Nervosa Overview – Anorexia Nervosa is a type of self-starvation and a very serious psychiatric disorder with elevated mortality and risk of long-term medical consequences. Affected people continue to view themselves as needing to lose weight or fear gaining weight despite being very underweight.
Nervosa Overview – Signs and symptoms may include:
- Rapid weight loss
- Obsessive preoccupation with food, calories and the desire to lose weight
- Excessive dissatisfaction with body shape and weight
- A decrease in variety and amount of food eaten
- Skipping meals and avoiding eating with others
- Excessive exercise
- Self-induced vomiting or chewing and spitting out food
- Abuse of laxatives, diuretics or diet pills
- Menstrual irregularities
- Other serious health consequences can include depressed mood, fractures and heart problems.
People who have anorexia tend to think they’re overweight when they’re actually very thin. They may eat fewer than 1,000 calories a day, exercise excessively, and vomit, use laxatives, take diuretics, or give themselves enemas as they continually attempt to lose more weight.
Nervosa Overview – Statistics:
Approximately 1 percent of American women may have anorexia, and that could actually be a conservative estimate. Anorexia can affect men, children, and the elderly, but the majority of those who have it are adolescent girls or young women.
Nervosa Overview – People with anorexia nervosa tend to:
- Maintain a weight that’s more than 15 percent lower than a normal body weight
- Have an intense fear of gaining pounds
- Have a distorted image of their bodies
- Deny that they have an illness
- Among women, stop menstruating for at least three months in a row
- Anorexics may also have rituals associated with eating, like cutting their food into small pieces, refusing to eat in front of other people, or cooking big meals for others while not eating themselves.
Nervosa Overview – Physical appearance
As a result of the eating disorder disease, people with anorexia may have a low body temperature, brittle bones and nails, dry and yellow skin, and fine hair on the body. Ultimately, anorexia can cause low blood pressure and a low heart rate, and lead to an irregular heart rhythm or heart failure. The disease can also affect the kidneys and brain. People with anorexia have even starved to death.
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