Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What's anorexia nervosa? A general overview

More and more often we face the disease that has become popular in last 30 years. What is anorexia nervosa? How dangerous is it and what are its causes?

Anorexia nervosaAnorexia nervosa is considered to be the disease connected with abnormal nutritional behaviour. Anorexia nervosa is neither a mania nor a bad habit. It is a mental disease.

A pathological desire of loss of the weight accompanied by the fear of adiposity is characteristic of anorexia nervosa. A patient has an unreal self-image distorted by the anxiety of the imaginary increase of weight (even if the's not a sign of the latter).

Usually people who suffer from anorexia nervosa strive to lose their weight in two ways:

1. restrictions (rigid diets, decrease in food consumption from day to day, excessive sport excercises.
2. purging (gastric lavage, enemas, provoked vomitting after food consumption).

There several reasons for anorexia nervosa. We may distiguish at least three factors:

- biological (biological and genetic predisposition),
- psychological (influence of family and internal conflicts),
- social (influence of the environment, social expectations, imitation).

How widespread is anorexia nervosa? Well, in developed countries every second of 100 girls aged from 12 to 24 suffers from it. Anorexia nervosa is considered to be a woman's disease. 90% of anorexic sufferers are generally young girls of 12-24. 10% comprise more mature women and men.

Symptoms of anorexia nervosa:

1. constant sensation of plumpness of the body or its parts
2. the way to consume food: to eat upright, to shatter a meal into fine pieces
3. sleep disorder
4. isolation from the society
5. panic fear to put on weight

Among its consequences are arrhythmia, changes in the menstrual cycle, constant weakness, muscular spasms, irritability, etc.

What one can do in case of anorexia nervosa?

First of all one should contact the psychiatrist be diagnosed and to get the plan of treatment. In anorexia nervosa treatment psychological support (individual and family psychotherapy) is one of the neccesary conditions.