I have to say how sad I am at the death of MJ. I have one of his CDs in my car CD player right now and I work out to at least 3 of his songs. I went to see Moonwalker in Dublin, Ireland in the late 80s as a teen, with my best friend. We were both insanely in love with him and argued over who he'd pick to marry!
We are all shocked - but are we surprised?
Michael has had problems with his weight and eating for a very long time. There has been a lot of talk about anorexia and concerns from his family and staff that he ate very little; sometimes just one small meal a day.
During his trial a couple of years back, he was emaciated. Some journalists remember being at the trial and wondering how he could even walk due to being so desperately thin. He did shuffle and sometimes needed the support of people around him. On other days he could actually dance and jumped up on a car.
Anorexia is a great enemy to heart health. It weakens the heart to such an extent that it simply gives out or goes into cardiac arrest. Karen Carpenter's anorexia lead to heart failure and of the 10% of anorexics who die from the disease, it's their hearts that just can't keep going. In fact, heart failure is the most common cause of death for those who battle anorexia. Here is what it does to a person's heart:
•Dangerous heart rhythms, including slow rhythms known as bradycardia, may develop. Such abnormalities can show up even in teenagers with anorexia.
•Blood flow is reduced.
•Blood pressure may drop.
•The heart muscles starve, losing size.
•Cholesterol levels tend to rise.
A primary danger to the heart is from abnormalities in the balance of minerals, such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphate, which are normally dissolved in the body's fluid. The dehydration and starvation that occurs with anorexia can reduce fluid and mineral levels and produce a condition known as electrolyte imbalance. Electrolytes (e.g., calcium and potassium) are critical for maintaining the electric currents necessary for a normal heartbeat. An imbalance in these electrolytes can be very serious and even life threatening unless fluids and minerals are replaced. Heart problems are a particular risk when anorexia is compounded by bulimia and the use of ipecac, a drug that causes vomiting.
Jackson had also battled addictions to pain medications and alcohol and it is thought that he was over-medicated and self-medicated right up to his death. These medications, along with what is highly suspected to be a form of anorexia, will surely be found to be instrumental in his death.
We must acknowledge that prescription drugs are still drugs! And just because they are prescribed by a doctor, does not make them ok to take. Like in any decent profession, there are people who can be paid enough money to do things that are immoral and illegal.
While Michael passed a lengthy physical just a few months ago, in order to get insurance for his come-back tour, it's possible to fool, or convince people that you're ok. And when specific doctors are chosen who may simply agree to whatever a bone fide superstar says, the problem gets shoved under the carpet until in resurfaces in the form of death.
It's a shame that it may take his death to bring this to light - yet again. But we have seen it so many times before. Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Anna Nicole Smith, Judy Garland. All prescription pill abusers.
Incidentally, the deaths of many of the great icons of pop culture have taken place at the age of 27. It's called the "27 Club" and includes Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Brian Jones (Rolling Stones). All deaths attributed to and stemming from, drug and alcohol abuse: and all at the age of 27.
Do you, or someone you know, have experience with an eating disorder or addiction to medications/drugs? How did it affect you?
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