Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that many know but few talk about. It's a disorder that can be very shameful, and difficult to conquer. Many anorexics are in denial about their condition. Few realize how tough it can be to determine the disease, and how seriously distorted an anorexic can feel about their body image. In this article, we'll give you a basic idea of what anorexia is, and give you some diagnostic signposts to determine when you or someone close to you has a problem with the disorder.
Anorexia is, above all, a form of mental illness. That's not to say that anorexics are crazy; it simply alludes to the fact that the brain functioning of someone with the disorder suffers from an unhealthy response to their environment. Anorexia can be especially ingrained in one's behavior, and can be very difficult for anorexics to simply stop their behavior without professional help.
Here are some of the things that doctors look for when it comes to diagnosing anorexia. If you think that some of the criteria fit the situation that you are in, you may want to seek outside help for dealing with your nutrition:
Most doctors diagnose anorexia first and foremost by the weight that an individual is. If you are 85 percent or less of your recommended body weight and you refuse to take action against it to gain weight, you may have a problem with anorexia. This weight level can be extremely unhealthy, and it can result in serious damage to one's body.
Another thing that doctors look for is a particular fear of gaining weight. The anorexic can have an inordinate fear of being fat, even if they are rail-thin. This fear of gaining weight and ignoring one's actual body image can be a major detective sign of the illness.
If you tend to deny the fact that your body weight is insufficient, and you have low feelings of self worth, doctors may have to be involved in your treatment. Remember, anorexia is a problem that is rooted psychologically, and physically changing behavior patterns alone will not be a sufficient solution. If you feel that you or someone you love may have anorexia, you should at least give yourself the opportunity to speak with a doctor or another professional about your problem.
If you think that a friend may be anorexic, there are some warning signs that you may be able to note. Those with the disorder will often avoid questions about their weight as well as they can, and may get angry if you try to discuss the issue with them. Also, they may avoid eating in public as to disguise their diet. If you see some of these warning signs, do your best to get your friend to a physician.
If you wait too long, the damage that the disorder does to the body can become so severe that it can be tough to recover from them, and the use of an IV may be employed to try to bring your loved one back to health. The danger that eating disorders present are many, so addressing the problem is paramount to keeping your friend in proper health.
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Scott Meyers is a staff writer for Its Entirely Natural, a resource for helping you achieve a naturally healthy body, mind, and spirit. You may contact our writers through the web site. Follow this link for more information on Eating Disorders.
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