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Anorexia Nervosa


Anorexia nervosa, the term sounds a little strange, but the condition isn’t strange at all. How often have you seen ultra thin women walking in the shopping mall? How often your friend skips all the delicious food saying that she is afraid of gaining weight? Well, all the women falling in these categories are suffering from anorexia nervosa, also known as anorexia.

What is anorexia nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa is a fear of gaining excessive weight. People, who are suffering from this disorder, generally women, stay away from food in the fear of getting fat. They limit their food intake and starve to death, even though she is already slim. It occurs in early to mid- adolescence.

Records have it that about 90 to 95 % of people who suffer from anorexia are women. It is considered as one of the commonest psychiatric disorder in young women. About 5 to 20 % sufferers die of anorexia and it has highest death rate of any mental disorder.

What Are The Causes OF Anorexia Nervosa?

  • Stress And Traumatic Events

Life changing events like death of someone very close or rape and stressful things like jobs, family issues might cause onset of anorexia.

  • Family History

If your mother or your sister is anorexic, it is more likely that you become anorexic.

  • Culture

Majority of women in the United States Of America are anorexic.

  • Biological Factors

Hormones, genes and chemicals in brain are also responsible for developing anorexia.

  • Personality Traits

A woman who is already negative for herself, who is unhappy with herself is susceptible to develop anorexia.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Anorexia Nervosa?

A woman suffering from anorexia nervosa has:

  • Low body weight with respect to height
  • Feels that she is fat even if she is slim
  • Stays under constant fear of getting fat
  • Does not wish to maintain normal body weight
  • Take medications to urinate and have bowel movements
  • Eat vary little or absolutely nothing
  • Consume diet pills
  • Workout excessively
  • Girls who have just started to have their periods misses three periods consecutively
  • Weigh food and count calories
  • Move food around the plate instead of having it
  • Wear baggy clothes considering that she is fat

Women with anorexia often have physical or psychiatric illness like anxiety, depression, obsessive behaviour, substance abuse, cardiological or nervous problem, etc.

What Are The Consequences Of Anorexia Nervosa?

  • Loss of muscle and weakness
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Hair loss
  • Severe dehydration that might lead to renal failure
  • Osteoporosis
  • Hypotension
  • Slow heart rate
  • Growth of a layer of hair on body as well as face.

What Is The Treatment Of Anorexia Nervosa?

The treatment plan for anorexia nervosa consists of:

  • Treating the underlying psychological disorder, restoring healthy weight and psychotherapy for the sufferers.
  • Giving a healthy diet that is loaded with energy, essential vitamins and mineral, and all other nutrients.
  • Family- based treatment like Conjoint Family Therapy (CFT) and Separated Family Therapy (SFT) is quite effective in dealing with anorexia nervosa.
  • Medications are not effective in treating anorexia nervosa.