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Anorexia is an eating disorder

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Author: Maria June

Anorexia nervosa - Anorexia is an eating disorder involving food restriction and self-starvation. Patients with anorexia typically weigh 15 percent less than the normal healthy weight expected in relation to their height. Anorexia, especially, is notoriously difficult to treat, requiring nutritional counseling, therapy and often prescription drugs. Even with treatment, only 60 percent of those with eating disorders fully recover, 20 percent have partial recoveries and 20 percent do not recover. Anorexia eating disorders symptoms may be difficult to recognize. Individuals with anorexia eating disorders symptoms often take extreme measures to avoid eating. Anorexia nervosa is a disease that affects all organ systems. The principal systems affected are the cardiovascular and the endocrine systems. Anorexia may also cause hair and nails to grow brittle. Skin may dry out, become yellow, and develop a covering of soft hair called lanugo. Anorexia and bulimia appear to be more common among girls. But binge eating seems to be just as likely to affect guys as girls. Anorexia is withholding food and/or eating a very low calorie diet. Weight loss products are heavily marketed. Even young girls often believe they need to loose weight and go on diets. Weight loss is usually 15% below the person's normal body weight. People suffering from anorexia are very skinny but are convinced that they are overweight. Weight loss usually occurs because of a severe reduction in caloric intake. In addition, weight loss is achieved by self-induced vomiting, the use of diuretics (water pills), and the use of laxatives. Eating disorders, including anorexia, often begin with normal dieting. A person may start dieting and exercising to get in shape, but as the pounds come off, a desire to lose even more weight is triggered. Eating can be bingeing but can also be a regular meal; purging is done in a variety of ways, although most commonly purging is by vomiting. Other ways to purge include the use of medications such as laxatives and diuretics or by extreme amounts of exercise. Eating disorders are becoming an epidemic, especially among our most promising young women. These women and girls, whom we admire and adore, feel a deep sense of inadequacy and ineffectiveness. Eating disorders are almost always caused by severe childhood trauma either from abuse or severe emotional distress. Treatment in early stages of anorexia is very important, as the eating disorder continues, the more dangerous it becomes. Treatment usually requires two to four months in the hospital. In extreme cases, hospitalized patients may be force-fed through a tube inserted in the nose (nasogastric tube) or by overfeeding (hyperalimentation techniques). Treatment of Anorexia usually involves individual, group and/or family psychotherapy, and nutritional counseling. Depending on the degree of weight loss and the state of physical health when the person enters treatment, there will be greater or lesser control of the person's eating and of the total environment. Women who develop this eating disorder at an early age have a better chance of complete recovery. Most people with anorexia will continue to prefer a lower body weight and be preoccupied with food and calories to some extent, however. Women who were sexually abused may use weight loss to make their breasts smaller, so they will be sexually un attractive (the same rational through the opposite means is sometimes seen in binge-eating disorder ). An eating disorder is also often a way to numb out, an issue of control (e.g. Women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s are showing signs of anorexia or bulimia. The problem often begins so subtly that neither she nor her family realizes what's happening, experts say.
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