Anorexia nervosa is an unhealthy eating disorder. it is indicated by body weight is too low for the person’s age and height.
People who suffer from anorexia experience extreme fear of weight gain, even when they are skinny.
Anorexic patients will make various attempts to diet, overdo physical activity, or make other attempts to prevent weight gain such as taking deliberate laxatives and vomiting to lose weight.
What are the causes?
The leading cause of anorexia nervosa is still unknown. However, various influencing factors include depression and various other mental disorders. Genes and hormones also play an essential role. Social media can also affect one’s perception of beauty standards that are fragile posture.
Risk factors of Anorexia Nervosa
Some of the risk factors below may affect your chances of developing anorexia nervosa:
- Family history: If you have an anorexia-affected mother or sister, you can become very susceptible to the condition.
- Low self-esteem: A person suffering from anorexia may not like themselves. They may either hate their appearance or feel hopeless. They often set challenging goals for themselves to be or feel as perfect as they want.
- Life changes and stressful experiences: Traumatic events, such as sexual violence, and monumental changes, such as starting a new job, can trigger anorexia.
- Social media influence: Social media often campaign for thinner body types to seem better. The photographs indicate that being thin is a success and beautiful. This point can be another risk.
Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa
The most common symptoms are of anorexia nervosa show as:
- Terrible fear of weight gain or fatness, even when you is thin
- Spewing food deliberately
- Taking medications that stimulate urination and defecation
- Consume various types of diet drugs
- Not eating or eating very little
- Exercise a lot even when the weather is terrible or sick and tired (excessive exercise)
- Weighing the size of the food and counting the calories of food.
Anorexia nervosa can result in some psychological effects that result in unusual behavior. For example, anorexic patients usually talk about weight and food. They avoid eating in crowds, have mood swings, and feel low. Moreover, they avoid socializing with family and friends.
Anorexia patients may also experience physical and psychological disorders, such as:
- No menstruation (amenorrhea)
- Hair that is thin and easy to fall out
- Irregular heart rhythm
In addition to the symptoms mentioned above, other symptoms can happen too. Monitor your symptoms and see if they get worse.
When Should You Seek Help?
Anorexia nervosa can be very threatening to a person’s life when they have reached a fragile body condition. Most people who experience anorexia will reject the treatment given because they do not feel having a problem. The best thing will be to support them and make sure that they have problems and need medical treatment.
Diagnosing Anorexia Nervosa
Doctors diagnose the patient’s medical history, physical examination, and laboratory tests to elaborate on other conditions. No specific test was made to determine anorexia.
However, extreme weight loss without physical illness, especially in adolescent girls, is a vital sign.
Some questions your doctor might ask you:
- Did your notice your weight change?
- Do you exercise regularly?
- Are you using a specific method of losing weight?
- Have you ever vomited when you feel too full?
- Has anyone ever said that you are too thin?
- Do you often think about food?
- Have you ever had food to eat later?
- Is there a family you are also experiencing eating disorders?
If there is a suspicion of anorexia nervosa, the doctor will ask you to perform a series of additional tests like:
- Test bone density to check for bone loss
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Test kidney function
- Liver function tests
- Amount of protein
- Test thyroid function
Is anorexia more common in women?
Anorexia nervosa is more common in women than in men. Often anorexia begins to arise during pre-adolescence or adolescence, as well as early adulthood.
Anorexia nervosa can lead to very extreme low weight and can be life-threatening if not treated immediately.
The greatest challenge in dealing with anorexia nervosa is to make them aware that they have a nuisance.
Many anorexic patients deny that they have an unhealthy diet. Unfortunately, the sufferers who end up doing medical treatment are those who realize the problem. Treatment for anorexia nervosa sufferer may be:
- Therapy through conversation is often done to young patients or someone who has only recently suffered anorexia to encourage them to return to a healthy diet.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (a type of therapy through conversation).
- Group therapy.
- Family therapy.
When administered as part of a complete treatment program, drugs such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers can help some anorexic patients. In addition, these medications can help deal with depression and anxiety.
Although medicines can help, no one has ever been proven to eliminate a patient’s desire to lose weight.
What can be done to overcome anorexia nervosa at home?
Here are some healthy lifestyle and home remedies that can help you deal with anorexia nervosa:
- Reduce stress
- Make peace with yourself, admit that you have the problem
- Eat foods as recommended by doctors or nutritionists
- Regularly follow a counseling session
- Take medications on time
- Buy clothes that fit your figure, not clothes that require you to lose weight first to wear them
- Love yourself
Anorexia nervosa is a debilitating disorder that is more common in teens and young girls. With proper treatment and precautions, it can get under control. If the symptoms tend to get worse despite treatment, consult your healthcare provider.