Anorexia nervosa is defined by the persistent restriction of energy intake, intense fear of gaining weight and disturbance in self-perceived weight or shape.
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterised by abnormal weight loss (or lack of appropriate weight gain in growing children); difficulties maintaining an appropriate body weight for height, age, and stature; and, in many individuals, a distorted perception of their own body image. People with anorexia generally restrict the number of calories and the types of food they eat. Some people with the disorder also exercise compulsively, purge via vomiting and laxatives, and/or binge eat.
There are two defined sub-types:
Some people feel that they cannot control vital aspects of their lives, so they channel all their energy into managing their weight, in a desperate attempt to satisfy the need to control their own destiny.
The person’s self-esteem is based primarily on how they think they look. They usually believe that a lean appearance is an absolute necessity for social acceptance and success in the workplace. They then develop an obsessive, ongoing tendency to see themselves as overweight, even after reaching a visual state of emaciation.
Sometimes people start a “safe” weight-reducing diet and then it develops into anorexia nervosa. This may be due to the person being predisposed or vulnerable to developing eating disorders. The onset of anorexia nervosa can be precipitated by a range of social, environmental, genetic and experiential factors, including:
In addition to being underweight, anorexic persons can exhibit any of these signs:
In addition to the common signs of anorexia, symptoms may include:
Medical treatment: Treatment of illnesses due to malnutrition, and prescription medication for patients who need it to resolve extreme symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Nutritional treatment: Professional dieticians can provide advice about safe recovery diets, as well as advice about problematic eating patterns.
Psychological therapy: A widely accepted method for uncovering and healing pre-existing disorders, as well as the current eating disorder. Also prepares affected persons and people close to them for long-term relapse prevention. Dynamic rehabilitation centres offer culinary arrangements as a requisite part of the treatment process.
Eating disorder treatment is determined by the type of disorder and the symptoms you are experiencing. It typically includes a combination of psychological counselling or psychotherapy, nutrition instruction, medical monitoring, and, in some cases, medication.
Other health issues caused by an eating disorder must also be addressed as part of eating disorder therapy, as they can be severe or even fatal if left untreated for too long. If your eating disorder does not improve with conventional treatment or poses a health risk, you may require hospitalization or another type of inpatient program.
A systematic approach to eating disorder treatment can assist you in managing symptoms, regaining a healthy weight, and maintaining your physical and emotional health.