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Sep11
Anorexia Nervosa
An eating disorder causing people to obsess about weight and what they eat.





Anorexia Nervosa is a serious, potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss.


The condition commonly involves emotional challenges, an unrealistic body image, and an exaggerated fear of becoming overweight or obese. If often begins during the teenage years or early adulthood, but it can begin in the preteen years. It is the third most common chronic illness among teens.


Eating disorders affect some 30 million men and women in the United States. Both men and women can develop anorexia, but it is 10 times more common in females. Nearly 1 in every 100 American women will experience anorexia some time. Anorexia nervosa is different from anorexia, which means a loss of appetite or inability to eat.


Fast facts on Anorexia Nervosa:


Here are some key points about anorexia nervosa

. Anorexia nervosa is a psychological condition that involves an eating disorder.

. Symptoms include a very low body mass index, a refusal to eat, and attempts to lose weight, even when body mass index is very low.

. It is thought to be triggered by a combination of biological, environmental, and genetic factors.

. Treatment can take some time, but with a combination of counseling and other types of therapy, recovery is possible.


Anorexia nervosa is a psychological condition and an eating disorder in which the individual loses more weight than is healthy for their height and age. The individual will maintain a body weight of 85% or less of their expected weight.


. A person with anorexia will internationally restrict their food intake, generally due to a fear of being or becoming fat, even when their body mass index is already low. They may also practice excessive, use laxatives, and vomit to reduce weight, but to a lesser extent then those diagnosed with bulimia.


.Complication can be severe. An eating disorder is reported t have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Treatment includes hospitalization and counseling.


Symptoms:


Anorexia nervosa is a complex condition, but the main sign is usually severe weight loss. The person may also talk about being overweight, although objective measures, such as BMI, show that this is not true.

Behavioral changes may include a refusal to eat, exercising excessively, and use of laxatives or vomiting after consuming food.



- Severe loss of muscle mass

- Hypotension, or blood pressure
- Listlessness, fatigue, exhaustion

- Lightheadedness or dizziness

- Hypothermia, or low body temperature, and cold hands and feet

- Bloated or upset stomach and constipation

- Dry skin

- Alopecia, or hair loss

- Swollen hands and feet

- Infertility

- Insomnia

- Loss of menstruation or less frequent periods

- Brittle nails

- Osteoporosis, or loss of bone density

- Irregular or abnormal heart rhythms

- Lanugo, fine downy hair growing all over the body, and increased facial hair signs of vomiting include bad breath and tooth decay, due to the acid in the vomit.


Psychological signs and symptoms include:


- Obsession with food, for examples, reading cookery books

- Excessive concern about being fat or overweight

- Frequently measuring and weighing themselves and inspecting their bodies in the mirror

- Lying about food intake

- Not eating or refusing to eat

- Reduce sex drive

- Self- denial

- Lack of emotion or a depressed mood

- Over-exercising

- Irritability

- Memory loss

- Obsessive-compulsive behavior

Food and eating become associated with guilt. It may be difficult to talk to the person about a possible problem, as they will likely refuse to acknowledge that anything is wrong.


Causes:


No single cause has been identified for anorexia nervosa. It probably happens as a result of biological, environmental, and psychological factors.


- Being susceptible to depression and anxiety

- Having difficulty handling stress.

- Being excessively worried, afraid, or doubtful about the future

- Being perfectionist and overly concerned about rules.

- Having a negative self-image

- Having eating problems during early childhood or infancy

- Having had an anxiety disorder during childhood.

- Holding specific regarding beauty and health, which may be influenced by culture or society

- Having a high level of emotional restraint or control over their own behavior and expression, the person may be overly worried about their weight and shape, but this is not necessarily the key factor.


33 and 50 % of people with anorexia also have a mood disorder, such as depression, and around half have an anxiety disorder, such as Obsessive-compulsive disorder and social phobia. This suggests that negative emotions and a low self-image may contribute, in some cases. A person may develop anorexia Nervosa as a way of gaining control of some of their life. As they exert control of their food intake, this feels like success, and so the behavior continues.


Environmental factors:



Environmental factors may include the hormonal changes that occur during puberty, plus feelings of anxiety, stress, and low self-esteem. The fashion industry and media messages suggesting that being thin is beautiful may have an impact.

- Physical, sexual, emotional or other types of abuse

- Family or other relationship problems

- Being bullied

- Fear and pressure to succeed

- A stressful life event, such as bereavement or becoming unemployed.


Genetic Factors:


Studies have found that some people with eating disorders may have an imbalance in certain brain chemicals that control digestion, appetite, and hunger. Further research is needed to confirm this. Genetic factors may affect a person's susceptibility to eating disorders, as they can run in families. between 50 to 80% of the risk for anorexia is thought to be genetic.


Vicious cycle:


Once a person starts losing weight, low weight and lack of nutrients may contribute to brain changes in a way that reinforces the behaviors and obsessive thoughts related to anorexia nervosa. The changes could involve the part of the brain that controls appetite,



Once a person starts losing weight, low weight and lack of nutrients may contribute to brain changes in a way that reinforces the behaviors and obsessive thoughts related to anorexia nervosa.



The changes could involve the part of the brain that controls appetite or they could increase the feelings of anxiety and guilt that become associated with eating.


Anorexia nervosa may have different gut microbial communities than those without the condition. The authors suggested that this could contribute to anxiety, depression, and further weight loss. People with anorexia nervosa are less able to differentiate between different types of positive emotion. This can lead to further weight-loss behavior, as self- deprivation becomes associated with a sense of pride.







Diagnosis:


Diagnosis and prompt treatment increase the chance of a good outcome.


The physician will ask the patient about weight loss, how they feel about their weight, and, for females, about menstruation. It can be hard fo the patient to open up and speak frankly about themselves. It can take years to confirm a diagnosis, especially if the person was previously obese. If the physician detects signs of anorexia nervosa, they may order tests to rule out other underlying medical conditions with similar signs and symptoms.

- Diabetes, Addison's disease

- Chronic infections, Malabsorption

- Immunodeficiency, Cancer

- Inflammatory bowel disease, Hyperthyroidism


Complications:


Complications can affect every body system, and they can be severe.


Physical complications include:


- Cardiovascular problems: These include low heart rate, low blood pressure, and damage to the heart muscle.


- Blood problems: There is a higher risk of developing leukopenia, or low white blood cell count. and anemia, a low red blood cell count.


Gastrointestinal problems: Movement in the intestines slow significantly when a person is severely underweight and eating too little, but this resolves when the diet improves.


Kidney problems: Dehydration can lead to highly concentrated urine and more urine production. The kidneys usually recover as weight levels improve.


Hormonal problems: Lower levels of growth hormones may lead to delayed growth during adolescence.


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