Our final in Metabolism and Nutrition was today; it covered an interesting span of topics ranging from endocrinology, metabolic pathways (glycolysis, TCA, beta oxidation, ketogenesis, LDL, VLDL, etc.), diabetes mellitus, and obesity/weight management issues. Although I complained continually at first that these topics were completely unrelated to each other, there are links between each area (mainly insulin or lack thereof) that actually tie the curriculum together in a rather enlightened manner.
One of our later lectures on the theme of weight management involved discussions on eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa. Although nutrition has never interested me (the food pyramid can eat itself), I am fascinated by disorders in which perfectly normal girls (sorry for the sexism) starve themselves to death in a land of plenty.
Although I have never had any eating disorders, the cycle of binging and purging associated with bulimia seemed awfully familiar even as I was cramming that syllabus chapter into the small space between my ears. Periods of intense binging...and then a subsequent purging? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I realized that I have been a lifelong ACADEMIC bulimic since preschool. Like a circadian rhythm dictated by exam schedules, my life follows a regular cycle of compression (pain, stress, angst) and decompression (happiness, denial, sloth).
Here are some interesting posters on the medical consequences of anorexia and bulimia.