Anorexia Nervosa: The Dark Side of Weight Loss

Anorexia Nervosa: The Dark Side of Weight Loss

Many people who are overweight will celebrate anything that may make them think again. There are many routine ways that you can apply to make you thin. Some may opt to stop eating so much to control the weight. The idea is good, but you should be worried about the encroachment of Anorexia Nervosa! It is an eating disorder that will hurt your life because it interferes with your mental and physical health. Losing weight is a good thing for overweight people, but extreme thinness is a life-threatening condition requiring attention. Find out all the facts you need to know about the disorder and what you can do to stay safe from it. The article will instill you with real insights about the causes of Anorexia and what you need to do when you are suffering from its symptoms.

What Is Anorexia Nervosa?

So, first things first, what is Anorexia Nervosa?  Ever heard of a disorder that is a result of excessive weight loss? It is both an eating and a metabolic disorder, which results in extreme thinness due to extreme starvation. The research shows that approximately 2 percent of the American females and 0.3% of the males in America are prone to Anorexia. The national eating disorders Association affirms this statistic, posing a greater question on what should be done to gap it. Indeed, the disorder often affects women and adolescent girls, but it won’t be a surprise to see it affecting other genders at all stages of life. It is a sickness that does not care about age, gender, and race. If you are that person who emphasizes so much on physical exercise and even weight loss supplements, then you increase your chances of acquiring the disorder.

Some common signs and symptoms will signal the encroachment of Anorexia. The common ones include skipping meals, refusing to eat in public, frequent references and complaints about weight gain, and clothing to disguise thinness, intense exercise regimens, and fear of weight gain. People suffering from Anorexia do not suffer from the disease, but rather the efforts to control one’s body and shape.

What Causes Anorexia?

It is common knowledge to think that every eating disorder should revolve around food. The causes of Anorexia are psychological. Anorexia Nervosa makes someone restrict food while controlling the weight in a manner that seems to be obsessive. When you begin equating thinness to self-worth, then you are opening the gates for Anorexia. When you begin associating your self-worth with thinness, it distorts your chances of growing healthy and gradually will make you very sick. It will be hard to identify the real cause of the sickness, unlike other eating disorders. Notably, many factors play a role here; first, when you have a family member who has an eating disorder, your chances increase. If your family members have some obsessive traits such as sensitivity and perfectionism, it becomes easier to acquire an Anorexia Nervosa disorder. Secondly, genetics is the other cause that plays a major role in increasing Anorexia.

Though the research available about the genetic influence on Anorexia s Scarce, it is important to realize that many studies are now focusing on it. The scientist is now beginning the delve so much into the type of genes that places people at higher risk of the disorder. Notably, the available research results are impressive. It is even now possible to pinpoint the specific genes that link the Anorexia to conditions such as anxiety, stress, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Certain metabolic genes link to body processes such as fat burning, physical activities, and resistance to some types of disorders like type 2 diabetes. So, generally speaking, these genetic links is just but a bit of it because there are thousands of risky combinations that may cause Anorexia. It is the reason why more research is still essential to affirm the exact causes of Anorexia.

What Are the Symptoms of Anorexia?

Now that we partly understand the causes of Anorexia Nervosa, it will be good to check through the signs and symptoms that you may experience when you have Anorexia Nervosa. The leading symptoms of Anorexia are;

  • Fear of an increase in weight makes the person focus so much on things that cause weight loss.
  • Rapid weight loss within a short time that can be weeks or a few months
  • Focusing on weight loss guidelines even when you are thin
  • Delving so much on programs and diet plans that teach on calories, nutrition , and cooking
  • A feeling of being overweight even when you are skinny
  • Possessing strange eating habits and routines such as eating in private places
  • If you often engage in compulsive exercise, then it may be due to Anorexia.
  • Do you often feel sick? It is a signal for the disorder.
  • Do you often strive for perfection, and you are self-critical? It may be a reason to agree that you have Anorexia.
  • Do your body shape and weight lower your self-esteem? Or does it make you increase your self-esteem? This is a signpost for Anorexia.
  • Do you often suffer depression, anxiety, and stress? Or maybe you possess a feeling of being worthless or hopeless? All this could signal Anorexia.
  • Have you begun developing physical symptoms such as low tolerance to cold weather, brittle hair and nails, and dry yellowish Skin? Do you also have other conditions such as Skin, anemia, frequent constipation, or even swollen joints? They are the perfect signs of Anorexia.

Anorexia Nervosa does have many kinds of symptoms. You only need to check out on this, and if you suffer more than half of it, it may be due to the disorder. This is where you will need to begin focusing on the diagnosis and treatment.

How Anorexia Affects Your Health and Well-Being

When you suffer symptoms of Anorexia, it negatively affects your health and general wellbeing. It can cause various physical, psychological, and emotional problems that may not be friendly to your overall wellness. When you are facing issues of starvation, you will face complications such as;

  • A drop in blood pressure and an abnormally slow heart rate may hinder the processes in your system.
  • It may also drop the amount of blood count, which will eventually lead to a risk of heart failure.
  • Anorexia will also lead to conditions Osteopenia, a condition that interferes with bone resulting in loss of bone.
  • The disorder can also cause other conditions such as losing muscle tone, dehydration, and gradual kidney failure.
  • Women will also face other menstrual issues such as irregular periods. Men will face challenges of low testosterone hormones.
  • The patient will often suffer from cases of dry skin, which will take a yellowish tint. It may also affect other parts of the body such as the fingers, where you will suffer bluish color on the fingers’ tips.
  • It is also possible to grow downy hair growing over the Skin to keep you warm.

Anorexia patients are also likely to experience serious conditions, such as psychological and emotional problems. The leading psychological and emotional problems may include

  • Poor eating habits, irritability, and emotional flat lining
  • You will also likely withdraw from social activities because of the feeling of insecurity about your physical appearance.
  • The patients will suffer anxiety and depression.’
  • You may even begin having suicidal thoughts.
  • Your urge for sex greatly decreases.

How Is Anorexia Nervosa Diagnosed?

How is Anorexia diagnosed? To diagnose Anorexia Nervosa, you will need to see your care provider, who does a thorough physical exam on your body. The leading examinations that he or she will begin with include checking your blood pressure and heart rate. The pressure and heart rate examinations are not sufficient; you will need to go through a psychological exam to see a mental health professional. The mental health professional will be focusing on understanding if you do the following;

  • If you have a fear of gaining weight
  • If you are restricting your food intake
  • Or if you have issues with the shape of your body.

You may also need to go through certain laboratory tests. The laboratory tests will be checking for the electrolyte level, together with the kidney and liver are functioning. It will be necessary t also measure the bone density and any heart irregularities that may be evident.

What Is the Treatment for Anorexia?

Anorexia may pose serious health issues such as dehydration that will need emergency care. Other cases that will need immediate care include malnutrition, irregular heartbeat, and imminent kidney failure. All these cases will need emergency treatments lest it poses a risk to your life. Notably, Anorexia is hard to treat disease, for you will be dealing with a myriad of conditions, of which most people will deny it. Many people do not agree to have the condition, making the treatment plan quite challenging.Anorexia Nervosa Treatment

Some people are also so terrified about gaining weight; therefore, they fear any efforts to make them gain some weight. You will need a comprehensive treatment plan for Anorexia Nervosa that meets all the patient’s basic requirements. So, Anorexia treatment attempts to treat low self-esteem, restoring a healthy weight, and attempting to correct the distorted thinking patterns. The treatment will also focus on developing behavioral changes for the long term. The leading treatment options for patients with Anorexia Nervosa include;


There are specific medications that help the patient suffering from the disorder. You can use selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which will help control anxiety and depression. There are also specific anti-depressants, which will help the patient with sleep and may stimulate the appetite.


Psychotherapy is another treatment procedure that you can opt for when you are suffering from Anorexia. It is counseling that focuses on cognitive and thinking issues. The treatment will involve practical techniques that will be effective in developing healthy attitudes towards food and weight. It also tries to change the way a patient responds to difficult situations.

Group and Family Therapy

The success of the Anorexia Nervosa will greatly require family support. The family needs to understand this eating disorder while acknowledging its signs and symptoms. If you have this disorder, you may greatly benefit from group therapy since it will be possible to find support by openly discussing the feelings and concerns with people sharing common experiences.

Nutrition Counseling

Anorexia prevention will also be achieved when people focus on diet counseling. The program attempts to elaborate on a healthy program that will help people maintain health and proper weight. Anorexia Nervosa treatment involves a proper diet. That is why nutrition counseling becomes necessary.


You will need Hospitalization when the symptoms are serious, and you need professional care. If you are experiencing severe weight loss, which may be due to malnutrition or even other physical and mental issues, Hospitalization will be mandatory. If you have suicidal thoughts, you will need close monitoring to ensure that you are safe.

Can Anorexia Nervosa Be Prevented?

Anorexia effects are devastating, and it will be good if there was a way it could be prevented. Notably, experts do not have any procedures through which you can prevent it. It solely relies on the attitudes of the people who are close to you, such as family. How your family members take physical practices such as dieting, weight loss, and exercise will determine how you will respond. It is all about building self-esteem. Adults need to teach their teens the importance of self-esteem by touching so much o the importance of education, investing in hobbies, and participating in voluntary work.

What you do will influence much on getting the disorder. It would help if you were a social being that shares much and doesn’t focus on issues that attempt to tune the general appearance and weight; you also need to care less about what people think about you to prevent acquiring the Anorexia symptoms.

The Bottom Line

If you experience the symptoms of Anorexia, it will be a milestone to talk to your health care provider. It is possible to follow all the weight-loss guidelines without suffering the risk of Anorexia. Your health care provider will provide you with specific treatment procedures and programs to help you recover from the disorder. People who suffer from Anorexia Nervosa do not need to spend their time alone. Being social here is a great way to save yourself from the danger of the disorder. Avoid any behavior that increases the behaviors that associate with Anorexia. Focus on healthy diets that will enrich your body with all the essential nutrients for proper growth.