Common Health Problems
Updated on 28 March 2023
Anorexia nervosa is a serious and potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by an obsessive fear of gaining weight, self-imposed starvation, and a distorted body image. People with anorexia often have an unrealistic perception of their own body size and shape and may see themselves as overweight even when they are dangerously underweight. The meaning of anorexic or term anorexic meaning typically refers to a person who has anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder characterized by an obsessive fear of gaining weight, self-imposed starvation, and a distorted body image.
The anorexia meaning refers to a lack of appetite or desire to eat, but in the context of anorexia nervosa, it refers to the unhealthy behavior of restricting food intake in an attempt to lose weight. Anorexia nervosa, or simply anorexia, is an eating disorder that typically develops during adolescence or young adulthood and is more common in females. However, males can also be affected by anorexia.
Anorexia has numerous physical and psychological effects on the body and mind. Physical effects can include malnutrition, weight loss, fatigue, dizziness, fainting, dry skin, thinning hair, and irregular periods in women. Psychological effects can include low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, social isolation, and obsessive thoughts and behaviors related to food and weight.
It's important to differentiate between anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, as they are two separate eating disorders with distinct characteristics. Anorexia is characterized by extreme weight loss and a refusal to maintain healthy body weight, while bulimia is characterized by binge eating followed by compensatory behaviors such as purging, fasting, or over-exercising.
Some common anorexia nervosa symptoms include:
Extreme weight loss or inability to maintain a healthy body weight
Obsessive thoughts about food, weight, and body size
Extreme fear of gaining weight or becoming fat
Distorted body image and denial of the seriousness of low body weight
The exact cause of anorexia nervosa is unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of genetic, environmental, and psychological factors. People with a family history of eating disorders, mental health disorders, or substance abuse may be at higher risk for developing anorexia. Additionally, cultural and societal pressures to be thin may contribute to the development of anorexia.
Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder, with an estimated mortality rate of 10-20%. Complications of anorexia can include malnutrition, organ damage, electrolyte imbalances, osteoporosis, and even death. It's important to seek treatment as soon as possible if you or a loved one is struggling with anorexia.
Anorexia nervosa is typically diagnosed by a mental health professional, such as a doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist. The diagnosis is based on the presence of certain symptoms, including unhealthy body weight, an intense fear of gaining weight, and a distorted body image. A physical examination and laboratory tests may also be conducted to assess the presence and extent of malnutrition and other physical complications.
If the typical anorexia symptoms are seen, its treatment typically involves a combination of therapy, medication, and nutrition education and support. Therapy can help individuals with anorexia identify and address the underlying psychological and emotional causes of their disordered eating behaviors. Medications may be prescribed to address co-occurring mental health conditions such as anxiety or depression. Nutrition education and support can help individuals learn healthy eating habits and restore their bodies to a healthy weight.
As mentioned previously, anorexia nervosa has numerous physical and psychological complications. Physical complications can include malnutrition, organ damage, electrolyte imbalances, osteoporosis, and even death. Psychological complications can include low self-esteem, anxiety, depression, social isolation, and obsessive thoughts and behaviors related to food and weight.
Preventing anorexia nervosa can be challenging, as the exact cause is unknown and it is a complex disorder with multiple contributing factors. However, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of developing anorexia, such as:
Encouraging body positivity and self-acceptance
Promoting healthy body image and self-esteem
Teaching healthy eating habits and exercise behaviors
Anorexia nervosa is a serious and potentially life-threatening eating disorder characterized by an obsessive fear of gaining weight, self-imposed starvation, and a distorted body image. It has numerous physical and psychological effects on the body and mind and has a high mortality rate. Treatment for anorexia typically involves therapy, medication, and nutrition education and support, and it is important to seek help as soon as possible if you or a loved one is struggling with this disorder.
Read from 5000+ Articles, topics, verified by MYLO.
When Is the Best Time to Plan For Postpartum Weight Loss?
Thyroid: Types, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Symptoms of Pregnancy at 1 Week
Appetite Loss During Pregnancy: Causes & Treatments
Heat Rash in Babies: Symptoms, Risks & Treatments
Amniocentesis: Meaning, Risks & Results
100% Secure Payment Using
Stay safe | Secure Checkout | Safe delivery
Have any Queries or Concerns?
Mylo is a master brand offering solutions through it's subsidiaries - Mylo Care and Mylo Baby.
Mylo Care offers science backed, expert led solutions across multiple health concerns.
Mylo Baby is a one stop solution for young parents for all their baby's needs.
Manual Breast Pump | Diapers & Wipes - For Mom | Maternity Dresses | Maternity Pillows | Pregnancy Belt | Skin | Acne & Blemishes | Dry & Dull Skin | Tan Removal | Anti Ageing | Skin brightening | Dark Circles | Skin hydration | Shop By Ingredient | Kumkumadi | Ubtan | Vitamin C | Tea Tree | Aloe Vera | Skin - Hair |