ANOREXIA NERVOSA Overview
WHAT IS ANOREXIA NERVOSA?
Anorexia nervosa is a life threatening psychological, eating disorder that is characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss more than what is required to carry out daily activities..
It comes from emotional challenges, unrealistic body image and fear of becoming overweight or obese.
It often begins during teenage or early adulthood.
A person with anorexia will intentionally restrict their food intake mainly due to a fear of being/becoming fat despite being emaciated.
Anorexia affects females more often than males and is most common in young females.
Caucasians are more often affected than people of other ethnicity.
It is more common in middle and upper socioeconomic groups.
Other risk factors associated with it are:
- Having history of to depression and anxiety
- having difficulty handling stress and suspicious
- being perfectionist and much disciplined
- having a negative self image
- having eating problems during early childhood or infancy
- holding specific ideas regarding beauty and health, which may be influenced by media or society.
- physical, sexual, emotional or another types of abuse/bully
- Disturbed family or other relationship
Complications can be multisystemic and severe.
Physical complications include:
- Cardiovascular problems: These include ecg abnormalities, low BP and damage to the heart muscle.
- Blood problems: developing low WBC and anemia.
- Gastrointestinal problems: Movement in the intestines gets slowed down leading to constipation and liver functions too gets affected.
- Kidney problems: Dehydration can lead to highly concentrated urine and more urine production along with formation of renal calculi.
- Hormonal problems: Lower levels of growth hormones may lead to delayed growth in early age. Along with sex hormones, thyroid also gets affected leading to infertility.
- Bone fractures: Patients have a high risk of developing osteopenia and osteoporosis.