Health Program

 Anorexia

Definition


People who initially starve themselves and are still convinced that they are overweight. It is a severe emotional disorder affecting mostly young women in industrial countries, where society says that thin is in. Male athletes and men that are in the military are growing in the number of affected men.


Causes


There is no specific medical cause for this disease but several factors lead up to this eating disorder. Some examples are: Severe trauma or emotional stress during puberty or pre-puberty, abnormalities in brain chemistry especially changes in serotonin levels (the chemical that regulates appetite), cultural environment that puts a high value on skinny people, controlling parents that show no emotional warmth, tendencies toward perfection, and, a family history of the disease.


Risk Factors


  • Early onset of puberty

  • Living in an industrial country

  • Obsessive compulsive disorder

  • History of sexual abuse or another traumatic event

  • Dieting


Risk Groups


  • Teenage and young women

  • People who participate in sports and activities that put emphasis on a lean body

  • People who have difficulty dealing with stress


Statistics


  • 3% of the adolescent and adult women population, in addition of 1% of men experience anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or any other of eating disorder.

  • A young women with anorexia runs 12 times greater risk of dying, than any young women without anorexia.

  • Only half of anorexia victims or bulimia can recover in full, only 30% of the victims can reach a fractional recovery, and 20% have no improvement.

  • 40% of fourth grade students admitted that they had put themselves through a diet, “very often” or “sometimes”.

  • More than 5 million of the American population deals with an eating disorder.

  • 15% of young women experience “disordered eating attitudes” and conduct.

  • Between 90-95% of the anorexia victims are “girls and women”.

  • Anorexia regularly appears in the early or middle years of adolescence.

  • The average woman in the United States is 5’4” and weighs 140 pounds. In contrast, the average United States model is 5’11” and weighs 117 pounds.

  • Twenty years ago the average fashion model weighted 8% less than the average women. Today a fashion model weights 23% less than the average women.


Source: Students Against Destructive Decisions Statistics


Treatment


When tremendous evidences of anorexia are present in a victim, hospitalization may be needed to permit a close dietary supervision. A variety of treatments are offer against anorexia, ranging from "psychotherapy" (family therapy), counseling, self-help groups, medical and no medical practices.


In some cases treatment must be extended, although frequent "regression" may occur. The patient needs to be supported to learn and be aware that it is part of the recovery. According to statistics, recovery is very likely.


Source: Anorexia Treatment


Prevention


There is no way to prevent anorexia, but recognizing early danger signs and looking for a vital treatment can help prevent it. Danger Signs:


  • Rejection to maintain appropriate body weight

  • Horror to gaining weight

  • Chat about "feeling fat"

  • Avoid eating "full meals"

  • Neurotic concern with own "body size"

  • Excessive exercise

  • Unhappiness with "physical appearance"

  • Personality change from friendly to solitary

  • Very little or no "food intake"

  • Complicated or no menstrual cycles


Source: Caring Online