Anorexia is often seen as a problem dealing with the aversion to food. The truth is it is a coping mechanism for the sufferere that uses starvation of the body, body weight and food to have better control of his/her life.Often, this condition is triggered after being overwhelmed by anxiety, anger and fear. People with anorexia are mostly females.
Anorexia nervosa is often seen as a psychiatric disorder.
What is anorexia?
Anorexic sufferers share the fear of becoming fat. This is the reason why they have a bad notion about food and eating. Because of this fear, they believe they need to starve themselves. This kind of thinking has resulted to a vicious and never ending cycle of feeling fear and starving themselves. This cycle is life threatening and while most sufferers are aware of it, they choose to ignore it.
An anorexic person is usually 15% below his/her normal weight. In spite of that he/she still considers himself/herself overweight or fat.
This problem often begins during the person’s teenage years. They may discover the idea of being thin as proper from their peers. They try to become thin by self-starvation, vomiting after eating, regular intake of diet pills or through excessive exercise.
Anorexia has many symptoms and of course the most obvious sign is the person’s weight which is as mentioned before, 15% below their ideal weight.
Other symptoms include:
- Constant exercise
- Joint pain
- Loss of hair on head
- Fatigue and muscle tiredness, headaches
- Obsession with food and calories
- Irregular menstruation in women
- Amenorrhea (loss of menstruation)
- Unusual eating habits (i.e. cutting food into tiny pieces, picking at food)
- Mood swings
- Loss of hair on head
- Fine downy hairs on face, neck, back
- Pale complexion, dehydration
One physical risk of anorexia is joint pain. Anorexia and joint pain are not often seen as major factors of concern by many people but the truth is this problem can lead to more severe physical issues such as rheumatism, chronic back and neck pain and arthritis among others. The rise of joint pain in anorexic children often entails such pain that makes it difficult for them to attend school regularly.
Anorexia and joint pain go together since the lack of nutrients leaves the joints pretty weak to perform muscle and bone functions properly. The lack of nutrients in the body can lead to osteoarthritis, body growth retardation, impaired brain function, low body temperature, mineral loss, shrunken bones and irregular heartbeat.
The body pain usually associated with anorexia is joint pain which is a signpost for the onset of fragile bones that can lead to osteoporosis, as well as problems in the brain, kidneys, liver and heart.