Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder portrayed by extreme weight loss. People with anorexia tend to restrict their diet to a certain calorie intake each day that can result in life-threatening risks. Research shows that Anorexia nervosa has the highest death rate of any psychiatric diagnosis.
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The mortality rate is conclusively twelve times higher than the death rate of all causes of death for females within 15-24 years old. Severe anorexia cases are known to irritate professionals due to the complexity of approaches used. Since people with anorexia restrict their diet, their body is being denied of essential nutrients and can be the cause of major health consequences.
People often mistake mistake anorexia nervosa with other types of eating disorders. Bulimia is mostly mistaken for anorexia due to the similarity of food restrictions, excessive exercise and a strong desire to not gain weight. The difference is that bulimia is characterized by binging and purging behavior to prevent weight gain. Purging behavior incorporates vomiting, diuretic or laxative abuse. Pica is another eating disorder mistaken for anorexia nervosa, this is because a patient eats food that have no nutritional value such as cotton. You might have seen some examples on the TV show My Strange Addiction, where people eat non-food items. Purging disorder is when a person purges without bingeing. This of course can be a major risk to the health such as ulcers, chronic gastric reflux, irregular heart rhythm, etc.
There is no single cause associated with anorexia nervosa. Anorexia can be a coping mechanism for some patients who are going through traumas or life stressing matters. Such ones may be facing divorce or family separation, the stress of academic pressures, transitions, developmental challenges or any change in their life. Anorexia is also found in patients whose families are well functioning. The encounter of puberty and adolescence are also common causes of anorexia. Research claims that patients of anorexia may come from families with autistic spectrum traits, perfectionist, obsessive, and competitive traits.
The factors of anorexia are divided to predisposing, precipitating, and perpetuating factors that trigger and maintain an eating disorder. A patient might begin with harmless dieting which can become extreme with time. Family influence is also another key, a patient might be called names by family as a joke which could take a negative turn on a person, especially when they are already dealing with body insecurities. Parents are not the blame for the condition of an anorexic child because it is an eating disorder caused by improper brain functioning. Low levels of serotonin (one of the brain chemicals involved in depression) can be a cause of anorexia. 33% -50% of anorexic patients have mood disorders, such as depression.
The diagnosis of anorexia has become common over the years,
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