Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by a distorted body image and self-starvation despite extremely low body-weight.
An individual suffering from anorexia weigh less than 85 percent of his or her Average weight and experiences re scared to gain weight and to be seen.
This eating disorder mostly affects young women, but recent researches have shown middle-aged women and young men.
What Does It Affect?
This disorder has many effects on the human body. It is a very serious matter because it can lead to death. It can also
the these following problems…
Problems. Physical Problems Organ Damage Digestive system damage Hormonal Changes Psychological Effects and Suicide.
Anorexia can lead to Malnutrition and dehydration. Lack of essential energy requirements and nutrients tax the entire
body and can result in electrolyte disturbances such as hypokalemia (low blood potassium) and hyponatremia (low blood sodium), among others.
Electrolyte disturbances, in turn, can cause heart arrhythmias, irregular heartbeats, and even Heart attacks.
The heart is not the only organ in the cardiovascular system that can be affected by anorexia.
The blood itself may also be damaged. Abnormal blood counts and anemia (low red blood cells or abnormal red blood cells with impaired oxygen-carrying capacity) are not uncommon.
People with Anorexia Nervosa may also bruise easily. Low blood pressure can also be an effect and cause dizziness
Digestive system damage
The digestive system is affected as well. Besides experiencing constant hunger pangs, constipation or bloating may occur. The stomach may shrink in size, making the reintroduction of food troublesome.
The kidneys are not immune either. Further effects of anorexia nervosa may include kidneys stones and even kidney failure.
Psychological Effects and Suicide
Adolescents with eating behaviors associated with anorexia (fasting, frequent exercise to lose weight, and self-induced vomiting) are at high risk for anxiety and depression in young adulthood.
Alcohol and drug abuse are more common in patients with anorexia.
Suicide has been estimated to account for as many as half the deaths in anorexia with studies showing up to a fifth of anorexic patients attempting suicide.
One of the most serious effects of anorexia is hormonal changes, which can have severe health consequences.
Reproductive hormones, including estrogen and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), are lower. Estrogen is important for healthy hearts and bones. DHEA, a weak male hormone, may also be important for bone health and for other functions.
Thyroid hormones are lower. Stress hormones are higher. Growth hormones are lower. The result of many of these hormonal abnormalities in women is long-
term, irregular or absent menstruation (amenorrhea). This can occur early on in anorexia, even before severe weight loss. Over time this causes infertility, bone loss, and other problems. Low weight alone may not be sufficient to cause amenorrhea. Extreme fasting and purging behaviors may play an even stronger role in hormonal disturbance.
Why do people become anorexic?
People become anorexic for many different reasons, but usually people become anorexic from and constant pressure to fit a cultural ideal of the perfect person. Often this ideal of perfect is impossible to achieve, but this doesn’t stop people from trying, even if what they’re doing is dangerous and possibly lethal.
Signs that someone might be anorexic
Making her or himself throw up Taking pills to urinate or have a bowel movement Taking diet pills Not eating or eating very little Exercising a lot, even in bad weather or when
hurt or tired Weighing food and counting calories Eating very small amounts of only certain foods Moving food around the plate instead of eating it
Treatment for anorexia
Ideally, someone recovering from anorexia should be aided by a team of professional health care workers, such as councilors, nutrition councilors, doctors and physiologists.
For a teenager with anorexia, family will play a huge part in recovery. Mental support, emotional and physical support is key.
Once recovered an individual will have to develop a plan to deal with stress and coping with problems to prevent relapse.