Understanding Anorexia: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Understanding AnorexiaAnorexia is a mental health disorder that makes people maintain low body weight. A person with this disorder maintains (or drastically changes) their weight by restricting the amount of food they take, forcing themselves to vomit, and exercising extremely.

The Symptoms of Anorexia

You cannot quickly identify people with this disorder, as most of them hide it through their behavior. According to MedlinePlus, some of the symptoms are:

  • Not eating or eating only small amounts of food
  • Obsessively taking note of the calorie count
  • Taking medications to lower appetite
  • Checking weight regularly
  • Exercising excessive and rapid weight loss

The Treatment for Anorexia

When seeking for anorexia treatment, the treatment facility should assess the social and psychological needs of their patients to set the right plan. It's also best to seek for psychological therapy and nutritional advice to help gain weight safely. Professionals who can provide treatment include psychiatrists and dietitians.

The Causes of Anorexia

  • Social and Cultural Factors

Society may value slimness as a way of avoiding weight related illnesses, such as obesity and high blood pressure. Many activities are also in favor of slender bodies, like modeling, dancing, and athletics. A person's desire to participate in such activities may make them exercise excessively and reduce their food intake consequently, which leads them to develop anorexia. Feelings of loneliness, low self-esteem, anger, and anxiety can contribute to this condition, as well.

  • Infections

Streptococcus and mycoplasma infections cause a reaction in the brain that makes people experience satiety, thus avoiding food intake.

  • Neuroendocrine Dysregulation

WebMD suggests that a change in the signaling of peptides, which aid in the communication between the gut and the brain, may cause anorexia. This change interferes with a person's regulation of hunger and satisfaction.

Anorexia is a serious condition. It's best to find reliable medical attention in case you notice symptoms to yourself or your loved one. All in all, prevention is the best option.