Thursday, April 17, 2014

Woman who lived on just CHIPS for 15 years

No dietary correctness there -- but she got by fairly well.  It may show how nutritious the humble potato is

A woman who lived on a diet of chips for 15 years has finally eaten a proper meal - after being hynoptised to overcome her debilitating fear of food.

Hanna Little, 20, has eaten chips every day since she was five years old - after she developed a fear of all other foods which made her physically sick if she tried to eat them.

Hanna from Truro, Cornwall, has severe Selective Eating Disorder (SED) and would suffer anxiety attacks at the thought of eating anything new.

Hanna could never eat with her friends, had to check menus before visiting restaurants and was in a constant panic about how she would react to new foods.

It was only when she was forced to quit her factory job after she kept passing out due to her limited diet that she was forced to take action.

Now after just one hypnotherapy session, she has managed to battle her demons - and has eaten her first proper meal - pizza - in more than a decade.

'Different foods terrified me, it made me physically sick and anxious and I never knew how I would react.  'I would go to parties, picnics and barbecues with my friends but I would never be able to eat anything. 

'I think I can eat chips because they're just plain - it was the idea of different flavours mixing together which really freaked me out.  'I could manage a slice of dry toast for breakfast, but lunch and dinner every day always had to be chips.

'Now I can eat whatever I like - my favourite food is pizza - I could never have imagined being able to eat it before the treatment but now I love it.'


Even casual use of cannabis alters brain, warn scientists

This is not a watertight case but it is persuasive

Experimenting with cannabis on a casual basis damages the brain permanently, research has found.  It is far from being a “safe” drug and no one under the age of 30 should ever use it, experts said.

People who had only used cannabis once or twice a week for a matter of months were found to have changes in the brain that govern emotion, motivation and addiction.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School in America carried out detailed 3D scans on the brains of students who used cannabis casually and were not addicted and compared them with those who had never used it.

Two major sections of the brain were found to be affected.

The scientists found that the more cannabis the 40 subjects had used, the greater the abnormalities.

Around 10 million people in Britain, almost a third of the population, have used illegal drugs, with cannabis the most popular. The research author, Dr Hans Breiter, professor of psychiatry and behavioural sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said: “This study raises a strong challenge to the idea that casual marijuana use isn’t associated with bad consequences. Some people only used marijuana to get high once or twice a week.

“People think a little recreational use shouldn’t cause a problem, if someone is doing OK with work or school. Our data directly says this is not the case.

“I’ve developed a severe worry about whether we should be allowing anybody under age 30 to use pot unless they have a terminal illness and need it for pain.”

The team examined sections of the brain involved in emotion, motivation and addiction in 20 students who had used cannabis and 20 who had not. Anne Blood, assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, said: “These are core, fundamental structures of the brain. They form the basis for how you assess positive and negative features about things in the environment and make decisions about them.”

The changes are thought to be the first steps towards addiction as the brain alters the way it perceives reward and pleasure, making ordinary experiences seem less fulfilling compared with drug use.

Jodi Gilman, a researcher in the Massachusetts General Center for Addiction Medicine, said: “It may be that we’re seeing a type of drug learning in the brain. We think when people are in the process of becoming addicted, their brains form these new connections.

“Drug abuse can cause more dopamine release than natural rewards like food, sex and social interaction. That is why drugs take on so much salience, and everything else loses its importance.” The study is published in the Journal of Neurosciences.

Mark Winstanley, chief executive of Rethink Mental Illness, said: “For too long cannabis has been seen as a safe drug, but as this study suggests, it can have a really serious impact on your mental health.

“Research also shows that when people smoke cannabis before the age of 15, it quadruples their chance of developing psychosis. But very few people are aware of the risks involved.”

Prof David Nutt, from Imperial College, London, said a sample of 40 was not big enough to draw conclusions.

Prof Nutt, who was sacked as a government drugs adviser for his views, added: “Whatever cannabis does to the brain its not in the same league as alcohol which is a proven neurotoxin.”


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