With the holiday season being over and new year’s resolutions began, many people resolve to shed those holiday or year gained pounds that they have unwittingly and unwillingly accumulated. With that being stated it is important that we strive towards our weight lost goals safely. Unfortunately, with a new pro eating disorder society growing in numbers, not all will strive towards that goal safely. One eating disorder, I wish to spotlight in this blog is Anorexia Nervosa or simply Anorexia.
Anorexia is an eating disorder characterized by the refusal to maintain a health body weight because of an obsessive fear of gaining weight due to a distorted self image. Psychologically, it is a disorder that is caused by a person’s need for control and fears related to their body image. There are two types of anorexia: restricting and purging. Restricting involves restricting calories; drastic dieting and fasting; and excessive exercise. Purging involves the disposal of calories by vomiting, laxatives, and usage of diuretics.
Cause and diagnosis of Anorexia can be somewhat tricky because there is no definite cause of the disorder and anorexics can hide their disorder until it becomes overt. Some physical symptoms of Anorexia are: extreme weight loss; thin appearance; abnormal blood count (which can be analyzed through the usage of a centrifuge); low blood pressure, dehydration, swelling of arms and legs; hair that thins and breaks; and brittle nails.
Upon being diagnosed, a person suffering from this disorder will be subject to laboratory tests; which include a complete blood count, evaluation of the amount of electrolytes and protein within your blood. Urinalysis may also be done to assess the proper functioning of your liver, kidney, and thyroid. These test are important in the diagnosis as well as start of treatment for the patient. For more information regarding Anorexia Nervosa and other eating disorders please visit http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/.