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A Joke About a Serious Medical Matter

Dr. Jackie thinks there are some problems that should not be joked about (OK Quad?).

By Jacqueline Walters

Unfortunately, I was unable to make the Mariah's gathering "Doctors on the Doc," due to a conflict in my hospital schedule. Even though I did not attend, I heard there was a comment made by Quad regarding Kari's history of anorexia. There are some jokes that should never be made funny. Anorexia is a serious medical disorder.

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It's human nature to wish you looked different or that you were able to fix something about yourself. When it becomes a preoccupation with being thin, it could be a sign of an eating disorder. Anorexia nervosa is a complex eating disorder when the person refuses to maintain a healthy weight, has an intense fear of weight gain, and a distorted body image. It does not matter how skinny they become; it is never then enough. Some people with anorexia lose weight by radical dieting, excessive exercise, self-induced vomiting, or misusing laxatives. Many people with this disorder can suffer incurable organ damage, including: heart disease, kidney and liver disease, and osteoporosis. When this disease is left untreated, it will lead to death, due to organ failure.

Surprisingly, anorexia is not about food or weight. It often times is a psychological and emotional need to be perfect and fit into society. In Kari's case, it was the need to fit into the modeling society. There is extreme pressure to be thin. Let's not get it twisted, I make references to weight, but I would never reference a person with a known history of an eating disorder. As a two-time breast cancer survivor, it is very important that I eat right and exercise. I may not have any control over recurrence, but totally in control of prevention.

I have the utmost respect for Kari for seeking help. Admitting the problem is always the first step. Eating disorders can be devastating for the person and their families. Without treatment, people with eating disorders can die.

Even Dr Jackie can be more sensitive when it comes to my "Thin is In" motto. Thank you Kari, for the reminder. Education and awareness is the key to health and prevention.

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