Turning off the obsession genes that cause eating disorders.

July 2, 2011 – 3:49 am

By re-identifying your bad eating behavior you can stop your eating disorder – this has been proven more than once.

Some of you may say, “How will I re-identify my behavior to stop my eating disorder?
I got this disease because I have an obsessive gene from my mother. You can’t eradicate this gene from my genetic makeup.”

No, you can’t eradicate the unwanted gene from your genetic makeup and we are not trying to do this. What we are trying to do here is to change your response to the thoughts and feelings your brain generates.

Our genes have two kinds of fundamental properties. One of them is something that is not in our control. We have a certain set of genes we’re born with that keep replicating themselves. 

But the other aspect of our genes is in our control and it can be turned on and off according to how we live our life. This we can do something about, with the help of neuroplasticity.

Our brains are ever changing over the course of our lives. And your brain’s map is going to be determined by what you do day by day. You can start out doing new things today and in three weeks time your brain’s map will be completely different from what it was when you started.

This is what we call brain plasticity (or neuroplasticity), and the human genetic inheritance includes brain plasticity. This process occurs throughout our whole life. Brain plasticity can be controlled and directed if the person is aware of it and if the person wants to change his/her brain.

 It is interesting to note that our genes get turned on and off all the time. Even when you go to sleep some genes are turned on and others are turned off and when you wake in the morning other genes join the game. Research has shown that our thoughts also influence these switches and this gives us a lot more control over our genes that we realise.

 Now, I have the highest regard for genetics, but now it is certain that some aspects of genes can be controlled by our will, life style and habits. Just the fact that the brain can change itself in accordance to what we do and how we think. This means we have to place a lot of importance in the power of free will over our lives.

So, the notion that an obsession gene (that caused your ED ) is controlling your life appears to be false. It is how you perceive and respond to the messages from the environment that controls your life.

If, in your environment you perceive yourself as fat, ugly, anxious or inappropriate and your response to this kind of perception is to starve or binge, purge, take laxatives or over exercising to feel better, then you are letting the environment control you.

 What you should be doing is working through them trying to overcome the false urge? This will make much more of a difference to your outcome than blaming a genetic predisposition for your eating disorder.

Go to http://www.eating-disorders-books.com for more information.

Dr Irina Webster MD.


  1. This is a very good article. I believe most obsessions come from events that have traumatized a person into this type of behavior.

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