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Anorexia Nervosa

 

Anorexia is an eating disorder with an obsessive fear of gaining weight. It is characterized by starving, excessive exercising or binging followed by purging through vomiting or use of laxatives to empty the stomach.

Causes

  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Low self esteem
  • Perfectionism
  • Social and cultural pressures
  • Family environment
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Illnesses like arthritis, colitis, kidney failure and cirrhosis of the liver
  • Advanced alcoholism and drug addiction
  • Deficiency of vitamins A, B1,B3 and C
  • Certain medication

Symptoms

  • Body weight that is inconsistent with age, build and height (usually 15% below normal weight).
  • Loss of at least 3 consecutive menstrual periods (in women)
  • Obsessive about calorie intake
  • Not wanting to eat in public
  • Excessive exercising
  • Purging
  • Anxiety
  • Weakness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Brittle nails
  • Dry skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hair loss
  • Constipation
  • Feeling cold
  •  Low concentration

Treatment

  • Psychotherapy: It can be used to improve the self image of the person and to deal with the psychological problems causing anorexia.
  • Nutritional therapy: This can help the person to take a proper diet to gain the required amount of weight.
  • Medications: These are not very helpful in curing anorexia but can be used to treat related symptoms to a certain extent.
  • Hospitalization: In case of dangerously thin people, hospitalization might be required to monitor their health and bring them back to a healthy state.

Prevention  

  • Having a positive self image
  • Healthy view towards food
  • Realistic view of physical appearance
Staying active
 

  
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