Anorexia Tied Up With Bacterial Infections
Anorexia, that dreaded eating disorder normally associated with some psychological or external factor, may be tied up with something else following studies revealing that it could be a tied up with some bacterial infection.
Though this is the first time that such has been heard of, the latest studies hint that bacterial infections could eventually end up confusing the immune system resulting in possible targets like the brain and one’s mental state.
Women are seen to be more susceptible by the said study from the Lancaster University and Morecambe Bay NHS Trust. Such is likened to similar cases associated with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
Hence, researchers suggest that there could be a serious link between Anorexia with IBS and CFS – citing women likely suffering from them.
Females seem to be a higher risk based on the study, mostly because women are seen as more susceptible to auto-immune diseases.
“It’s really a case of misidentification,” Dr. Quenton Wessels said via the Telegraph. “The immune system responds to something that is foreign by producing an antibody which then attacks something else.
“We think specific bacteria is setting it off. It is almost like the microbes within you can determine you mood, which is profound in itself.”
In Britain alone, about 750,000 people suffer from eating disorders wit 75,000 of that number falling under Anorexia.
Previous studies had already tied up IBS and CFS to bacterial origin though this is the first time that Anorexia nervosa has been tied up with it.
Of the findings however, in question is the true effect of the psychological angle. Weeding it out as the main factor is up for scrutiny since there are underlying factors to consider. That includes the severity of the psychological state which affect functional disorders on people, suggesting that such may not be the only reason behind the link.
Right now all of it seems to be a theory though if proven right, can provide new methods of medication and addressing the disorder which has historically been hard to treat.
To get more fact and information, the research team plans to test their theory on animal models which can hopefully pin down the actual bacteria behind it all.
“If we can isolate the culprits perhaps we can restore the correct bacterial balance. We hope to move into the lab over the summer, and hopefully have an answer by the end of the year,” adds Wessels.