Many current and ex-members of Kimkins have developed deadly eating disorders. The Kimkins starvation diet can lead to two of the most severe eating disorders: anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.
And this is the result of anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa:
WHAT IS ANOREXIA NERVOSA?
Anorexia nervosa is a psychiatric diagnosis that describes an eating disorder characterized by low body weight and body image distortion with an obsessive fear of gaining weight. Individuals with anorexia often control body weight by voluntary starvation, purging, vomiting, excessive exercise, or other weight control measures, such as diet pills or diuretic drugs.*
HOW ANOREXIA NERVOSA AFFECTS YOUR BODY:
WHAT IS BULIMIA NERVOSA?
Bulimia nervosa, commonly known as bulimia, is an eating disorder and psychological condition in which the subject engages in recurrent binge eating followed by feelings of guilt, depression, and self-condemnation and intentional purging to compensate for the excessive eating, it is usually to prevent weight gain (see anorexia nervosa). Purging can take the form of vomiting, fasting, inappropriate use of laxatives, enemas, diuretics or other medication, or excessive physical exercise. This continous cycle can damages bodily organs. Bulimia is common especially among young women of normal or nearly normal weight.*
HOW BULIMIA NERVOSA AFFECTS YOUR BODY:
The number of deaths related to these two conditions is now staggering.
The following are excerpts from a report originally published by the US Food & Drug Administration in the FDA Consumer Magazine in 1992 and updated in September of 1997:
"About 1,000 women die of anorexia each year, according to the American Anorexia/Bulimia Association. More specific statistics from the National Center for Health Statistics show that "anorexia" or "anorexia nervosa" was the underlying cause of death noted on 101 death certificates in 1994, and was mentioned as one of multiple causes of death on another 2,657 death certificates. In the same year, bulimia was the underlying cause of death on two death certificates and mentioned as one of several causes on 64 others."
"The Bulimia Secret
Once people begin bingeing and purging, usually in conjunction with a diet, the cycle easily gets out of control. While cases tend to develop during the teens or early 20s, many bulimics successfully hide their symptoms, thereby delaying help until they reach their 30s or 40s. Several years ago, actress Jane Fonda revealed she had been a secret bulimic from age 12 until her recovery at 35. She told of bingeing and purging up to 20 times a day.
Many people with bulimia maintain a nearly normal weight. Though they appear healthy and successful--"perfectionists" at whatever they do--in reality, they have low self-esteem and are often depressed. They may exhibit other compulsive behaviors. For example, one physician reports that a third of his bulimia patients regularly engage in shoplifting and that a quarter of the patients have suffered from alcohol abuse or addiction at some point in their lives.
While normal food intake for women and teenagers is 2,000 to 3,000 calories in a day, bulimic binges average about 3,400 calories in 1 1/4 hours, according to one study. Some bulimics consume up to 20,000 calories in binges lasting as long as eight hours. Some spend $50 or more a day on food and may resort to stealing food or money to support their obsession.
To lose the weight gained during a binge, bulimics begin purging by vomiting (by self-induced gagging or with an emetic, a substance that causes vomiting) or by using laxatives (50 to 100 tablets at a time), diuretics (drugs that increase urination), or enemas. Between binges, they may fast or exercise excessively.
Extreme purging rapidly upsets the body's balance of sodium, potassium, and other chemicals. This can cause fatigue, seizures, irregular heartbeat, and thinner bones. Repeated vomiting can damage the stomach and esophagus (the tube that carries food to the stomach), make the gums recede, and erode tooth enamel. (Some patients need all their teeth pulled prematurely). Other effects include various skin rashes, broken blood vessels in the face, and irregular menstrual cycles."
"Complexities of Anorexia
While anorexia most commonly begins in the teens, it can start at any age and has been reported from age 5 to 60. Incidence among 8- to 11-year-olds is said to be increasing.
Anorexia may be a single, limited episode with large weight loss within a few months followed by recovery. Or it may develop gradually and persist for years. The illness may go back and forth between getting better and getting worse. Or it may steadily get more severe.
Anorectics may exercise excessively. Their preoccupation with food usually prompts habits such as moving food about on the plate and cutting it into tiny pieces to prolong eating, and not eating with the family.
Obsessed with weight loss and fear of becoming fat, anorectics see normal folds of flesh as "fat" that must be eliminated. When the normal fat padding is lost, sitting or lying down brings discomfort not rest, making sleep difficult. As the disorder continues, victims may become isolated and withdraw from friends and family.
The body responds to starvation by slowing or stopping certain bodily processes. Blood pressure falls, breathing rate slows, menstruation ceases (or, in girls in their early teens, never begins), and activity of the thyroid gland (which regulates growth) diminishes. Skin becomes dry, and hair and nails become brittle. Lightheadedness, cold intolerance, constipation, and joint swelling are other symptoms. Reduced fat causes the body temperature to fall. Soft hair called lanugo forms on the skin for warmth. Body chemicals may get so imbalanced that heart failure occurs.
Anorectics who additionally binge and purge impair their health even further. The late recording artist Karen Carpenter, an anorectic who used syrup of ipecac to induce vomiting, died after buildup of the drug irreversibly damaged her heart."
If you know of anyone following (or who followed) the Kimkins diet and who is exhibiting any signs of these deadly eating disorders, please contact their family members immediately. Medical intervention is imperative. You could save their life.
FOR AN EXCELLENT ARTICLE ON ANOREXIA, PLEASE CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING LINK:
Mama Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Anorexic
LINK TO THE FDA CONSUMER MAGAZINE REPORT: