Anorexia Nervosa, otherwise known as anorexia is an eating disorder where one starves themselves due to generally underlying emotional issues. Anorexia is a serious eating disorder that can result in death if not treated. Warning signs of anorexia are not always easy to spot. People who suffer from this eating disorder deny the problem exist and explain away questions regarding their weight or eating habits. Being able to spot the signs of anorexia may make the difference between a life being saved or lost.
A universal symptom of anorexia is continued weight loss. The person afflicted may claim to be on a diet, but even thin continues to diet and lose weight. After 15 % of normal body weight for is lost and there is continued weight loss would be a very strong indication that this is a person struggling with anorexia. A thin person restricting intake of foods due to fear of gaining weight, obsession with nutritional labels, documenting faithfully food intake, stating they have ate when in reality they haven’t, hiding food so they do not have to eat it, and obsessing over food yet still has little intake are all strong warning signs of anorexia. Anorexia suffers may feel awkward or refuse to eat in public places or may exhibit peculiar eating habits.
Anorexics obess over self body image; seeing themselves as fat regardless of how thin they are. This distorted way of thinking keeps the cycle going. They deny that they are thin, become preoccupied with mirrors and their body image. They often exercise excessively in a ritualistic fashion, such as running two miles before allowing any intake of food. Anorexics will weigh themselves frequently and often documented the results religiously.
Anorexia affects a person’s medical health extremely. Some medical warning signs are the person’s lack of ability to think right or clear, they may be unstable, depressed, ill-tempered, show signs of memory loss or exhibit fainting spells. Their hair becomes thin and brittle due to lack of nutrients, blood pressure and heart rate lower, and may develop heart palpitations. Anemia is another problem that arises from anorexia. Weak muscles, swollen joints, brittle bones that are easily fractured or broke, development of kidney stones or failure, body fluids lack proper nutrients, constipation, bloating, and cease of menstrual cycle are just some of the other medical warning signs anorexia. Body temperature will fluctuate and the anorexic will often feel cold, their skin will bruise easily and lack elasticity. Other indicators that one may be suffering from anorexia are a development of fine hair growth all over the body and their skin becoming dry with a yellowish hue.
Anorexics often use diet pills, laxatives, and/or diuretics to aid in their weight loss or ease some of the effects from being an anorexic. When types of products are found hidden or being used is another strong indicator there is a serious problem. Purging after eating is yet another behavior exhibited by anorexics.
There are biological, psychological and social environmental causes to anorexia and anyone can suffer from it. As anorexia advances, so do the signs and symptoms and the risk of death elevates. With proper treatment and support, recovery is achievable. If you or a loved one is showing warning signs of anorexia, talk to them and help them to get the help they need.