Today Heather interviews Tracy Brown, registered dietitian and trauma-informed eating disorder recovery coach about all the physical issues that can accompany or follow seasons of dieting, disordered eating, or an eating disorder. Are you always cold? Have you experienced seasons of hair loss? Have you had joint or bone density issues? GI and digestive tract issues, no matter what you eat? Today Heather shares her story of several strange physical symptoms she’s experienced over the years–from easily broken bones to esophagus issues–and how the decades of an unhealthy relationship with food have hit her with new symptoms and strange side effects, years later, even after she’s recovered from disordered eating.

In today’s show, Heather and Tracy discuss issues like bone loss, muscle loss, joint issues, sexual health issues, fertility, and cardiac arrest and other heart issues.

They also talk about how being malnourished (the technical way to look at dieting and calorie restriction of any kind) can cause hair loss, nail growth to stop, and your skin’s appearance to change. Tracy explains how the human stress response acts as a protective mechanism to keep us alive by deciding which systems are most important to keep working. If your body only has a limited amount of resources and you are limiting food, the body has to choose whether or not to keep running your heart, lungs, and brain or to grow your hair. The body is smart enough to know that the heart, lungs, and brain are most important.

Dieting Can Hurt Your Health: Physical, Mental, and Spiritual

Heather and Tracy discuss how serious it is to put our bodies in a situation where it has to make this kind of choice. They also discuss how even without physical symptoms, there may be emotional and spiritual symptoms connected to months, years, or decades of disordered eating.

Connect with Tracy & Other Resources

Book Heather mentioned: Sick Enough by Jennifer Gaudiani* Amazon affiliate link

Connect with Tracy Brown, RD and learn more about how to work with her. For helpful encouragement on Intuitive Eating and finding a healthy relationship with food, follow Tracy on Instagram here.

Do you need Christian body image coaching? You can connect with Heather or schedule a free ten-minute call here.