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Anorexia Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

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Authored by Sanketa Nayak in Diseases, Weight Issues
Published on 01-14-2009

Anorexia Nervosa or anorexia for short is a type of eating disorder where the victim starves himself or herself to death. It usually happens to young people especially teenagers because they are conscious about their weight. People suffering from anorexia are seen to be losing tremendous weight almost 15% below the normal. It is a psychological type of mindset because although these people are so skinny they think they are still overweight. Excessive exercise, taking of laxatives and starving are the techniques usually done by people suffering this kind of illness. It is sometimes compared to bulimia. Although it is under the same category of eating disorder there is a big difference in its symptoms. A bulimic person tends to binge and then throw up afterwards. It is the exact opposite of what an anorexia victim does.

People with anorexia have the intense fear of gaining weight and it certainly affect their diets. If this is not treated it can lead to death. These individuals certainly develop strange eating habits as well. This disorder is common among people in high society or people that have activities and being looked upon by others. In case a member of family or a friend is suffering with this kind of disorder, it is important to know that they need lot of support. Bring them to a doctor or expert who can guide and help them fight this battle.

There are different symptoms of anorexia and it varies among individuals. The most obvious symptom is the weight that is not the usual for age and height. There are also others symptoms including loss of period for women, anxiety, weakness, poor skin, shortness of breath and conscious about calories. When it comes to controlling weight, they are strictly limiting their food intake, exercise a lot, cutting and chewing the food in certain number of times.

Anorexia is often associated with a lot of medical risk. It includes hampered bone growth, loss of minerals, decrease body temperature, irregular heart beat, osteoporosis, fainting, thin hair and failure to grow. Laxatives are also harmful to the body as it tires the bowel muscle and it decreases its function.

The main cause of anorexia is still unknown to experts but according to studies, there are lots of factors that can increase the probability of this sickness including family history, social factors and personality. Most often it is related to having mood disorders like depression and anxiety. It is also part of a mental view of becoming perfect all the time and worrying about not being good enough. Anorexia is most common to teenagers and women.

When doctors diagnose anorexia, they will usually compare your weight to the normal one for your height and age. They will also examine heart, lungs, skin, and other problems that are due to not eating well enough.

People who are suffering anorexia need immediate treatment and support. The earlier you spot the symptoms; the huge chance one can overcome it. An anorexia patient needs a doctor, dietician and counselor all at the same time because it is both an emotional and physical problem. There are no medicines for anorexia however the doctor can prescribe anti depressant medicines if needed. It may take time for someone to overcome anorexia and the risks to go back to old habits are very likely. It is important to seek the help of others and never handle this on your own.

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