Understanding Anorexia – Anorexia nervosa is an unhealthy eating disorder, indicated by body weight that is too low for the person’s age and height. People who suffer from anorexia experience extreme fear of weight gain, even when they are actually very thin.

Anorexic patients will make various attempts to diet, over-do physical activity, or make other attempts to prevent weight gain (such as taking deliberate laxatives and vomiting) to lose weight.  Anorexia nervosa diagnosis

How common is anorexia nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa is more common in women than in men. Often anorexia begins to arise during pre-adolescence or during adolescence, as well as early adulthood. Anorexia nervosa can lead to very extreme low weight and can be life-threatening if not treated immediately. Always consult a doctor for more information.

Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa

The most common anorexia symptoms are:

  • Terrible fear of weight gain or fatness, even when she is thin
  • Spewing food deliberately
  • Taking medications that stimulate urination and defecation
  • Consume various types of diet drugs
  • Not eating or eating very little
  • Exercise a lot even when the weather is bad or sick and tired (excessive exercise)
  • Weighing the size of the food and counting the calories of food.

Anorexia can also cause psychological effects that make a person not behave as usual. They can talk a lot about weight and food, not eating in front of crowds, be moody and sad, or even not socialize with friends. Anorexic patients may also experience physical and psychological disorders, such as:

  • Depression
  • No menstruation (amenorrhea)
  • Dehydration
  • Osteoporosis
  • Hair that is thin and easy to fall out
  • Irregular heart rhythm

Also, there are also some features and symptoms that are not mentioned above. If you have the same complaint, please consult your doctor.

When Should I See a Doctor?

If you have any of the above characteristics or symptoms or have any other questions, please consult a doctor. Anorexia can be very threatening to a person’s life when he or she has reached a very thin body condition. Most people who experience anorexia will reject the treatment given because they do not feel having a problem. The best thing to do is to provide support to them and make sure that they do have problems and need medical treatment.

Causes of Anorexia Nervosa

The main cause of anorexia nervosa is still unknown. Various influencing factors include depression and various other mental disorders. Genes and hormones also play an important role. Social media can also affect one’s perception of beauty standards that are very thin posture.

Anorexia nervosa case

Risk factors of Anorexia Nervosa

Some of the risk factors below may affect your chances of developing anorexia nervosa:

  • Family history. If you have anorexia-affected mother or sister, you can become very susceptible to anorexia
  • Low self-esteem. A person suffering from anorexia may not like himself. They may either hate their appearance or feel hopeless. They often set goals that are difficult to achieve for themselves to be or feel as perfect as they want
  • Life changes or stressful experiences. Traumatic events, such as sexual violence, as well as monumental changes, such as starting a new job, can trigger anorexia
  • Social media influence. Images on TV, the internet, and print media often campaign for thinner body types seem better. The photographs indicate that being thin is a success and beauty. This point can be another risk

Anorexia nervosa

How to Treat Anorexia Nervosa?

The greatest challenge in dealing with anorexia nervosa is to make them aware that they have a nuisance. Many anorexic patients deny that they have an unhealthy diet. The sufferers who end up doing medical treatment are just those who are really serious. Treatment for anorexia sufferer may be:

  • Therapy through conversation is often done to young patients or someone who has only recently suffered anorexia to encourage them to return to a healthy diet.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (a type of therapy through conversation).
  • Group therapy.
  • Family therapy.

Drugs such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers can help some anorexic patients when administered as part of a complete treatment program. These medications can help deal with depression and anxiety. Although medicines can help, no one has ever been proven to eliminate a patient’s desire to lose weight completely.

What are the tests for diagnosing anorexia nervosa?

Doctors make a diagnosis of the patient’s medical history (especially regarding weight and diet), physical examination, and laboratory tests to elaborate other conditions. No specific test was made to determine anorexia. Extreme weight loss without physical illness, especially in adolescent girls, is an important sign.

Some questions from doctors:

  • Do you notice your weight?
  • Do you exercise regularly?
  • Do you use a certain method of losing weight?
  • Have you ever vomited when you feel too full?
  • Has anyone ever said that you are too thin?
  • Do you often think about food?
  • Have you ever had food to eat later?
  • Is there a family you are also experiencing eating disorders?

If there is a possibility of anorexia, the doctor will ask you to perform a series of additional tests, namely:

  • Albumin
  • Test bone density to check for bone loss (osteoporosis)
  • CBC
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • Electrolyte
  • Test kidney function
  • Liver function tests
  • Amount of protein
  • Test thyroid function
  • Urinalysis

Treatment at Home

What can be done to overcome anorexia nervosa?

Here are the forms of healthy lifestyle and home remedies that can help you deal with anorexia nervosa:

  • Reduce stress.
  • Make peace with yourself, admit that you have anorexia problem.
  • Eat foods prescribed by doctors or nutritionists.
  • Follow a counseling session
  • Consumption of drugs as instructed.
  • Buy clothes that fit your posture, not clothes that require you to lose weight first to wear them.
  • Love yourself for what it is.

If you have any questions, consult your doctor for the best solution to your problem.