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Anorexia Eating Disorder
Signs, Symptoms, Effects and Treatment of Anorexia Nervosa
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Anorexia Eating Disorders Causing Extreme Calorie Reduction, Weight Loss and Metabolic Health Effects

Anorexia Nervosa - Eating Disorder

What is Anorexia Nervosa?

'Anorexia nervosa' means 'loss of appetite for nervous reasons' but this is misleading because the person has, in fact, lost the ability to allow themselves to satisfy their appetite.

They restrict the amount they eat and drink, sometimes to a dangerous level. They focus on food in an attempt to cope with life, rather than to starve to death. It is a way of demonstrating that they are in control of their body weight and shape.

Ultimately, however, the illness itself takes control and the chemical changes in the body affect the brain and distort thinking, making it impossible for the person to make rational decisions about food. As the illness progresses, many people will suffer from the exhaustion of starvation.

It is very rare, but occasionally people die from the effects of anorexia.

Anorexia Eating Disorder - Physical Signs

- In adults, extreme weight loss
- In children and teenagers, poor or inadequate weight gain in relation to their growth
- Constipation and abdominal pains
- Dizzy spells and fainting
- Swollen stomach, face and ankles
- Downy hair on the body; loss of hair on the head when recovering
- Poor blood circulation and feeling cold
- Dry, rough, discolored skin
- Disrupted menstrual cycles
- In men, loss of libido
- Loss of bone mass and, eventually osteoporosis (brittle bones)

Anorexia Eating Disorder - Psychological Signs

- Intense fear of gaining weight, even within the normal weight range according to height
- Distorted perception of body shape or weight
- Denial of the existence of a problem
- Changes in personality and mood swings
- Behavioral signs in anorexia
- Rituals attached to eating, such as cutting food into tiny pieces
- Secrecy
- Restlessness and hyperactivity
- Wearing big baggy clothes
- Vomiting; taking laxatives

Anorexia Eating Disorder - Long Term Effects

The long-term effects of anorexia on the body and mind can be alarming and severe. Women with anorexia tend to find it more difficult to become pregnant, and there is the possibility of developing osteoporosis later in life. Fortunately, many of these effects can be reversed - once the body receives proper and regular nourishment.

Once the person is on the path to recovery, it can take some weeks or months for the body and mind to re-adjust. Eating and drinking regularly can cause their body to become bloated temporarily. Personality and mood swings may also take a while to settle, depending on the emotional difficulties associated with anorexia. Anorexia and the family Anorexia not only affects the person with the disorder - the whole family is affected. Each family is different but some common trends have been identified.

Anorexia Eating Disorder - Who Develops Anorexia

People who develop anorexia have usually been compliant and obedient children. They would be less likely to become angry than their brothers or sisters and would have been eager to please. They have often hidden their inner-feelings and anxieties. They fear failure and have an overwhelming desire to please and care for others. They are committed to achieving high standards set - or that they assume have been set - by parents or teachers. Often the high standards are self-imposed. Some families are so close and loving that the child finds it difficult to become independent. They may be fearful that they cannot manage on their own away from the family. Anorexia demonstrates independence through control over food and eating.


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