Anorexic nervosa or more commonly known as anorexia is an eating disorder which mostly affects women. People with this eating disorder are constantly worried about gaining weight. It is a kind of mental illness as the thought of staying slim is constantly running in the anorexic’s heads. It can also be life threatening. To maintain the desired shape, anorexic’s limit their food that they eat, even though they being too thin and at times, anorexia’s starve to control their weight. Today, Ms. Priya Kathpal – Nutritionist and Dr. K.M. Sunesara – General Physician, Mumbai, shares some interesting and very informative facts about Anorexic nervosa, so that girls or for that matter anyone stops taking anorexia as a fashion statement.
Characteristics of Anorexic nervosa
• A person with this problem usually has a body weight of at least 15 per cent below what is expected for a person’s age, sex and height.
• A person falls into this anorexic dig, by taking up self-trained weight loss program like avoiding fatty foods, excessive exercising and using laxatives.
• The sufferer is always preoccupied with the fear of gaining weight or adding unnecessary size to their bodies.
• Due to extreme weight loss program, severe hormonal changes may arise which may make a female’s menstrual cycle irregular.
Causes of Anorexic nervosa
The real cause of anorexic nervosa is still a hidden secret. Dr. Sunesara says – an individual want to be converted into anorexic due to both inherent biological factors as well as social factors. Besides, few causes are laid below:
Culture – Living in a faux beauty planet, makes most of the women uncomfortable with their bodies. Women in each part of the country are in a constant pressure of achieving that ideal beauty. Due to this pressure and ‘to be the best’ many women limit their food intake.
Family pressure – The eating disorder can either be hereditary or at times parents – who consider beauty as everything, pressurize their kids to diet.
Stressful life – Too much stress or drastic lifestyle changes can make a person anorexic.
Hate me feeling – People who hate their mirror appearance, at times set hard-to-achieve goals for themselves in order to look perfect and the best.
Signs and symptoms of anorexic nervosa
• Weight loss of at least 15 per cent below what is expected for a person’s age, sex and height.
• Irregular menstrual cycle or delay in puberty.
• Self-induced weight loss program.
• Constantly anxious about gaining weight or considering themselves as fat in spite of having a perfect weight for their age.
• Sufferers may feel bloated, even after a small meal.
• Less socialized life.
• Extreme tiredness, constipation or severe stomach ache.
• Exercising a lot, even in bad weather or when hurt or tired.
Physical problems associated with anorexic nervosa
• Hair loss
• Hollow facial look
• Dry skin
• Sharply protruding bones
• Cold hands and feet
• Permanent bone loss, which can further lead to fractures and osteoporosis.
• Mood change
*Images courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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