What Is Anorexia?
Anorexia is an eating disorder where people starve themselves. Anorexia usually begins in young people around the onset of puberty. Individuals suffering from anorexia have extreme weight loss. Weight loss is usually 15% below the person's normal body weight. People suffering from anorexia are very skinny but are convinced that they are overweight. Weight loss is obtained by many ways. Some of the common techniques used are excessive exercise, intake of laxatives and not eating.
Anorexics have an intense fear of becoming fat. Their dieting habits develop from this fear. Anorexia mainly affects adolescent girls.
People with anorexia continue to think they are overweight even after they become extremely thin, are very ill or near death. Often they will develop strange eating habits such as refusing to eat in front of other people. Sometimes the individuals will prepare big meals for others while refusing to eat any of it.
The disorder is thought to be most common among people of higher socioeconomic classes and people involved in activities where thinness is especially looked upon, such as dancing, theater, and distance running
A Family Member has an Eating Disorder
If you have a family member that with an Eating Disorder, 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.
Symptoms of Anorexia
There are many symptoms for anorexia, some individuals may not experience all of they symptoms. The symptoms include: Body weight that is inconsistent with age, build and height (usually 15% below normal weight).
Some other symptoms of anorexia are:
- Loss of at least 3 consecutive menstrual periods (in women).
- Not wanting or refusing to eat in public
- Brittle skin
- Shortness of breath
- Obsessiveness about calorie intake
Medical Consequences of anorexia
There are many medical risks associated with anorexia. They include: shrunken bones, mineral loss, low body temperature, irregular heartbeat, permanent failure of normal growth, development of osteoporosis and bulimia nervosa
Continued use of laxatives is harmful to the body. It wears out the bowel muscle and causes it to decrease in function. Some laxatives contain harsh substances that may be reabsorbed into your system.
Anorexia and Pregnancy
In order to have a healthy child, the average pregnant woman should gain between 25 and 35 pounds. Telling this to a person with anorexia is like telling a normal person to gain 100 pounds. If you are anorexic, you may have trouble conceiving a baby and carrying it to term. Irregular menstrual cycles and weak bones make it more difficult to conceive. If you are underweight and do not eat the proper variety of foods, you and your baby could be in danger.
Women with eating disorders have higher rates of miscarriages and your baby might be born prematually which puts them at risk for many medical problems.
All pregnant women should receive proper prenatal care. Those recovering from anorexia or bulimia need special care. You should always take your prenatal vitamins and have regular prenatal visits. You should not exercise unless your doctor says it is okay and it is a good idea to enroll in a prenatal exercise class to be sure you are not overexerting yourself.
Anorexia in the News
Anorexia and Aging. Anorexia may be a serious disease for old men.
Good news about Anorexia
- Anorexia can be overcome.
- With proper care, you can overcome your eating disorder and have a healthy child.
- One percent of teenage girls in the U.S. develop anorexia nervosa and up to 10% of those may die as a result.
Difference between anorexia and bulimia
The biggest difference between anorexia and bulimia is that people suffering from bulimia eat large amounts of food and then throw up. This is called binge and purge. Anorexics do not eat large amounts and throw up.
What is Bulimia?
Bulimia, also called bulimia nervosa, is a psychological eating disorder. Bulimia is characterized by episodes of binge-eating followed by inappropriate methods of weight control (purging). Inappropriate methods of weight control include vomiting, fasting, enemas, excessive use of laxatives and diuretics, or compulsive exercising. Excessive shape and weight concerns are also characteristics of bulimia. A binge is an episode where an individual eats a much larger amount of food than most people would in a similar situation. Binge eating is not a response to intense hunger. It is usually a response to depration, stress, or self esteem issues. During the binge episode, the individual experiences a loss of control. However, the sense of a loss of control is also followed by a short-lived calmness. The calmness is often followed by self-loathing. The cycle of overeating and purging usually becomes an obsession and is repeated often.
Bulimia was only diagnosed as its own eating disorder in the 1980s.
People with bulimia can look perfectly normal. Most of them are of normal weight, and some may be overweight. Women with bulimia tend to be high achievers.
It is often difficult to determine whether a person is suffering from Bulimia. This occurs because bingeing and purging is often done in secret. Also, individuals suffering from Bulimia often deny their condition.
Sufferers consume huge quantities of food. Sometimes up to 20,000 calories at a time. The foods on which they binge tend to be foods labeled as "comfort foods" -- sweet foods, high in calories, or smooth, soft foods like ice cream, cake, and pastry. An individual may binge anywhere from twice a day to several times daily.taken from www.freakingNews.com & http://www.mamashealth.com/anorexia.a