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Anorexia - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

Anorexia is an eating disorder which is characterized by unusually low body weight, distorted perception of body weight and fear of becoming fat or obese. People with anorexia have an obsession on controlling their shape and weight, they usually use a lot of efforts to reduce their body weight and this interferes with their day to day activities. To prevent gaining weight, people with anorexia restrict eating a large amount of food. They control their calories by misusing enemas, diuretics, diet aids and laxatives. Sometimes, they also resort to vomiting after eating their meal. Anorexia can give you psychological stress about self worth, body image and social acceptance.

How would you know if your loved one has anorexia?

There can be a possibility that your loved one might have anorexia, it is recommended to watch out for these possible signs:

  • Skipping meals
  • Making unusual excuses for not eating food.
  • Eating only foods that are low in calories and fat.
  • Adopting certain eating rituals (spitting food or vomiting after eating) and rigid meal schedule.
  • Cooking meals for others but avoid eating any of it.
  • Checking their weight repeatedly.
  • Checking in the mirror for any perceived flaws.
  • Complaining and whining about being fat.
  • Refusing to eat in public.
  • Eroded teeth and knuckle calluses which occur if they vomit regularly.
  • Covering themselves in a lot of clothes.

What causes anorexia?

  • Biological- There can be genetic changes in a person’s body which can make them more prone to developing anorexia. Some people can also have a genetic tendency directed towards perseverance, sensitivity and perfectionism (traits which are associated with anorexia).
  • Psychological- Many emotional characteristics can also contribute to anorexia. Women who have OCD (Obsessive compulsive disorder) are at a higher risk of developing anorexia. This occurs because they can have an excessive drive for perfectionism, this can make them think they’re never too thin enough.
  • Environmental- In today’s world, worth and success is equated with being thin. Peer pressure also helps fuel the desire which exists mostly among young girls.
  • Risks factors which contribute in developing anorexia:

    • If you are a girl, you can be at a higher risk of developing anorexia.
    • Changes in some genes can make people more prone to anorexia.
    • If one or both your parents have anorexia, there are chances that you can develop anorexia too.
    • Artistic and sports related activities- Models, dancers, actors and athletes are at a higher risk of developing anorexia.
Treatable by medical professional Usually self diagnosable Lab test not required Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong Non communicable
Extreme weight loss Fatigue Insomnia Fainting Dizziness Inability to menstruate Constipation

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Popular Questions & Answers

Hey. M 17 amd have 49 kg weight I wanna reduce it in a healthy way but the problem is I can't exclude rice from my diet as m used to eat once or twice a day since birth, I already added walk of an hour in my daily routine what else can I do.

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Dear Lybrate User, Weight is only one parameter in the grand scale of health. You have to eat some carbohydrate that is roti 3 or bread 3 slices or cereal 1 Bowl with breakfast. You can reduce to 200 ml milk. Eggs also can be 2 numbers. Lunch you can include dhal. Dinner also you can include Dhal or whole pulses instead of eggs again. More variety in foods will add more nutrients to your health. Being healthy, having no tiredness and able to be brisk all day. These are signs of health.
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My daughter 18 years old. She is not interested in food, under weight and week. She will exhaust by evening. If we try to feed some more food, she will vomiting. Who is the specialist to consult, general physician or nutrition?

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A thorough medical examination is essential if she has a poor appetite and vomits when tries to eat more. A nutritionist can help only after the appetite is resumed. At times young girls do this purposely to keep a zero figure which is a eating disorder called as anorexia nervosa. Get that ruled out.

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