Anorexia Nervosa: Causes, Symptoms, Effects and Treatment

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What is anorexia nervosa? Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that usually occurs in teenage girls, models, artists, dancers or others who are required to have an ideal body to support their careers. Although more common in women, anorexia nervosa can also be suffered by men. Patients with anorexia nervosa always feel that they're fat even though they have a thin body. They deliberately starve themselves in order to lose weight, even though they've lost a lot of weight. This is of course very dangerous if not stopped immediately because it can cause death.

Causes of anorexia nervosa
Actually, the exact cause of anorexia and other eating disorders is unknown. However, there are several factors that are believed to cause anorexia nervosa, some of these factors include:

  • Psychological and environmental factors
    Typically, patients with anorexia nervosa had a bad experience in the past because they have a fat body. They always feel embarrassed and inferior because their friends or people around them have an ideal body (slim).
  • Biological factors
    Anorexia nervosa can also be caused by biological factors. Changes in hormones in the body that control mood, appetite, thoughts and memories a person could be expected to cause a person affected by anorexia nervosa.
  • Genetic factors
    Anorexia nervosa can be caused by genetic factors. The risk of anorexia nervosa increases if a person has a family who suffered from anorexia nervosa.

Symptoms of anorexia nervosa
Here are some symptoms of anorexia nervosa that you should know:

  • Lose weight drastically.
  • Continuously on a diet even have a thin body.
  • Have an unusual attraction to food and nutrient content in it, such as the number of calories, fat, etc..
  • Very frightened when the weight increases.
  • Have strange eating habits and even tend confidential.
  • A person with anorexia nervosa always felt fat even though she has a thin body.
  • Have the wrong perception about weight.
  • Always be a perfectionist (especially about body shape) and likes to criticize himself.
  • Confidence is strongly influenced by body weight and body shape.
  • Depression, anxiety and irritability.
  • Always easy to feel useless and hopeless.
  • Irregular menstrual cycles or even not having periods.
  • Always use diuresis drugs, laxatives and diet pills.
  • Physical disorders, such as susceptibility to diseases, sensitivity to weather, etc..
  • Exercise excessively.

Effects of anorexia nervosa
If not treated immediately, anorexia nervosa can give bad effect for the sufferer. Some effects of anorexia nervosa include:

  • Damage to organs, especially the heart, brain and kidneys.
  • An irregular heartbeat.
  • Decrease in blood pressure, pulse and breathing frequency.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Impaired fluid and electrolyte balance of the body.
  • Hair loss.
  • Deaths from starvation or suicide.

Treatment of anorexia nervosa
Just as another eating disorders, anorexia nervosa requires a comprehensive treatment. If people with anorexia nervosa lose weight drastically (about 15% below normal weight), it is very important to return the weight to a normal state. Another thing that needs to be done is to conduct long-term therapy to improve psychological conditions, such as emotional problems and fix mindset. Usually, this treatment is often done with a combination of psychotherapy and medication.

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