In the United States an estimated 20 million women and 10 million men suffer from some form of an eating disorder. The most common eating disorder is Anorexia, (Anorexia nervosa). Anorexia can cause serious complications leading to poor health and even death.
Did you know that Anorexia is more than just unhealthy eating?
People with anorexia have an obsession with being thin. This obsession of being thin is usually caused by an irrational fear of gaining weight and a distorted perception of a person’s body image. Anorexia is more common in women than men, but affects both sexes and all ages. This eating disorder causes serious health concerns and can lead to a shortened lifespan. These heath issues arise because of the strain that is placed upon the body when it is starved of proper nutrition.
When a person restricts their food intake over time to a point that they lose a significant amount of weight, their health begins to deteriorate because of malnutrition.
This is characterized by an overwhelming fear of getting fat or gaining weight despite a very low body weight. A consequence of these feelings often cause a lack of regard for a person’s personal health and can even result in a dangerously low body weight.
Anorexia symptoms may include the following:
- Taking extreme measures to maintain a low body weight.
- Disregard of one’s poor health caused by self-imposed malnutrition.
- A body-weight that is at least 15% of what is considered normal for their age.
- A preoccupation with food to the point that the person will even cook meals for other people but will not eat the meals themselves.
- The perception that their body is over-weight when in fact they are significantly under weight.
- Low body temperature (Hypothermia).
- Lethargy caused by poor nutrition.
- Severe mood swings.
- Depression and an overall state of sadness most of the time.
- Chronic fatigue.
Anorexia treatment options:
There is no single treatment method that can be guaranteed to work any better than other treatments, but evidence suggests that early intervention and a combination of treatments returns the best results.
- Family based treatment for anorexia has statistically proven to be most effective.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) returns lasting results for people who suffer with anorexia.
- The medication Olanzapine helps to improve body mass index and helps to curb the obsession of being thin. This also results is an improved diet plan to include regular meals and high nutrition by working with a Registered Dietician.
- Inpatient treatment for anorexia is very successful for the most severe cases of anorexia. This includes treatment for medical problems, starvation and nutritional rehabilitation.
Given the impact that anorexia has on the body, treatment of physical health in addition to mental health for anorexia is often required. Close monitoring by a physician or medical team is critical to improve and maintain the patient’s health. For more severe cases, residential treatment is sometimes required to ensure that the physical and mental health of the patient is closely monitored.
Anorexia is not considered a chronic illness and in most cases gets better with anorexia treatment. With the help of loved ones, proper diet, emotional support and the patient’s willingness to get better and participate in treatment, anorexia has a fairly good prognosis with treatment.
Have faith: There is hope with anorexia treatment!
The recovery rates for individuals who seek out anorexia treatment are very promising with 75% of people who seek out treatment for anorexia returning to a normal life. The question now is, are you ready to feel better and to live the life that you deserve?