Kendler, K.S. (1994). Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of DSM-III-R psychiatric disorders in the United
States: Results from the national co morbidity survey. Arch. Gen. Psychiat., 51, 8-19.
Morgenstern, J.; Labouvie, E.; McCrady, B.S.; Kahler, C.W.; and Frey, R.M (1997). Affiliation with Alcoholics Anonymous after treatment: A study of its therapeutic effects and mechanisms of action. J Consult Clin Psychol 65(5):768-777.
Orford, J. (1985). Excessive appetites: A psychological view of addiction. New York: Wiley.
Prochaska, J. O., & DiClemente, C. C. (1984). The transtheoretical approach: Crossing the boundaries of therapy. Malabar, FL: Krieger.
Slobodzien, J. (2005). Poly-behavioral Addiction and the Addictions Recovery Measurement System (ARMS), Booklocker.com, Inc., p. 5.
Whitlock, E.P. (1996). Evaluating Primary Care Behavioral Counseling Interventions: An Evidence-based Approach. Am J Prev Med 2002;22(4): 267-84.Williams & Wilkins. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Guide to Clinical Preventive Services. 2nd ed. Alexandria, VA.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Healthy People 2010 (Conference Edition). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office; 2000.
World Health Organization, (WHO). Retrieved June 18, 2005, from: http://www.who.int/topics/obesity/en/
James Slobodzien, Psy.D., CSAC, is a Hawaii licensed psychologist and certified substance abuse counselor who earned his doctorate in Clinical Psychology. The National Registry of Health Service Providers in Psychology credentials Dr. Slobodzien. He has over 20-years of mental health experience primarily working in the fields of alcohol/ substance abuse and behavioral addictions in medical, correctional, and judicial settings. He is an adjunct professor of Psychology and also maintains a private practice as a mental health consultant.

Eating Disorders And The Use Of Yoga In Prevention And Treatment

March 1st, 2007

It was not so long ago that eating disorders, such as bolimia and anorexia, were thought to be purely the result of mental conditions. More recently, though, some physical factors have been attributed to these conditions. It is now thought that eating disorders can be triggered by a multitude of factors, in combination, including those of a psychological, behavioural, social, or biological nature.How Can Yoga Help With Eating Disorders

As with many conditions, eating orders can better be dealt with through a calm and focused mind. Depression and low self esteem are problems often associated with eating disorders, and Yoga can help with both.

It has been proven that Yoga can reduce depression, restoring a state of balance and well being in the individual. Also, there are different yoga practices which encourage heightened levels of self esteem, and promote a positive view of your own body. These are crucial factors with eating disorders, and it has been shown that the application of yoga can significantly increase recuperation and healing. Through the elimination of self judgment, yoga establishes a strong connection between mind and body. This, of course, is the natural state of wellness. By re-establishing this strong connection, mind and body will work in harmony to repair the damage.

Regular yoga practice will increase the overall fitness level of the human body, improving the immune system and giving it a good chance of fighting illnesses. This is helpful with Anorexia, for example, because the sufferer’s body will experience lower energy levels, and the condition reduces bone density.

In dealing with eating disorders, the yogic system identifies them as a problem related to the first chakra. There are different yoga poses that can be used to balance it: eg. staff, crab, full wind, and pigeon. By using grounding postures (eg mountain, goddess, standing squat and prayer squat) strength and courage can be increased. What these postures do is to re-establish the strong mind-body connections, and through that connection help overcome many physical obstacles. For anorexia sufferers, most of the yoga back bending poses help reduce depression, while forward bends can calm the spirit and reduce anorexia’s effects.

Because the mental state has an important role in eating disorders, meditation can be used successfully to reduce negative and harmful thoughts and feelings. An active, well targeted, meditation practice should prove to be very effective. The yoga poses work best when external factors are shut out, and concentration is allowed to focus on your inner self. Giving special attention to breathing, and also to inner sensations, will transport you to a state of greater awareness and calmness. This new state will allow you to go on further to explore new concepts, and hopefully pursue new goals that may have been impossible before.

As with many medical conditions, being aware of the bulimia or anorexia problem, and showing a constant and strong desire to defeat it, is a great method to reduce their effect. It is likely that an early adoption of yoga practices would make the patient more aware of the problem, thus making a positive contribution to an early cure. However, these yoga techniques are more usually used in the recuperative stages of the illness. That is a pity because, as with all illnesses in which it can be beneficial, yoga works best in the prevention stage, when the negative effects are still low and easier to over come.

Roy Thomsitt is the owner and part author of http://www.routes-to-self-improvement.com

Eating Disorders: Anorexia and Bulimia

February 25th, 2007

The incidences of eating disorders in our society have been steadily increasing over the last few years. It now occurs in 1 out of every 100 women. Nineteen out of 20 people who suffer from eating disorders are young women between 18 and 25.

Studies have found that our social habits and expectations increase the likelihood of the disorder in our young women. The emphasis on outward appearances and thinness are targeted daily through peer pressure and how our society markets its Health and Fitness Products and Services.

Yes obesity is definitely a problem in our society, and we have guidelines for Health and Nutrition, but the majority of young women fail to follow the guidelines in an effort to gain immediate gratification or have had abnormal eating habits throughout their lifetime.

Anorexia Nervosa:

Case Study:

Jennifer is 20 years old. She is very attractive and has always been an over achiever. From an early age she prided herself on her figure. She watched her diet, exercised daily and maintained a regiment of self-discipline. She has always been thin, but has never been satisfied with her weight or appearance. She continually strives to lose more weight. She is 5’ 6” and weighs 85 lbs.

Jennifer is unaware of the fact that she is undernourished, therefore she sees no problem with her appearance or weight.

How does this happen??

Learned behavior has a great deal to do with why this happens. Many young women develop anorexia-like patterns as our society is pressured with the pursuit of thinness. Many women are anorexic based on the eating patterns they have developed by trying to accomplish unrealistic weight goals.

Fashion models, long distance runners, women athletes and dancers commonly have anorexia-like traits.

  1. An intense fear of becoming obese. Even as they lose more weight.
  2. Inaccurate vision of how their bodies appear. Feeling fat when in actuality they are very thin and emaciated.
  3. Continual weight loss. 25% or more of their original body weight.
  4. Refusal to gain weight, which would place them in a normal body weight range.

Physical Dangers:

A rigorous dieting regime will send the body into starvation mode. Then the physical effects will start to manifest themselves:

Thyroid hormones will become abnormal. Adrenal, growth hormones and blood-pressure hormones also become abnormal.

Heart functions change. The heart pumps less efficiently, muscles become weak and thin. Heart rhythms many change. Blood pressure levels fall.

GI function can become abnormal. Diarrhea occurs as the lining of the digestive tract slow.

High levels of Vitamin A and Carotene in the blood.

Reduced levels of Protein.

An increase in fine body hair, skin dryness and deceased skin temperatures.

Brain activity becomes abnormal. Loss of sleep and feeling of never having enough rest.

Anorexia Nervosa is hard to diagnose, because almost everyone in our society is in pursuing thinness. Denial and deception are common place for young women with Anorexia, therefore it takes a skilled professional to diagnose Anorexia.

Bulimia

Bulimia occurs in women of all ages, but is more common among those under 30. Bulimia is more common than Anorexia and in males. Only a small percentage of people who are Bulimic show signs of Anorexia.

Case Study:

Carry is a women in her late twenties, she maintain a normal weight range and obsesses about food. She starves herself then binges, when she has eaten too much she vomits.

Carry, like 60% of people with Bulimia, starts to binge after a period of extreme dieting. The most popular binge foods are food that are high in sugar and fat, and are easy to eat in large amounts. (cookies, cakes, ice cream, and bread products)

The side effects of the binge eating are swollen hands and feet, bloating, fatigue, headaches, nausea and pain.

Physical Dangers:

Fluid and Electrolyte imbalances.

Abnormal Heart rhythms

Kidney dysfunction which can cause bladder infections and kidney failure.

Irritation to the pharynx, esophagus, and salivary glands.

Erosion of teeth and dental caries.

Use of laxatives can cause injury to the intestinal tract.

Bulimia has been described as a socially approved method of weight control. Practiced among women in the upper-classes because of social obligations which include many dinners and parties.

Both Anorexia and Bulimia are socially generated eating disorders generated by our need for the “perfect image”, resulting in self-destructive eating patterns.

Listen to your Body, it is Wiser than you Think. Respect your own unique traits and Diet sensibly.

Resources:

WebMD
http://my.webmd.com

Eating Disorder Treatment and Helpline
http://edhelpline.com

National Eating Disorders Association
http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

Anorexia and Bulimia Care
http://www.anorexiabulimiacare.co.uk

This article is freely available for reprint provided that the resource box at the end of the article is left intact and the article is published complete.

About The Author
Written by Tina M. Rideout, For more information about Health and Fitness visit:
http://clean-living-nutritional-supplements.com
gworkp@yahoo.com