Anorexia Nervosa (sometimes incorrectly called nervosa anorexia) is classified as an eating disorder. People who suffer with Anorexia Nervosa have an obsession with food and are overly concerned with being thin. They are often so terrified of gaining weight that they go to extreme measures to lose weight or maintain a body weight that is below normal for their age and height. It is a very unhealthy condition and one that must be dealt with to avoid severe consequences.
While anorexia is most common in teenage girls, it is not something exclusive to them and can even affect men as well. It seems to be more prevalent in Western societies mainly due to the media and fashion industry’s use of extremely slim models.
Anorexic individuals restrict their intake of calories, sometimes so severely that they get to the point of self-starvation – or purge by vomiting the small amount of food that they do eat. They also use laxatives excessively or over-exercise so that their bodies burn more calories than they eat. This is their constant focus.
At times anorexia is tied psychologically to other areas in the person’s life where they may be feeling out of control. With anorexia they feel that at least this area of their lives is under their control.
Many people with anorexia deny that they have a problem and this can be very dangerous and even life-threatening.
So what causes anorexia?
1. Culture & Media – As I mentioned above, especially in Western societies, celebrities and fashion models are always focused on being as slim as possible. Rarely would you see an image of a plus-sized model in the media so this is what is portrayed as attractive and therefore the pressure is put on everyone, but in particular women, to try to obtain this image in order to be attractive. The majority of times this image is of an under-weight person and is not normal.
2. Genetics – while it hasn’t been proven that genetics actually are a cause of anorexia, it is believed that the personality traits that usually come with anorexic behavior are probably inherited. eg. Perfectionism, perseverance and emotional sensitivity.
3. Peer Groups – For teenage girls especially, if the others that they hang around with are consumed with the idea of being thin and looking “model-like” then this can heavily influence their attitude towards food and eating habits.
4. Childhood Sexual Abuse – this can lead to low self-esteem and depression that can lead to poor self-image which ties in well with anorexia.
What are the symptoms of Anorexia? (be aware that those who suffer with eating disorders, anorexia or bulimia, tend to hide the symptoms so you have to be observant sometimes to pick up on them);
1. Dieting, despite already being thin or at their ideal weight
2. Preoccupied with food. Eats very little but always obsessing about food.
3. Obsession with everything pertaining to food. For example may keep a food diary. Reads food labels (this is something we all should do, however, to make sure the ingredients in our food are good for us). May measure and weigh out their portions of food before eating. Tend to read diet books as well.
4. Makes excuses about eating – sometimes will say they had a previous meal that was very large. They may hide to eat and really throw away the food instead or give it to the dog.
5. Strange eating habits – may refuse to eat around others or in public. Other rituals are usually present also such as using particular eating utensils.
6. Complaining about being fat, despite being ideal weight, slim or even skinny and what most would consider under-weight.
7. Always criticizing themselves for being fat or overweight.
8. Complains about being too fat overall or in particular places such as hips, stomach etc. Most females do this to some degree but if it becomes the person’s key focus then it may be a sign of anorexia.
9. Wearing clothes to hide their condition. Many anorexics deny that they are underweight so wear clothes to make it less noticeable.
10. Exercising compulsively
11. Obsessively focused on body image and constantly talks about body image of others.
12. Uses diet pills, appetite suppressants, laxatives and diuretics.
13. Frequent trips to the bathroom after meals.
Here are some of the dangers of having anorexia;
1. Lack of energy
2. Always feeling cold
3. Dry, yellowish skin
4. Constipation and abdominal pain or bloating
7. Dizziness and fainting
9. Can’t think straight
10. Sadness, moodiness or irritability
11. Poor memory
12. Hair thinning
13. Heart palpitations or heart failure
14. Low blood pressure
15. Anemia or other blood issues
16. Kidney stones or kidney failure
17. Weak muscles
18. Weak joints or osteoporosis
19. Bruise easily
20. Trouble getting pregnant
21. Loss of periods
22. Low potassium, magnesium and sodium
As you can see from the above, anorexia affects the entire body negatively so if left alone for a prolonged period can have severe consequences.
Here are some natural remedies for anorexia;
Also be sure to post a comment about what worked for you or if you know of any other natural remedies not listed here please feel free to share them here with others who are part of our community. Thanks for sharing.