Anorexia

By: Alyssa F

Introduction

The eating disorder I am going to be talking to you about is anorexia. According to dictionary.com anorexia means loss of appetite and inability to eat. The formal medical name of this condition is Anorexia Nervosa. A common name for this condition is the part of ana is short for anorexia nervosa and mia refers to bulimia which are two very similar eating disorders. It's important to know about anorexia because anorexia is the third most common long-term illness among teenagers. It is the most common death up to 12 times higher than any other condition among young women ages 15-24.

What Causes Anorexia?

The exact cause of anorexia is unknown but however this condition can sometimes run in families; young women with a parent or sibling with an eating disorder are likelier to develop one themselves. Research shows that a combination of certain personality traits, emotions, and thinking patterns as well as biological and environmental factors can be a cause. “Feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem, anxiety, anger, or loneliness also might contribute to the development of the disorder. In addition, people with eating disorders might have troubled relationships, or have a history of being teased about their size or weight.” WebMd.com states.

Who gets Anorexia?

Eating disorders like anorexia are most common in females rather than males. The risk of developing an eating disorder is models, dancers, and athletes in sports where appearance and/or weight are important, such as wrestling, boxing, gymnastics, and figure skating. “People with anorexia tend to be very high achievers, performing very well in school, sports, work, and other activities. They tend to be perfectionists with obsessive, anxious, or depressive symptoms.” says WebMd.com.

Facts

1. Anorexia is the most common death up to 12 times higher than any other condition among young women ages 15-24.

2. People with anorexia can damage almost all their organ systems and their body parts. Some are the brain, liver, kidney, heart, bones, teeth, skin, and hair.

3. Anorexia is the third most common long-term illness among teenagers.

4. Males make up about 10 to 15 percent of those who suffer from anorexia.

5. Psychiatric conditions like depression, bipolar disorder and substance abuse disorder often go hand in hand with anorexia.

6. Anorexia usually occurs in young women because they feel like they can’t live up to a perfectly amazing body.

7. Some other factors are extreme dietary restrictions, overpowering fear of weight gain, a self image of weight and body size, losing a significant percentage of one's normal weight, and striving for an abnormally low body weight at all costs.

8. Anorexia usually starts around when puberty starts but it can develop at any other time.

9. People with anorexia nervosa have intense fears of becoming fat and see themselves as fat even when they are very thin. These individuals may try to correct this perceived "flaw" by strictly limiting food intake and exercising excessively in order to lose weight.

10. They may feel the pressure of new schools, changing relationships, dissolving families, college admission processes, and school debt concerns.

5 Things a Person can do to Maintain their Health

1. You can change your habits and thoughts. Often, clients are provided with cognitive behavioral therapy, in which they’re encouraged to pinpoint the specific thoughts and behaviors that lead them to disordered eating and exercise behaviors. Therapy sessions can be held one on one with a counselor, or therapy can take place in groups where many people come together to discuss their disorders and learn from one another.

2. Some treatment programs provide medications in order to help clients to revise their behaviors. For example, the National Institute of Mental Health reports that Prozac appears to reduce purging behaviors and binge eating episodes among people who have bulimia nervosa.

3. The first thing you should do to treat anorexia is admit you have a problem. That could usually be difficult if you still think that weight loss is the key to happiness, confidence, and success.

4. “It’s important to find a professional counselor or nutritionist who specializes in anorexia or bulimia. As you search, focus on finding the right fit, someone who makes you feel comfortable, accepted, and safe” according to helpguide.org. You can find someone local in your area by asking your primary care doctor, check with local hospitals or medical centers, ask your school counselor or nurse, or you can call the National Eating Disorders Association toll free hotline at 1-800-931-2237. 5. You can assemble a complete eating disorder treatment team. Your team might include a family doctor, a psychologist, a nutritionist, a social worker, and a psychiatrist. Then you and your team will develop a treatment plan that’s individualized to meet your needs. This information can be found at helpguide.org.

5. Eat healthier foods with consulting with your doctor first.

Symptoms

  • Rapid weight loss over several weeks or months.
  • Continue to diet even when you're looking very thin or your weight is low.
  • Intense fear of gaining weight Strange eating habits or routines, such as eating in secret.
  • Feeling fat, even when you're underweight.
  • Striving for perfection and being very self critical.
  • Frequent illness
  • Wearing loose clothing to hide weight loss
  • Compulsive exercising
  • Feeling worthless or hopeless.
  • Dry or yellowing skin Swollen joints Tooth decay

Citations

"Anorexia Nervosa." : Signs, Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2015.

"Anorexia Nervosa." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.

"Anorexia Nervosa – Facts, Symptoms, Causes." Walden Behavioral Care Anorexia Nervosa Facts Symptoms Causes Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Mar. 2015.