What is Anorexia
"What is anorexia?" has become a common question among teenage girls. The disease anorexia nervosa affects approximately three percent of the population. It is classified as an eating disorder that originates with a psychological disorder. Unfortunately, young people, especially girls, get the idea that their body is unacceptable. What they must understand is that God created them. Job of the Bible says that "Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about" (Job 10:8). God made us and therefore we are all beautiful in his eyes. Unfortunately, too few people accept this truth and disorders like this one destroy lives. Anyone who notices signs of anorexia, contact a medical and mental health professional as soon as possible. There are various symptoms depending on the person. Some will be more prevalent in certain people, so the public needs to know what to watch for in anyone.
The first red flag to answer "What is anorexia?" is an obsession with being thin or an obsession with weight gain, essentially an obsession with weight. An anorexic will always think they need to lose more weight even when they're below their minimum healthy weight for their age and height. Other signs of anorexia consist of an aversion to food and calories, and a new found passion for exercise. People with the disease will avoid eating in public places, because they're trying to avoid food altogether. They will severely limit their caloric intake, possibly eating only a few saltine crackers or a stick of gum every day.
Rapid weight loss isn't always one of the symptoms of an anorexic, but it is something to watch out for. Because an anorexic is so desperate to be thin, they want quick results, but just because someone loses a large amount of weight over a short period of time does not mean they're suffering from the disease. Signs of anorexia can appear in people trying to lose weight, but because it is a mental disorder there are other factors involved. A person diagnosed with anorexia will suffer from it their entire life, whereas, people do have temporary obsessions with weight loss, especially during the summer months.
People still asking "What is anorexia?" should continue to do research to find out more about the disease before misdiagnosing a friend or family member. Due to intense media attention, anorexia nervosa has become a buzz word among teenagers. In some cases, the disease has become "popularized" in high schools among certain groups of girls. The seriousness and signs of anorexia need to be made clear to the youth of this generation.
Important anorexia facts concerning the disease may contain information regarding the reasons for the illness, including appetite, type of foods available, family eating practices, peer group, cultural and social programming. Anorexia is defined as an individual voluntarily reducing their food intake to an unhealthy level. The key difference between simply reducing calorie intake for health reasons and an eating disorder is that a disorder moves beyond the point of simple dieting to the point of starvation and malnutrition. Bulimia facts state that this disorder, also known as the binge-purge eating disorder, exists side by side with anorexia. Unlike the illness of starvation, people with bulimia eat large amounts of food out of control. In an attempt to not gain weight, the bulimia patient will attempt to evacuate recent food ingestion by a purging behavior. Purging is induced through vomiting or over use of laxatives. The cycle of bingeing and purging continues until the patient is malnourished.
People with either disorder see themselves as fat and overweight even though, most of the time, they are extremely thin. Anorexia facts state the meaning of the illness as a 'loss of appetite'. Signs of the illness can be seen in a person that has an extreme fear of being overweight and refuses to eat to maintain a normal weight. They are typically sensitive to the cold, constipated, compulsive exercisers, and may also use the purging behaviors of a person with bulimia. Researched bulimia facts regarding psychological issues state that particular personality traits may contribute in the development of a person with the disorder. Young girls, who tend to be perfectionists, discover that they can take charge of at least one portion of their lives by controlling what they eat and how much they weigh. An unhealthy starvation diet can last for many years and can cause severe health problems.
Both eating disorders can have devastating consequences to young developing bodies. Health issues from published anorexia facts research include; anemia, constipation, abdominal bloating, dehydration, muscle cramps, dry skin, excessively low blood pressure, icy hands and feet, and irregular heartbeat, can be fatal. Anorexics and bulimics need more help than to 'eat more food' and 'keep it down'. Current bulimia facts suggest to catch and treat the disorder early. "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16). If one knows of a person that has one of these eating disorders, first confront them about the concerns then help them to seek professional medical treatment. Treatment for the anorexic calls for a specific program that involves three phases. The first phase is to restore weight lost in severe dieting and purging; next is to treat psychological problems such as distorted body image, low self-esteem and interpersonal conflicts. The last phase is to teach positive nutritional habits while emphasizing positive body image.
Anorexia CausesAnorexia causes have been studied intensely over the last few decades as researchers scramble to find effective anorexia treatment. Still, no one knows the exact causes of anorexia nervosas. We only know that anorexia is caused by a number of psychological, social and biological factors.
The biological anorexia causes are the least substantiated. Research shows that higher levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin make an individual have less desire for food and withdraw socially; however, increased serotonin levels may not be a cause of anorexia but a result of the disease of the brain. Some researchers believe that anorexia causes may include a genetic predisposition to the disorder. Many individuals suffering from anorexia nervosa have family members also battling the disease.
Social anorexia causes can be tracked over time and seem to be a cause for the increase in anorexia nervosa in younger girls. The environment a girl or young woman is placed in can affect her propensity toward developing the disease. Some professions that emphasize the need to be thin reinforce a girls' likelihood to become anorexic. Occupations such as models, actresses, dancers, or gymnasts emphasize low body weight. The difficulty with an anorexic is that they don't know when to stop losing weight, and the disease ultimately harms their performance.
Mental health experts say that certain personality traits can be catalysts for developing anorexia. Anorexics seem to be perfectionists, have a great need of approval from others, have low self-esteem, and are obsessive. But in addition to personality, emotional upsets can trigger anorexia and the need for control. As adolescents, girls are psychologically more prone to being overcome by a feeling of powerlessness. Anorexia nervosa allows them to feel in control as they decide how much food to eat or not eat.
Anorexia treatment for women in this situation involves addressing each of these factors. So, a treatment must help the physical body to regain strength and nutrition, but most of all, it must help the mind gain control. Early treatment for both the body and the mind are essential to stopping the disease from doing further harm.
Anorexia symptoms are signs of this disorder that allow relatives and friends to recognize the appearance of this problem. Symptoms tend to show themselves in ways that people close to the person will notice. But just because a person exhibits certain signs of anorexia nervosa, it does not mean that a doctor will claim them to be suffering from this disorder. Medical doctors have specific guidelines they follow to medically claim that a person is anorexic. The official warning signs include a variety of medical and physical aspects.
There are many common warning signs that many people display when suffering from this condition. A refusal to maintain body weight at or above the minimal standard for that person's age and height is one of the most common anorexia symptoms. When underweight, an intense fear of gaining any weight or becoming "fat," is a key sign of anorexia nervosa. Sufferers of this disorder usually exhibit denial. Once severely underweight to the point that people notice, they'll continually deny the seriousness of their current low body weight. The final medical symptom is the absence of three consecutive menstrual cycles, also called amenorrhea.
As a parent or friend, warning signs to look for include loss of appetite during regular meal times. If the individual begins to avoid even being at meals with other people, and claim to have already eaten, this should be cause for concern. Anorexia symptoms don't just include food, though. Sufferers of anorexia nervosa will obsess over appearance, and will constantly criticize how they look. However, anorexics don't typically talk about losing weight. Because the individual is aware of his or her problems, they avoid discussion that could lead to that topic. Essentially, anyone with a loved one that is displaying more than a few of these signs should use judgment when confronting a friend or relative. Seeking help from a high school guidance counselor or doctor may provide answers on how to approach this subject in order to get the best results. Along with medical professionals, praying to God for guidance can often provide a great foundation to helping a friend or loved one seek treatment. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).
The worst thing a parent or friend can do is ignore the problem until it is too late. If the signs exist and the individual is called out about their problems with anorexia nervosa, they may address the issue more quickly. This does not mean they will be well immediately. Some researchers suggest that this condition is a chronic disease, meaning it will be an ongoing battle throughout their life. The sooner they know someone who cares is there for them and wants to help understand, the sooner they'll be able to start on the road to recovery. Major anorexia symptoms should never be overlooked because they can lead to further sickness and death.