Anorexia/Eating Disorders/Fasting

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Question
Hey there, so I have a question about fasting. I fasted for 3 days awhile back and started to develop a rash thingy on my chest, neck and torso. So I ate again. Then I tried a week long fast and again stopped after I got the rash. It only seemed to go away after I ate "normal"(~700cal) for a few days. Then I restricted to <150 Net cal for about a week. Same thing. So then I ate again. What could cause this? When I eat my norm about 400 I'm fine. Why is this? Also when I fast after about 2 days I don't even get hungry anymore, I also get more tired and fatigued but nothing an energy drink can't fix. Why does this happen, aside from the obvious? Thank you :)

Answer
Hi Hazel,

I'll answer your questions as best I can.

1) What could cause this rash?

The short answer is that 80% of your immune system is located in your gut. When you don't eat enough, your body's immune system goes haywire and you're more likely to get sick, get weird rashes, etc.

2) Also when I fast after about 2 days I don't even get hungry anymore, I also get more tired and fatigued but nothing an energy drink can't fix. Why does this happen, aside from the obvious?

Your body is hungry, you've just gotten really good at repressing your body's hunger signals. That and after two days of fasting, your metabolism is slowing down. The energy drink isn't 'fixing' anything. It's just caffeine making you feel better temporarily. This is not a viable long-term solution, however...

Anorexia/Eating Disorders

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Mary Pritchard

Expertise

I can answer questions about the psychology of eating, disordered eating attitudes and behaviors such as drive for thinness, drive for muscularity, binge eating, body dysmorphia, dieting, excessive/obsessive exercise, and body dissatisfaction. I can also answer questions about anorexia and bulimia.

Experience

I have a PhD in Psychology and teach courses in the Psychology of Health and the Psychology of Eating. I have been conducting research on disordered eating and exercise behaviors for 15 years.

Organizations
Midwestern psychological association, rocky mountain psychological association

Publications
Over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles in journals such as Eating Behaviors, Eating Disorders, and Eating and Weight Disorders

Education/Credentials
PhD in Psychology from the University of Denver

Awards and Honors
30 teaching awards, have received funding to conduct my research from academic institutions and state and local government

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