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Know about Anorexia

October 24, 2011  by: YOH YOH  Points: 12   Category: Health    Views: 402

Anorexia nervosa is a psychiatric illness leads to eating disorder characterized by extremely low body weight and body image distortion with an obsessive fear of gaining weight. Individuals with anorexia have extreme weight loss. Weight loss is usually 15% below the person's normal body weight.

         

Anorexia nervosa is a psychiatric illness leads to eating disorder characterized by extremely low body weight and body image distortion with an obsessive fear of gaining weight. Individuals with anorexia have extreme weight loss. Weight loss is usually 15% below the person's normal body weight.

The key factors associated with anorexia nervosa are:

. Refusal to sustain a minimally normal body weight

. Intense fear of gaining weight, despite being underweight

. Distorted view of one's body or weight, or denial of the dangers of one's low weight

Types:

Anorexia has been classified into two types include:

Restricting type: This is characterized by the patient adopting unhealthy habits, like fasting, to avoid weight gain.

Binge eating or Purging type: This type is characterized by the use of self-induced vomiting, or misuse of laxatives or diuretics to help in the prevention of weight gain.

Causes:

There is no single cause of anorexia nervosa. Several different factors are usually involved in producing this disorder are as follows

. Cultural pressures

. Psychological issues

. Family environment

. Genetic factors

. Life transitions

. Perpetuating factors

Symptoms:

The following are the symptoms of Anorexia nervosa

. Anxiety

. Body weight that is inconsistent with age, build and height

. Brittle skin

. Loss of at least 3 consecutive menstrual periods (in women)

. Not willing or refusing to eat in public

. Obsessiveness about calorie intake

. Shortness of breath

. Weakness

Complications:

. Osteopenia- Osteopenia is increased bone resorption as well as decreased bone formation. It is one of the most severe complications of anorexia nervosa.

. Mitral valve prolapse (MVP) is a common cardiac change in patients with anorexia nervosa.

. Amenorrhea (absence of menses)

Diagnosis:

Diagnosing anorexia nervosa is a complex process, made more difficult by the anorexic's refusal to accept that they have a problem, a complete medical and psychological history will be gathered if anorexia is suspected. This will include details such as previous weight, extent of weight loss, physical symptoms, dieting history, binge eating, exercise levels, and family or relationship problems. Blood tests will usually be part of the physical examination, and electrocardiogram tests will be performed if there is reason to believe the heart has been affected.

Treatment:

Drugs- Medication treatments play less prominent role in anorexia than for many other psychiatric disorders. In some severe cases olanzapine, fluoxetine, risperidone and quetiapine are used.

Other treatments are as follows:

. Behaviour therapy

. Cognitive therapy

. Counseling therapy

. Family therapy

. Group therapy

. Nutritional therapy for anorexia

Prevention:

There are no preventive measures available as such for anorexia but the following are some tips to lead a healthy life.

. A healthy view of self and others

. Teach children to take good care of their bodies

. Avoid making comments that link being thin to being popular or healthy

. A healthy approach to food and exercise

. Avoid punishing or rewarding your children with food

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