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Anorexia Nervosa Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Anorexia Nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa, referred simply as anorexia, is an eating disorder marked by an intense fear of gaining weight, a low body weight and a strong desire to be thin.

There are two types of anorexia; restricting type and purging type.

Those suffering from restricting anorexia tend to perceive themselves as obese and try to control their weight via food restriction.

Moreover, those who suffer from purging anorexia voluntarily vomit after eating or misuse laxatives and diet aids.

Cause Of Anorexia Nervosa:

Although the exact cause of anorexia is still unknown, it is believed to be caused by the combination of number of factors including the following:

  • Biological
  • It is considered to be heritable.
  • prenatal and perinatal complications may factor into the development of anorexia nervosa, such as:
  • maternalanemia,
  • diabetes mellitus
  • preeclampsia,
  • placental infarction,
  • Neonatal cardiac
  • Infections
  • Psychological
  • Sexual abuse
  • Dysfunctional families
  • Sociological
  • Social pressures
  • Media effect
  • Peer pressure

Symptoms Of Anorexia Nervosa:

Those suffering from anorexia nervosa exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Refusal to maintain a normal body mass index for one’s age
  • Amenorrhea, a symptom that occurs after prolonged weight loss;
  1. causes menses to stop,
  2. hair becomes brittle
  3. Skin becomes yellow and unhealthy.
  • Fearful of even the slightest weight gain and takes all precautionary measures to avoid weight gain and becoming overweight
  • Obvious, rapid, dramatic weight loss
  • Lanugo (soft, fine hair growing on the face and body)
  • Obsession with calories and fat content of food
  • Preoccupation with food, recipes, or cooking; may cook elaborate dinners for others, but not eat the food themselves
  • Food restriction despite being underweight
  • Food rituals such as:
  1. cutting food into tiny pieces
  2. refusing to eat around others
  3. hiding or discarding food
  • Purging
  1. Use of laxatives, diet pills, ipecac syrup, or water pills;
  2. self-induced vomiting

Diagnosis Of Anorexia Nervosa:

The following tests and exam help in diagnosing anorexia:

  • Physical exam which include:
  • Measuring height
  • Measuring weight
  • Checking vital signs including
  • Heart rate
  • Blood pressure
  • Temperature
  • Checking skin and nails
  • Examining abdomen
  • Lab tests
  • Psychological evaluation
  • X-rays
  • Electrocardiogram

Treatment Of Anorexia Nervosa:

Treatment for anorexia can be divided into the following categories:

  • Hospitalization
  • Medical care
  • Psychotherapy
  • Family based therapy
  • Individual therapy

By : Natural Health News

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