Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder in which a person refuses to stay at even the minimum body weight considered normal for their age and height. Persons with this disorder may have an intense fear of weight gain and a distorted body image. Inadequate eating or excessive exercising results in severe weight loss.
Causes Of ANOREXIA
Anorexia nervosa usually occurs in adolescence or young adulthood. It is more common in females. The eating disorder is seen mainly in Caucasian women who are high academic achievers and have a goal-oriented family or personality.
Some experts have suggested that conflicts within a family may contribute to this eating disorder. It is thought that anorexia is a way for a child to draw attention away from marital problems, for example, and bring the family back together.
Other psychologists have suggested that anorexia may be an attempt by young women to gain control and separate from their mothers
Weight loss of 15% or greater below the expected weight
Inappropriate use of laxatives, enemas, or diuretics (water pills) in an effort to lose weight
Self-imposed food intake restrictions, often hidden
Skeletal muscle atrophy
Loss of fatty tissue
Low blood pressure
Dental cavities due to self-induced vomiting
Blotchy or yellow skin
Why do people get anorexia?
The reason some people get anorexia isn't known. People with anorexia may believe they would be happier and more successful if they were thin. They want everything in their lives to be perfect. People who have this disorder are usually good students. They are involved in many school and community activities. They blame themselves if they don't get perfect grades, or if other things in life are not perfect.
How can family and friends help ?
The most important thing that family and friends can do to help a person with anorexia is to love them. People with anorexia feel safe, secure and comfortable with their illness. Their biggest fear is gaining weight, and gaining weight is seen as loss of control. They may deny they have a problem. People with anorexia will beg and lie to avoid eating and gaining weight, which is like giving up the illness. Family and friends should not give in to the pleading of the anorexic patient.