The Effect of Body Chemistry and The Potential Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa:|
The Effect of Body Chemistry and The Potential Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa:
Today, in the united states especially, Eating Disorders are at an all time high. Most individuals would typically believe that these issues are simply psychological. However, recent studies have shown that there is much more to it. Is it possible that eating disorders esp. Anorexia Nervosa have chemical backgrounds as well. If so, what are the chemicals that control the bodies hunger mechanism? Finding the answer to these questions could allow for further research in helping to stabilize and treat those with a variety of eating disorders, including Anorexia Nervosa.
First in order to understand the physiological effects of eating disorders such as Anorexia nervosa (AN), there needs to be an understanding of the physiology of hunger in general. One aspect of hunger, has to do with feeling hungry due to the hunger pangs of an empty stomach. In a 1912 study by A.L. Washburn, Walter Cannon Intentionally swallowed a balloon. This balloon when inflated, was able to record Walter's stomach contractions. While being recorded, the patient pressed a key each time he felt hungry. There was a direct correlation to the patients feeling of hunger, and to the actual stomach contractions. (Myers,474)
However, in the 1938 study " Hunger motivation in Gastrectomized rats," Tsang's findings proved that hunger pangs could not possibly be the only cause of hunger. In this study, seven rats had over 90% of their stomachs removed. Their esophagi were then attached to their small intestines. While they no longer would be feeling "hunger pangs," the rats continued to eat at the same rate as they did prior to the operation.( Tsang,1) Therefore, researchers sought out another answer. This time however, by studying both body chemistry and the brain.
In the brain, two different...