Anorexia Nervosa is a dangerous disorder characterized by abnormal eating habits (binge eating and purging),unbelievably underweight, extremely concerned about maintaining low body weight, always carry fear of weight gain and have very low self-image. It is basically associated with psychological illness, if left untreated can be life-threatening.
Signs of Anorexia Nervosa
- extreme fear about weight gain
- denial of hunger
- frequent weight checking
- dry skin
- hair loss
- slow heart rate
- fluctuating blood pressure
- muscle weakness,
- loss of bone density
- severe dehydration
- lack of menstruation
- loss of sexual desire and impotency in men
- unexplained weight loss
- caloric restriction
- body dissatisfaction
- obsessive-compulsive behavior
- exercising intensely
- binge eating and puking
- distorted body image
- feeling pressurized to maintain low body weight
- withdrawal from social circle
- depression and anxiety
- low body temperature, and cold hands and feet
- upset stomach
- loss of sleep
- brittle nails
- abnormal heart rhythms
- avoid eating in public
- Skipping meals
Causes of anorexia nervosa
There is no single factor that causes anorexia, there are many factors that contribute to anorexia such as biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Some of the causes are:
- eating disorder during childhood
- having specific perception related to looks and health,
- pressure to be thin
- conscious choice to look thin
- extreme drive for perfectionism
- having had an anxiety disorder
- high levels of anxiety can reduce their desire to eat
- changes in certain genes may place the people at risk for anorexia.
- family history can also put the person at much higher risk of anorexia.
- have obsessive-compulsive personality to maintain strict diets and avoid food despite being hungry.
- dysfunctional family dynamics are the cause of anorexia nervosa
- communication medium, such as TV and fashion magazines, frequently feature skinny models and actors. These images may seem to have negative impact on people who want to look like them ,increasing the risk for anorexia
- Some traumatic events such as death or illness of a near one, can make the person emotionally weak and stressed out and increase the risk of anorexia.
Anorexia Nervosa Treatment
To fight anorexia you need a team of doctors to work on your problem. The team includes a therapist, medical doctor, a professional dietician, and possibly a psychiatrist.
- The focus is nutritional restoration and weight restoration by eating healthy food
- Reduction of other symptoms associated with eating disorder, with the help of a therapist, dietician and a psychiatrist.
- Addressing the issues such as depression, anxiety, social difficulties, or body dysmorphia that can interrupt the treatment
If you observe any of your family member or friends going through the symptoms of anorexia talk to them and encourage them to get treated., Although it may be difficult to come out of this situation, explain them the of consequence this condition, how it can destroy every organ in the body, once the damage is done it cannot be reversed, even when the anorexia is under control.