Anorexia Nervosa is a psychological eating disorder in which a person refuses to maintain a minimally normal body weight for height & age. They have Intense fear of gaining weight and have body image distortion.
Anorexia is a serious condition that requires treatment. Extreme weight loss in people with anorexia can lead to malnutrition, dangerous health problems and even death.
Anorexia can occur in people of any age & sex due to increasing social pressure. It most commonly affects adolescents and young adult women.
How will you identify that someone has anorexia or not ?
There are several emotional, behavioral and physical signs and symptoms of anorexia.
Signs and Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa
Emotional and mental signs of anorexia include:
• Having an intense fear of gaining weight
• Distorted self-image
• Having an obsessive interest in food, calories and dieting
• Feeling overweight even if they are underweight.
• Fear of certain foods or food groups.
• Being very self-critical.
• Denying the seriousness of your low body weight and/or food restriction.
• Feeling a strong desire to be in control.
• Feeling irritable and/or depressed.
• Experiencing thoughts of self-harm or suicide
Behavioral signs of anorexia include:
• Changes their eating habits or routines
• Eliminating certain food types or food groups.
• Purging through intentional vomiting and/or misusing laxatives or diuretics
• Going to the bathroom right after eating.
• Using diet pills or appetite suppressants.
• Extreme physical training or excercise
• Continuing to diet even their weight is low
• Making meals for others but not themselves
• Wearing loose clothing to hide weight loss and stay warm
• less interact with friends and social events
Physical signs of anorexia include:
• Significant weight loss over several weeks or months.
• Not maintaining an appropriate body weight based on height & age
• Unexplained change in growth curve or body mass index (BMI) in children and still growing adolescents.
Physical symptoms of anorexia that are side effects of starvation and malnutrition include:
• Dizziness & Feeling tired
• Slow heartbeat or irregular heartbeat
• Low blood pressure
• Poor concentration and focus.
• Feeling cold all the time.
• Absent periods (amenorrhea) or irregular menstrual periods.
• Shortness of breath.
• Bloating and/or abdominal pain.
• Muscle weakness and loss of muscle mass.
• Dry skin, brittle nails and/or thinning hair.
• Poor wound healing and frequent illness.
• Bluish or purple coloring of the hands and feet.
Anorexia nervosa risk factors
Several factors can increase a person’s risk for developing anorexia nervosa, including:
past criticism about their eating habits, weight, or body shape
– a history of teasing or bullying, especially about weight or body shape
– a sense of pressure from society or their profession to be slim
– low self-esteem
– having a personality that tends toward obsession or perfectionism
– sexual abuse
– a history of dieting
– pressure to fit in with cultural norms that are not their own
– historical trauma, such as racism
Prevention from Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia Nervosa is a serious disease which doesn’t include only physical but mental & behavioural change also, With the right treatment, recovery from Anorexia Nervosa is possible.
Consider a treatment team — including a dietitian, a therapist, and a psychiatrist — all of whom should specialize in eating disorders.
• It is psychological disorder so there is proper counseling from psychiatrist is also needed.
• Family members or Parents of Adolescents should have healthy attitudes and actions around weight, food, exercise, and appearance.
• Parents & teachers can help or informally counsel children and teens build self-esteem in many ways. This includes academics, hobbies, and volunteer work. Focus on activities that are related to increase their self esteem, confidence, acceptance & feeling of belongingness.
• A person with anorexia nervosa will intentionally restrict their food intake as a way to lose weight so a dietician can help to give them proper diet & educate them about importance of nutrition at the stage of adolescence.
• Due to low weight, Calorie should be increase so add more energy dense food
• In starting of the treatment, include first fluid based energy diet then give Semi-fluid & after that solid diet because according to the level of digestion of the child
• Serving Size should be small & nutrients rich because anorexic patient is not able to eat
• Food should be based on child’s interest so they can’t deny
• Include simple carbohydrates so Adolescents can eat more to gain weight
• Take Vitamins & minerals rich food to build immunity because it protects from infections
Anorexia Nervosa demands a holistic approach to recovery, encompassing physical, mental, and nutritional aspects. At FitandCure, our expert dieticians specialize in supporting individuals on their journey to healing. With tailored dietary modifications, counseling, and a focus on overall well-being, our dedicated team strives to empower those affected by this challenging disorder. Let FitandCure dietician be your partner in reclaiming a healthy relationship with food and yourself. Recovery is possible, and we are here to guide you every step of the way.