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Anorexia Nervosa Information

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder. Anorexia nervosa is found in all social groups and almost all cultural groups. People with anorexia are terrified of becoming obese and refuse to maintain a normal weight, putting themselves in danger of starvation. They lose a lot of weight and are terrified of gaining weight. Puberty, deaths in the family and other life stresses are all believed to be potential triggers of anorexia. Most people with anorexia are female. The exact cause of anorexia nervosa is not known, but social attitudes towards body appearance, as well as family factors, are believed to play a role in its development. The condition usually occurs in adolescence or young adulthood. It usually starts in the teenage years. Anorexia isn't just a problem with food or weight. It's an attempt to use food and weight to deal with emotional problems. It is characterized by low body weight and body image distortion. Many people with anorexia refuse to admit they have a problem. They either never get help, or delay getting help for many years. Patients with anorexia nervosa often display other personality characteristics such as a desire for perfection, academic success, lack of age-appropriate sexual activity, and a denial of hunger in the face of starvation.

Anorexia can become a lifelong illness, although it is possible to fully recover with proper treatment. People with anorexia typically have a disturbed electrolyte balance, particularly low levels of phosphate which has been linked to heart failure, muscle weakness, immune dysfunction, and ultimately, death. Girls with anorexia usually stop having menstrual periods. People with anorexia have dry skin and thinning hair on the head. They may have a growth of fine hair all over their body. Anorexia nervosa is seen mainly in Caucasian women who are high academic achievers and have a goal-oriented family or personality. Some experts have suggested that conflicts within a family may contribute to this eating disorder. Other psychologists have suggested that anorexia may be an attempt by young women to gain control and separate from their mothers. The causes, however, are still not well understood. Anorexia nervosa is significantly more frequent in white populations than in people of other races, but it has been reported among all races. Anorexia nervosa is a potentially life-threatening illness, and should be treated as soon as possible. Anorexia is usually treated with a combination of individual therapy, family therapy, behavior modification, and nutritional rehabilitation.

Causes of Anorexia nervosa

The common causes and risk factor's of Anorexia nervosa include the following:

  • The exect cause of anorexia nervosa is not clear.
  • A family history of Anorexia nervosa.
  • Severe trauma or emotional stress (such as the death of a loved one or sexual abuse) during puberty or prepuberty.
  • Genes, hormones, and chemicals in the brain may be factors in developing anorexia.
  • Confusion with sexuality and sexual identity may be a factor.

Symptoms of Anorexia nervosa

Some sign and symptoms related to Anorexia nervosa are as follows:

  • Dramatic weight loss.
  • Dehydration.
  • Yellowing of the skin.
  • Denies feelings of hunger.
  • Skeletal muscle atrophy.
  • Loss of fatty tissue.
  • Cessation of periods or delayed development in puberty.
  • Muscle loss and weakness.
  • Poor concentration.

Treatment of Anorexia nervosa

Here is list of the methods for treating Anorexia nervosa:

  • Anorexia is usually treated with a combination of individual therapy, family therapy, behavior modification, and nutritional rehabilitation.
  • Antidepressant medication may be advised in addition to talking treatments in some situations.
  • Severe and life-threatening malnutrition may require intravenous feeding.
  • If the weight loss becomes serious (more than 20 to 25 per cent less than total normal body weight) admission to hospital may be required.
  • Anorexia nervosa is best treated with a combination of psychotherapy and medication.


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