Sunday, November 8, 2015


Reading the Sunday newspapers - reading three Sunday newspapers is my Sunday morning ritual - I read an article about orthorexia, and how it's now a medical condition, supported by some psychiartrists and psychologists, but not in the DSM IV, yet anyway.

It's defined as the "unhealthy obsession with avoiding what the person perceives as unhealthy foods and focusing on only eating healthy foods." And there are antedotal stories from people who like the term to define themselves.

Well, to me it's a crock. Yeah, simply put, it's just people deciding they want only healthy foods, and while I might see for some it becomes an obsession, it doesn't merit a mental (medical) condition necessitating therapy to change.

I say this because I have a overly sensitive digestive system from decades of taking antibiotics, mostly universal ones like amoxicillin, for a lifelong medical condition (Rheumatic Fever as a child). That has destroyed any reasonable sense of balance with the bacteria in my digestive system.

This has resulted in most foods becoming the enemy of my body, as well as my system sensitive to digestive disorders, one which I'm living with now (unknown bacteria overgrowth or imbalance). And so under guidence from gastroenterologists 4 years ago I reduced my diet to foods which work with my disgestive system.

This required reducing foods to a minimum and then adding, and sometimes subtracting, foods from what I call food experiments, meals where I fix something to test one food. This resulted in eliminating 95+% of available foods, spices, meals, etc.

This means I can write the foods I can eat on a Postit Note and still have room for doodles. And so I have to pay attention to the ingredients in all processed and prepared foods, whether in grocery stores or restaurants. So it's not an obsession, but living with reality.

And while some might call my food habits orthorexia, it's what keeps me healthy as best I can, and if that means spending a lot of time selecting and watching what I eat, then so be it, but it's not a mental or medical condition, it's my life.

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