Has exaggerated fear of gaining extra pounds made you starve in spite of your hunger? Has the preoccupied desire of losing weight and being thin taken over your eating habits?
Are you incongruity with the distorted perception that you are looking fat when you are actually not? To your shock, you are suffering from a psychiatric illness called Anorexia nervosa. Do pitch in with me to understand what it is.
It is just a medical term used for serious physical and emotional illness in which an illogical fear of being fat and obese leads to restriction of amount of food intake resulting in dangerous weight loss. Now, I think you understand that it is a common problem faced by most of us.
According to a study estimate, Anorexia is said to occur in 0.9% to 4.3% of women and 0.2% to 0.3% of men in Western countries and 0.4% of young females are affected by this. Over a ten year period, about 5% of people die due to complications of anorexia. So, you can be one in it. Beware!
The causes are too complex to understand and definite causes are not determined yet. It comprises biological, psychological and sociological factors.
· Over exposure of media to thinness culture which reinforce people looking thin as ideal stereotypes
· Pressure from peers and society to look thin
· Feelings of low self-esteem, loneliness and complex
· Irregular changes in hormones controlling the body and mind
· Genetics may also be a reason
The cause may differ for each individual depending upon the surrounding and lifestyle.
(Interesting fact: There are types in anorexia-restricting type and purging type. In restricting type, restricting calories is done for weight loss and in the purging type vomiting and diuretics aid in weight loss.)
Anorexia should not be taken as a mental illness; it really has serious physical implications. Pinch in with me to know its complications!
How does it affect your body?
The following happens:
· Weakening of bones and tooth decay
· A heightened risk of infection due to a decrease in immunity owing to the reduction in white blood cell count.
· Tooth decay
· Malnutrition due to the decreased intake of nutrients
· Fear of gaining weight leads to anxiety disorder and depression
· State of inhibition(restraining or controlling his/her behavior and expression)
· Lanugos development(developing excess hair on face and body)
· Amenorrhea(abnormality in menstruation cycle often characterized as losing periods for a period of three months)
· Excess hair fall
· Increased sensation of feeling cold in extremities
· Dry skin and dry mouth
What is the treatment?
The biggest challenge lies in recognizing that you are having this problem and you are enervated by it. Often medical help is sought out to overcome this illness. The participation of kith and kin in this process increase the pace of the recovery process .So stay upbeat and has one track mind in overcoming this problem.
Now, the treatment is given in three areas-medically, nutritionally and emotionally
The highest priority is in addressing serious health issues such as malnutrition and unstable heartbeat. Depending on the level of distress and the depth of ill effects, hospitalization may be suggested where treatment is given until a critical weight is restored.
Nutritional counseling from nutritionist or dietician is the second component. Suggestions on balanced eating and proper nutrition will be given. Meal plans will be charged to boost up calories and maintaining an ideal weight.
Counseling and encouragement are crucial to treating anorexia. Identifying the seeded negative thoughts and dealing accordingly with emotional fears, relationship problems, anxiety and depression goal is the best way to treat this.
Cool your jets and keep your chin up! Why fears and tears? You are always the prince and princess for your loved ones .Height, weight, age all just numbers. Why worry about those silly numbers? Lose your fear and live your life your way!