By Caitlyn McDevitt Block: 2
What it is
Anorexia: an emotional disorder characterized by an obsessive desire to lose weight by refusing to eat. A patient with Anorexia has a distorted body image and an exaggerated fear of becoming obese. They may do too much exercise, diet, use laxatives and other methods to get leaner. Anorexia tends to begin during a person's teenage years or early adulthood (third most common chronic illness among teenagers). People are more likely to develop anorexia if they suffer from anxiety, depression, or have low self esteem. Signs and symptoms of anorexia: severe weight loss, fatigue, low blood pressure, low body temperature, bloated stomach, infertility, insomnia, loss of bone density, brittle nails, lanugo, and bad breath.
Harmful effects on the body and emotional effects
Infertility, death, kidney problems, weak bones, and cardiovascular problems.
Clinical depression, distorted body images, and mood swings
- Restoring the patient's body weight to a healthy level.
- Treating emotional problems, including low self-esteem.
- Addressing distorted thinking.
- Helping the patient develop behavioral changes that will persist over the long term.
Psychotherapy, medication, nutrition counseling, and hospitalization
How others can help
24 million people suffer from eating disorders