Anorexia, also known as nervous anorexia is an eating disorder that can have fatal consequences. People suffering from anorexia consume very limited amounts of food, leading to starvation. Eventually, they can become dangerously thin and malnourished while still perceiving themselves as overweight. Often, people with anorexia restrict their food intake severely to prevent weight gain or to continue losing weight.
They may control calorie consumption through methods like vomiting after eating, abusing laxatives, diet pills, diuretics, or enemas. They may also attempt to lose weight through excessive exercise. Regardless of how much weight is lost, individuals with anorexia continue to fear gaining weight.
Anorexia is not actually about food; it is an extremely unhealthy and sometimes life-threatening way of coping with emotional problems. When you have anorexia, you often equate thinness with self-esteem.
A doctor gathers a detailed medical history and performs a physical examination. Additionally, a neurological examination A doctor gathers a detailed medical history and performs a physical examination. individuals in Switzerland , a neurological examination is carried out in some cases. In the case of children and adolescents, the physician pays attention to age-appropriate development.
Depending on the severity of the symptoms, additional tests may be conducted. These can include:
In our society, there is a distorted perception that fighting anorexia requires looking emaciated. The truth is that you cannot tell if someone has anorexia just by looking at them; however, certain warning signs can indicate a possible problem.
Anorexia nervosa results in severe malnutrition that can be identified by many other signs besides weight loss, such as the following signs of anorexia:
People who struggle with anorexia will exhibit certain behavioral and emotional warning signs that indicate nutritional deficiencies and mental health issues. One of these includes:
There is no guaranteed way to prevent anorexia nervosa. Primary care physicians (pediatricians, family doctors, and internists) may have good opportunities to detect early signs of anorexia and prevent the development of a full-blown disorder. For instance, they can inquire about eating habits and body satisfaction during routine medical visits.
If you notice low self-esteem, rigid diets, and dissatisfaction with appearance in a family member or friend, talk to them about these issues. While you may not be able to prevent the development of an eating disorder, you can discuss healthier behaviors or treatment options.