Anorexia -some facts

ANOREXIA FACT SHEETS

 

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that affects many women, some of whom go undiagnosed for years. Early diagnosis and treatment can improve the odds of recovery by a large percentage. Sometimes knowing the facts about anorexia can help both family, friends and providers to recognize the signs and symptoms.

  •  Anorexia nervosa appears more in the Caucasian and Hispanic female as opposed to the Black or Asian female.

 

  •  Anorexia nervosa is more prevalent in the age group of the 15-year-old to 23-year-old female although a younger age group is appearing at an alarming rate.

 

  • Excessive dieting and exercising can be seen in the anorexic leading to an extreme thinness in the body.

 

  •  On the average it is estimated that 1% of females in their teens and early 20s develops this eating disorder.

 

  • Studies have shown that 10% to 15% will die of complications arising from anorexia nervosa.

 

  •  Peer pressure and an ever-increasing emphasis of today’s model society seem to play a very real part in the development of anorexia nervosa.

 

  •  Anorexics have a slower and sometimes abnormal heart rate, low body temperature, electrolyte imbalances, and lower blood pressure.

 

  •  A sufferer will sometimes have a soft downy hair growth that is called lanugo on their arms and other body parts, which develops from lack of essential vitamins and minerals lacking in the diet.

 

  •  An anorexic patient will weigh 15% and sometimes greater percentage under the norm for their height and weight.

 

  • Women with anorexia nervosa will have lack of or an abnormal menstrual flow.

 

  •  Although typically seen in the female the male anorexic will be seen, but it is often misdiagnosed.

 

  • People with anorexia will severely limit their dietary intake even though wanting to eat and being very hungry out of fear of becoming fat.

 

  • People suffering from anorexia, even when dramatically thin, will see a distorted image when looking in the mirror and will see a very heavy person.

 

  • A person afflicted with anorexia nervosa has erosion of the tooth’s enamel and an increased incidence of cavities.

 

  • People with anorexia can sometimes develop kidney infections and kidney failure.

 

  • Studies have shown that genetics may or may not be attributed to the development of anorexia nervosa. Researchers theorize that a genetic component will make a woman or man more prone to using this method of controlling a stressful environment or answer the need for perfectionism.

 

  •  Even after a very small meal an anorexic will feel bloated most likely due to extreme shrinkage of their stomach.

 

  •  Studies have shown that 50% of all anorexics will suffer from bone thinning or otherwise known as osteoporosis.

 

  •  A person with anorexia nervosa will often shield themselves from the outside and will avoid social gatherings due to fear of being in an “eating” situation.

 

  •  An individual suffering from anorexia nervosa will often have intolerance to cold temperatures due to low body weight.

 

  •  In the younger person with anorexia nervosa growth may be slowed and cause short stature,

 

  •  In severe cases of anorexia nervosa hospitalization may be required.

 

  •  In some cases of anorexia nervosa medication may be needed to treat underlying depression or an obsessive-compulsive disorder which thereby complicates this psychiatric illness. 

 

  • Proper medical treatment involving physicians, psychiatric professionals, family and friends play an important role in the success of the person who is diagnosed with anorexia nervosa.
  •  It is estimated that only 4 out of every 10 person afflicted with anorexia nervosa will make a full recovery.

 

RESOURCES

Womens Health: Anorexia Nervosa Fact Sheet
http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/anorexia-nervosa.html

 

Operation Beautiful: Fact Sheet
http://www.operationbeautiful.com/fact-sheet-anorexia/

 

National Alliance on Mental Illness: Anorexia Nervosa Fact Sheet
http://www.nami.org/factsheets/anorexia_factsheet.pdf

 

Health and Wellbeing: Anorexia Fact sheet
http://health.ninemsn.com/family/womenshealth/689861/anorexia-a-factsheet

 

National Eating Disorder Collaboration: Anorexia Nervosa
http://www.nedc.com.au/files/logos/0638_NEDC_FS_AN_v4.pdf

 

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