Anorexia Eating Disorder?

Question by Alex E: Anorexia Eating disorder?
What are the causes/risk factors for Anorexia?

Best answer:

Answer by Savannah
well, first off there is a major risk of blood clot, heart attack, and dying

Answer by Shaunda W
What is Anorexia Nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa is an extremely dangerous eating disorder in which a person intentionally deprives herself or himself of food and can literally starve to death in an attempt to be what they consider “thin.” The disorder involves extreme weight loss–at least 15% below the individual’s “ideal” weight–and a refusal to maintain body weight that is even minimally normal for their age and height and body frame.

The self-esteem of individuals with this disorder is hyper-dependent on their body shape and weight. Even if they become extremely emaciated, an anorexic person’s distorted body image convinces them they are “fat.” Weight loss for them is viewed as an impressive self-achievement and an indication of extraordinary self-discipline, whereas weight gain is perceived as an unacceptable failure of self-control.

The disorder usually begins around the time of puberty and the onset is often associated with a stressful life event such as leaving home for college, or their parents divorcing. While more than 90% of the cases affect young women, the numbers of recognized cases of males with anorexia nervosa is increasing. Males can be at particular high risk for developing life-threatening medical problems as a direct result of the disorder, probably because they are too often diagnosed later than females.

In their concerted efforts to continually reduce their weight, anorexics reduce their food and calorie intake through such rigid strategies as excluding what they perceive to be high fat or high calorie foods; limiting their food intake to just a few specific low calorie foods; bingeing and purging; purging after even the smallest meals; refusing to eat in public, and/or going to great lengths to avoid eating with even close friends or family. Anorexics become obsessed with food–hoarding it, going to extra efforts to fix meals for others, carrying around stashes of candy–yet they will not allow themselves to eat any of it.

The Health Risks of Anorexia Are Extremely Serious
Although some individuals with this disorder will acknowledge that they’re thin, they typically deny the serious implications of their malnourished state. Cardiac disease is the most common medical cause of death in people with severe anorexia; the heart can develop dangerously slow rhythms, known as bradycardia, or, in many cases, the heart muscles literally starve, losing size. Some individuals suffer nerve damage and experience seizures, disordered thinking, and/or chronic nerve problems in their hands and feet.

Brain scans indicate that structural changes and abnormal activity occur in parts of the brain during anorexic states–while some of these changes can return to normal if weight is gained, there is evidence that some damage may be permanent.

Individuals with anorexia nervosa can become victim to major depression which then sets in play a dangerous cycle of emotional and physical disturbances: prolonged hunger leads to depression, which then seriously erodes self-esteem and self-confidence, which in turn increases the need for hyper-vigilance over controlling their weight and an even firmer resolve to not eat.

Some studies estimate that suicide is the cause of as many as half the deaths in anorexia nervosa. At this time, anorexia nervosa is not an illness that can be completely cured, however, if it’s caught early and treated, many people do recover.

Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa
There are two types of anorexia nervosa. Those who have the “restricting type” accomplish their weight loss primarily through dieting, fasting, or excessive exercise. Individuals who have the “binge-eating/purging type” regularly engage in binge eating (eating abnormally large amounts of food during a very short period of time) and purging (using self-induced vomiting, the misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas to rid their bodies of the just-consumed food). The risk for early death is twice as high in anorexics who suffer from the binge-eating/purging type of the disorder.

Symptoms associated with both types of the illness include:

Significant weight loss in the absence of a related illness.

Significant reduction in eating along with a denial of hunger.

Highly restrictive dieting when not weighing over ideal body weight.

Unusual eating habits, e.g. a preference for foods of a specific texture or color, compulsively arranging food on plate, obsessive choice of unusual mixtures of food.

Strict, excessively demanding exercise routines.

Weighing self, measuring certain areas of the body, and checking image in mirrors constantly throughout the day.



Bloating, constipation.

Decreased interest in sexual activity.

Increased sensitivity to cold temperatures.

Withdrawn or irritable mood.

Reproductive and hormonal difficulties.

Physical symptoms associated with starvation, including fatigue; lowered heart rate and body temperature; heart disease; overall lowering of body metabolism (the rate at which the body burns calories); tooth erosion and gum infections; loss of menses; growth of fine body hair on the face and back; loss of hair from the scalp; severe anemia; dry and pasty skin; osteoporosis; impaired kidney function; swelling and puffiness in the fingers, ankles, and face.

Causes of Anorexia
There is no single cause. Anorexia nervosa is caused by a complex interplay of factors that can include emotional and personality disorders, family stress, and possible genetic or biologic susceptibilities, all of which can be reinforced by a culture that equates attractiveness with being thin.

Treatment for Anorexia Nervosa
The first course of action should be to aggressively seek help from a physician to diagnose and immediately treat any physical problems. Hospitalization is sometimes necessary to prevent starvation. Because anorexia nervosa has biological, psychological, familial, and socio-cultural components, effective treatment should involve collaboration among health professionals, including physicians, therapists, and dieticians.

Individuals with anorexia nervosa are often very resistant to getting help. Even when experiencing life-threatening problems, they remain convinced that their emaciated state is normal and even attractive. Their resistance is often reinforced by friends who envy thinness or by dance or athletic coaches who encourage extremely low body fat.

There are therapists who are especially experienced at helping people who have this serious eating disorder. Therapy provides a safe, comforting, non-judgmental, and confidential setting in which to receive the kind of concentrated help that can best determine and then treat underlying emotional and psychological causes for the self-destructive relationship with food and their distorted body perception.

The feelings of intense guilt and/or anxiety that family members experience is similar to those produced by living with a loved one who is suicidal. Because of the this risk, because of the major role family members’ attitudes can play in the anorexic’s onset of the disorder, and because it’s extremely important to have the heightened support of family members to better ensure their loved one’s recovery, family therapy is often encouraged and of significant help.

What is ANOREXIA Nervosa — Eating Disorder Video #6 — What is Anorexia Nervosa — Eating Disorder Video #6 This video is about the DSM definition of anorexia nervosa. I felt that it wa…