Anorexia nervosa; symptoms and experiences

Anorexia nervosa is more than an eating disorder

People suffering from severe eating disorders as an anorexia nervosa - mostly do not recognize they have a problem, where the consequences can be fatal. Fortunately, with the right treatment and support, it is possible to restore confidence and health. We all want to look good, but when someone is suffering from this disease mostly girls - they feel that they need to lose weight to become more good looking. In doing so, the person is not aware that there is a serious eating disorder that may be life threatening. There are three basic characteristics of this problem: the rejection of a healthy body weight, intense fear of obesity and a distorted image of their own body. Learn more below.

What are the first symptoms of anorexia?

The appearance of the body can tell a lot when it comes to anorexia, and shows us also the first symptoms of the disorder.
  • The dramatic weight loss,
  • The feeling of obesity although the person is visibly thin
  • The obsession with weight, and the appearance of their own body, or even the size of garments.
  • Frequent measurements and care in response to minimal changes in body weight.
  • Exclusively consuming low-calorie foods, and avoiding foods containing fats and carbohydrates,
  • Sharp criticism of the external appearance and spending enormous amounts of time in finding the shortcomings of his or her own body in the mirror - this is typical of a condition known as anorexia nervosa.
  • Inventing facts about the amount of food eaten.
  • The use of slimming pills, or diuretics, as well as excessive use of other means of weight loss.
  • Vomiting of food immediately after eating (often going to the toilet during the meal).
  • Brushing your teeth and mouth rinses, as well as consuming large amounts of water immediately after a meal.
  • Compulsive and fanatical exercise after eating "bad" foods.
  • Constantly thinking about food.

For an anorexic person - every meal is an extremely stressful event. Thinking about the diet, food and the body takes most of the time, and the life is resorted to the extreme need to be thinner - this is the anorexia nervosa. As much as people lose weight, anorexic people are never satisfied. People suffering from anorexia are often not recognized as people who have a problem, where the consequences can be fatal. Fortunately, it is possible to recover. With the right treatment and support, anorexic person can stop self-destructive behaviour, and gain back self-esteem and health.

What types of anorexia should you be vary of

We distinguish restrictive type of anorexia (drastic diet and exercise to the limit) and the exhausting type (weight loss with vomiting or using laxatives or diuretics). One thing is very important when it comes to anorexia nervosa, and it is about not consuming sufficient number of calories into the body, which further creates a variety of problems. When the body does not have enough fuel to function normally it goes into the "starvation", slowing down metabolism for storage of energy until the body has nothing to store, when it begins to eat itself.

What are the most common causes of anorexia?
  • Dissatisfaction with one's body,
  • Rigorous diet,
  • Lack of self-confidence,
  • Difficulty in expressing emotions,
  • Perfectionism,
  • Problematic family relations,
  • Longer physical or sexual abuse,
  • Inherited family problems in nutrition.

Anorexia nervosa is only seemingly related to diet, in fact it is a much deeper and more complicated problem. It is often the result of depression, loneliness, insecurity, feelings of loss of control and desire for a perfect body - which is especially true for anorexic models. These are things that a controlled diet cannot fix.

It is important to understand that anorexia is becoming a necessity in these situations. For example, a person feels helpless to do anything in the various spheres of life, and so becomes obsessive with food intake. Maybe the person thinks he or she has a control if starving or refusing food. However, this is only a temporary control.

Anorexia often masks complex and difficult emotions. When we think too much about food, diet, weight loss we simply cannot find enough time to deal with real life problems or complicated emotions. Diet and losing weight can help us change our opinion about ourselves.

Living with anorexia means constantly covering up our habits. Therefore, friends and family have a difficult time to grasp its signs. A person who suffers from anorexia, when faced with it usually tries to explain and justify irregular meals and feeding problems, and thus dispels the doubts.

But as anorexia nervosa progresses, the environment observes and instinctively knows that something is wrong. The sick person becomes preoccupied with numbers on the scale and body image, counting the calories put into the body and all of this gains control over the individual’s life.

Anorexia; effects hazardous to health

Yes, anorexia nervosa causes numerous effects hazardous to health and even life, evidenced by our numerous worldwide magazines and Internet portals, when the famous (celebrity) personalities are concerned. This applies not only to them but to all who have this disorder. What is the worst of all is that young teenage girls, following administration and celebrities identify with them, and believe it or seek answers to questions such as how to become anorexic, so they would be closer to their idols. Such disorders are more common in the United States and Western Europe, as statistics have confirmed.

Health effects:
  • Anxiety and depression,
  • The lack of energy and weakness,
  • Poor memory and slowed thinking,
  • Dried, yellowish colour of the skin and brittle nails,
  • Constipation and bloating,
  • Tooth decay and damage to the gums and palate,
  • Vertigo, dizziness and headaches,
  • The growth of fine hair barely visible all over his body and face.

Besides, constant pressures of the media and the fashion industry, which stand out as the ideal of beauty that thinner people; female - anorexic models are beautiful, there are various social and family pressures, which can encourage the emergence of diseases such as anorexia nervosa. This is particularly evident in the areas such as modelling, gymnastics and ballet.

Also, chemistry plays a significant role. Specifically, anorexics tend to have very high levels of cortisol in the brain, hormones commonly associated with stress. But, on the other hand, lack of serotonin and norepinephrine, which are associated with a feeling of happiness.
Anorexia in children is not uncommon

Also, anorexia nervosa occurs when parents are overly controlling their children, or if they themselves are constantly on different diets, because most of the time they are devoted to their impeccable physical appearance, criticizing the appearance of others, including their children. So if you are a "fancy" parent who is looking in the mirror every day to measure your weight you know the exact schedule and the schedule of your children, their eating plan and how to eat, is only partly good and desirable because you are "caring "but believe us it is sometimes very bad and it is best to see a doctor.

People who suffer from anorexia are usually characterized by perfectionism and ambition. They are "good" sons and daughters, always do what they are told, trying to meet the other side. Although outwardly it may seem that all the strings are held in the hands, in fact, they are helpless, depressed and not confident - the main cause of this is - anorexia nervosa.

Are you an anorexic person – here is a simple test?

People suffering from anorexia will respond positively to most of the following questions:
  • Do you feel overweight even though these other people are saying that you are not?
  • Do you have a huge fear of weight gain?
  • Are you hiding from others how you eat?
  • Do your friends and family care about your rapid weight loss and your habit of eating?
  • You keep a diet, binge practice or throw up when you have eaten?
  • You feel powerful when you do not eat at all, when you have an excessive exercise or throw up?
  • Judging yourself based on your body weight?

Anorexia Treatment step by step

Accept and acknowledge a problem known as anorexia nervosa. The first step to healing is recognition of the loss of control and the weight loss and the acceptance that it left the physical and psychological consequences on the body.

Talk to someone. It is very difficult to talk about the problem, particularly if it was concealed and "pushed under the carpet" for a long time. Shame and fear occurs, and person must realize that it is not alone and without fear talk to someone about the problem.

Avoiding places, events and people that trigger obsessive need for weight loss. The patient should avoid fitness and fashion magazines, as they are full of anorexic girls, and people constantly talking about weight loss, diet and perfect body and such things will do you no good, though their outward appearance reveals a different picture, healthy people can only represent a positive example, but not sick.

What are the therapeutic methods of treating anorexia?

The first and basic step is to recognize anorexia nervosa, followed by therapeutic methods that are applied depending on the severity of the case.
  • Hospitalization is required if someone is violent or prone to self-harm, or if you have suicidal thoughts, as well as in cases where weight falls to critically low levels.
  • Consultation with your doctor is essential in cases when diagnosed with anorexia nervosa.  An expert person will help a person cope with difficult emotions and problems in a less destructive way.
  • Consultation with a nutritionist is very important because it is essential to make adequate diet plan for the body to be supplied with sufficient number of calories and returned to normal.
  • Talk with people who have battled anorexia, which can be of great help. Also talking openly about fears and everything helps the sick person. The doctor or the best friends will support the person through this hard time.

We hope that you found out what is anorexia nervosa, and we recommend the article bulimia and health consequences.