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  Velocity Care   February 24, 2017   Disease 0 Comments

Do I have an eating disorder like anorexia nervosa?

Learn the anorexia nervosa symptoms to help those in Shreveport

Learn about the symptoms of anorexia nervosa.Have you ever felt that you look fat in something you’re wearing, even though those around you say you’re imagining it? It’s very common, especially for women, to have a distorted self-image.

While many struggle with self-image, a critical issue arises when someone takes unhealthy actions to try and fix this imagined problem. One such way is through anorexia nervosa. Men and women with anorexia nervosa excessively cut down on food in attempt to achieve a desired body type, but they keep seeing the same image in the mirror no matter how much weight they lose.  

What is anorexia nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, 90 to 95 percent of sufferers are girls and women. People with this disorder tend to see themselves as overweight, even if they are dangerously thin, and they often have an obsessive fear of gaining weight. People with anorexia frequently limit the amount of food they ingest. It’s the mental disorder with the highest mortality rate due to either health complications associated with starvation or suicide.

Causes

According to Eating Disorder Hope, there are many possible causes for anorexia nervosa. The most accepted view is that it develops from a combination of biological and environmental factors. For example, stress, trauma and cultural stereotypes are environmental factors, while genetic predisposition and hormones are biological factors that can play a role in the development of the illness.

Health risks

There are many health risks associated with anorexia. Muscle loss, fainting and weakness, dehydration and hair loss are common. Additionally, the heart rate can slow down, resulting in lower blood pressure. As heart rate and blood pressure decrease, the probability of heart failure increases.

Warning signs:

  • Exhibiting dramatic weight loss.
  • Worrying about weight, calories and diets.
  • Making excuses to avoid meals.
  • Withdrawing from friends, family and/or activities.
  • Exercising excessively.

How can you help?

It’s important to be on the lookout for the warning signs of anorexia. The sooner the person with anorexia receives professional treatment, the better the chances for recovery. So if you think that you or someone close to you might be suffering from anorexia nervosa, the best thing to do is to reach out for help.

Communication and patience are key factors in dealing with anorexia. Keep in mind that people with an eating disorder often don’t ask for help because they don’t see anything wrong. Due to the complicated nature of anorexia (the fact that it’s a mental illness that affects the functioning of the body), professional treatment that integrates medical, nutritional and psychological therapy is necessary for recovery. The staff at Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center in Shreveport, Louisiana, and Little Rock, Arkansas, has the necessary training to help individuals recover from anorexia. Visit any of our walk-in clinics today if you or someone you love is suffering from this illness.

Velocity Care shares ways to get your child eating healthy

Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo

Medical disclaimer

This site offers medical, health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. General information found on this website is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your health care professional.  If reading after hours, one option for treatment is to seek an urgent care or  walk-in clinic for medical advice. 

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