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Anorexia Nervosa

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Anorexia Nervosa Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder where people starve themselves. Anorexia usually begins in young people around the onset of puberty. Individuals suffering from anorexia have extreme weight loss. Weight loss is usually 15% below the person's normal body weight. People suffering from anorexia are very skinny but are convinced that they are overweight. Weight loss is obtained by many ways. Some of the common techniques used are excessive exercise, intake of laxatives and not eating. Anorexics have an intense fear of becoming fat. Their dieting habits develop from this fear. Anorexia nervosa is not associated with any pre-existing physical illness. It is on the increase in adolescent girls and younger women, although the incidence is also increasing in young men. It is often associated with depression and low self-esteem, and sometimes with a resistance to growing up, or problems with sexuality. Many medical workers and others claim that the emphasis in Western society on thinness as being central to the concept of beauty is a prime reason for the increase in anorexia nervosa. ...read more.


The symptoms include: Body weight that is inconsistent with age, build and height (usually 15% below normal weight). Some other symptoms are: * Loss of at least 3 constructive menstrual periods (in women). * Not wanting or refusing to eat in public * Other symptoms are: anxiety, weakness, brittle skin, shortness of breath, obsessiveness about calorie intake. There are many medical risks associated with anorexia. They include: shrunken bones, mineral loss, low body temperature, irregular heartbeat, permanent failure of normal growth, development of osteoporosis and bulimia nervosa. Continued use of laxatives is harmful to the body. It wears out the bowel muscle and causes it to decrease in function. Some laxatives contain harsh substances that may be reabsorbed into your system. In order to have a healthy child, the average pregnant woman should gain between 25 and 35 pounds. Telling this to a person with anorexia is like telling a normal person to gain 100 pounds. ...read more.


It may also impair mental processes, which are usually restored if the condition abates and body weight is restored. People with the condition may also exhibit the practice, known as bulimia, of ingesting large quantities of food and then eliminating them through self-induced vomiting or by using laxatives in order to remain thin. Repeated vomiting depletes the body of fluids and of the element potassium, and the disturbance can adversely affect heart function. The biggest difference between anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa is that people suffering from bulimia eat large amounts of food and then throw up. This is called binge and purge. Anorexics do not eat large amounts and throw up. Bulimics do. Also bulimia isn't considered life threatening whereas anorexia is. No generally recognized therapy for anorexia nervosa exists. Patients may benefit from treatment with antidepressant drugs. The normalization of body weight is an important step in the management of the condition. Psychotherapy, including family therapy, often helps, and about half of cases resolve themselves without relapses. The behavioural problem may lead to actual chemical disorders in the body, however, which may aggravate the condition. ...read more.

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