Anorexia Eating Disorder

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When Anorexia Hits 

Anorexia Eating Disorder 

When Anorexia Hits

Anorexia is a disorder where people starve themselves. 

Anorexia usually begins in young people around the onset of puberty. 

Individuals suffering from this problem have extreme weight loss. 

Weight loss is usually 15% below the person's normal body weight. 

People suffering from this disorder are usually very skinny, but at the same time are convinced they are overweight. 

Weight loss is obtained by many ways. 

Some of the common techniques used are:-

  • Excessive exercise. 

  • Intake of laxatives

  • Not eating properly. 

Karen Carpenter of the Carpenters fame, who died at the age of 32 on February 4, 1983, is a famous example of anorexia fatality. 

Like Karen, anorexics develop their dieting habits based on their fear of becoming fat. 

Another example of it is Lady Diana, who had a mild case of bulimia (a disease similar to anorexia), although it was not clear whether she was suffering from the malady at the time of her tragic death or not. 

Anorexia affects adolescent girls. People continue to be under this impression that they are overweight even though they are extremely thin, ill or near death. 

They develop strange eating habits such as refusing to eat in front of people, at times they will prepare big meals for others while refuse to eat even a bit. 

The disorder is thought to be most common among whites, people of higher socioeconomic classes, and people involved in activities where thinness is especially looked upon, such as dancing, theater, and distance running. 

If you have a family member with an eating disorder like anorexia, they need a lot of support. 

Suggest that your family member see an eating disorder expert. 

Be prepared for denial, resistance, and even anger. A doctor and/or a counselor can help them battle their eating disorder. 

What are the symptoms of anorexia? 

The symptoms include: 

Body weight that is inconsistent with age, build and height (usually 15% below normal weight). 

Though there are many symptoms for this disease, not every symptom is experienced by an individual. 

Some of the symptoms are:- 

  • Inconsistent body weight of the person. In Accordance with the age, build and height (usually 15% below normal weight). 

  • Loss of at least 3 consecutive menstrual periods. 

  • Not wanting, or refusing to eat in public. 

  • Anxiety

  • weakness

  • brittle skin

  • shortness of breath

  • obsession with calorie counting 

Treatment for this disease should include both a mental health professional as well as a primary health care physician. 

It is treatable if the patient recognizes the emotional disturbance, wants help and cooperates in any treatment offered. 

Without treatment, this disease can cause permanent disability or even death. 

Persons with this disease have a high rate of attempted suicide due to low self esteem. 

Some of the complications developed in this disease are:-

  • It will become chronic if the patient resists treatment 

  • Life threatening electrolyte disturbances or irregular heartbeat 

  • Osteoporosis

The goal is that the patient establishes a healthy eating pattern to regain the normal weight. 

This can be done with behavior-modification training under the guidance of qualified professionals. 

Treatment can be completed on an outpatient basis. 

Psychotherapy or counseling is needed for the patient as well as for the family members. 

Hospitalization is needed at the time of a crisis. 

Tube feeding to correct electrolyte imbalance or if the patient is suicidal. 

Therapy may last for years and relapses are common if there are many stressful situations.

The author of this Eating Disorder is Hosea Delbar

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This Eating Disorder Article was submitted by Hosea Delbar for publication.

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© Anthony George 2005 Anorexia Eating Disorder