Posts Tagged ‘anorexia diagnosis’

Guide To Understanding Anorexia Part 1/2

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

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What is Anorexia?

Anorexia Nervosa, often just called Anorexia, is an eating
disorder wherein an individual has a distorted body image. This
misperception leads to an avoidance of food and severely
restricted caloric consumption. Low body weight and an intense
fear of gaining weight are characteristic traits. Anorexia is a
psychophysiological disorder which, if left untreated, can
eventually lead to death.

Who might be at risk of developing Anorexia?

Anyone can develop an eating disorder, however there are
certain individuals who seem to have an increased risk. Women
are, of course, more likely to develop an eating disorder than
are men. That said, the rates of Anorexia Nervosa in men is
increasing somewhat. More research is needed to determine the
cause of eating disorders, however those at risk may include
high strung individuals with a stringent set of ideals. People
who exhibit perfectionism in their pursuits both academically
and extracurricular. Someone with a family history of obesity.
An individual prone to dieting on a regular basis. A history
of physical or sexual abuse. Someone who has been subject to
bullying and/or teasing. Elite athletes who believe their
success depends on maintaining and achieving a certain ideal
weight. Aspiring to a profession which focuses on weight and
appearance (dancers, models, actresses, etc.) Someone who
struggles with depression or anxiety. A tendency toward
addictive behaviors, perhaps manifest in alcohol or substance
abuse.

What are the signs and symptoms of Anorexia?

The symptoms of Anorexia can be easy to hide, initially, but to
a concerned and watchful parent they should become relatively
easy to spot, particularly as the disorder progresses. Keep in
mind, however, that generally the person suffering from the
eating disorder will feel guilt and shame and will try to
prevent anyone from noticing their struggles. Warning signs may
include;
●A refusal to eat certain foods. This may be in the form
of cutting out an entire food group, i.e. carbohydrates, sugar,
fat. It may also be just individual foods like no longer eating
beef or refusing to eat bread.
●Always being `on a diet’. This can become a common
excuse for avoiding food and social situations where food may
be served. It is so common for young women, in particular, to
be on a diet that until the weight loss becomes excessive this
may not be considered a problem.
●Strange eating patterns. Cutting up food into tiny
pieces, chewing each bite a certain number of times, eating
only one food at a time, refusing to let foods touch, pushing
food around the plate.
●Excessive exercise. Anything more than an hour per day
of high intensity exercise would be considered excessive. Many
elite athletes do exercise more than this, but for the average
young woman this could be cause for concern. Current
recommendations are 2-3 days per week of weight bearing
exercise with 8-12 repetitions of the exercise per body part.
3-5 days of cardiorespiratory training for 20-60 minutes per
session. 2-3 days per week of flexibility training.
●Wearing baggy clothes to hide her figure. This could be
because the individual feels fat and wants to hide her supposed
horrible figure. It could also be an attempt to hide the
excessive weight loss from not eating. Additionally, sometimes
there is a desire to avoid growing up and baggy clothing can
hide the fact that a womanly figure is emerging.
●Preoccupation with food. Wanting specific information
on nutritional values of foods, knowing the exact fat and
calorie content of foods, talking about and thinking about food
all of the time.
●Weight loss. This is a relatively obvious sign, however
initially the weight loss may be seen as a good thing. If the
young woman was somewhat overweight, the initial weight loss
may be complimented. This acknowledgment and attention may
feed the desire to lose even more weight. Anorexics typically
can get down to less than 85% of normal height and weight for
age.
●Sensitivity to cold. Loss of body fat leaves the body
sensitive to temperature and feeling cold when everyone around
is comfortable.
●Labeling foods `good’ `bad’ etc. Giving a moral
connotation to the foods available and feeling guilty for
eating `bad’ foods. Eventually even healthy foods can be
designated as `bad’ because of a high calorie content. Good
examples of this would be nuts and avocado.
●Dizziness or lightheadedness. Drop in blood pressure,
dehydration, iron deficiency anemia. All can lead to dizziness
and lightheadedness. This may be particularly sensitive to
change in position.
●Frequent headaches.
●Avoidance of social situations which may involve food.
As mentioned above, the excuse that she is “on a diet” may be
used to avoid social situations. People who have Anorexia
don’t necessarily want people watching them eat. This may be
because they don’t want people analyzing what, if anything,
they are eating. Additionally, it could just be a way of
avoiding the temptation of food. It is a common misperception
that Anorexics don’t get hungry. This is not the case. They do
feel hunger, but their fear of weight gain and desire to be `in
control’ of their appetite is stronger than their hunger.
●Absence of menstrual periods (amenorrhea). Strict
dieting and excessive exercise can lead to a disruption in the
flow of hormones. Consequently, the body doesn’t produce
enough estrogen and progesterone. Ovulation is suppressed and
menstruation stops.
●Anxiety and/or depression. This is a vicious cycle in
regards to eating disorders. Feelings of anxiety, depression,
and low self worth can lead to Anorexia. The physical and
mental effects of the Anorexia can lead to even more depression
and anxiety. The eating disorder and depression continue to
feed off of each other, each aggravating the other.
●Eating rituals such as only using a certain cup to drink
out of or always insisting on a certain fork. These are small
methods of exerting control over the environment where food is
involved.
●Increased interest in food, cooking, collecting cook
books etc. Although someone with Anorexia will avoid eating,
the hunger causes a huge interest in food. Being around food
and providing food for others become almost an obsession as the
body fights for the nutrients it needs but is being deprived of.

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Bulimia affected Teens

Friday, March 9th, 2007

Bulimia is an eating disorder that mostly affects young women of 12. Characteristics of bulimia include episodic binge eating followed by feelings of guilt and self-condemnation. Bulimia can actually damage a person’s stomach and kidneys as a result of constant vomiting. Bulimia can also cause a person’s teeth to decay because of the acids that come up into the mouth while vomiting. Teens suffering from bulimia often show signs of the eating disorder by eating a large amount of food in a small time frame and immediately purging themselves of the food ingested by causing themselves to vomit.

Difference between Bulimia and Anorexia:
Bulimia is a bit different from anorexia because the person with bulimia doesn’t avoid eating. Instead, he or she eats a large amount of food then gets rid of it quickly by vomiting or taking laxatives. Like anorexia, bulimia tends to affect girls and young women more than guys. A teen that is bulimic can have some of the same symptoms as an anorexic, but she may not lose much weight and may actually appear healthy.

Symptoms of Bulimia:

Makes excuses to go to the bathroom immediately after meals
Eats huge amounts of food, but doesn’t gain weight
Uses laxatives or diuretics
Withdraws from social activities

Prevention of Bulimia:

There are the few steps that parents, teachers, coaches and others who work with teens can take to help avoid bulimia. Tips are:

· Modifying and adapting expectations you have of your teen.
· Examining your own perceptions and attitudes towards food, body image, physical appearance and exercise.
· Do not give off the message that you cannot do activities such as dance, swim, or wear certain types of clothing because of the way you look or how much you weigh.
· Encourage eating in response to physical hunger.
· Encourage eating a variety of foods.
· Help teens to appreciate their bodies and encourage them to engage in physical activity.
· Do not use food as a reward or punishment.
· Do not criticize your own weight or the way you look by avoiding the use of such phrases as “I’m too fat” or “I’ve got to lose weight.”
· Love, accept, and acknowledge the teen’s value verbally.

Treatment for teens suffering from bulimia has been advancing in recent years. There are the few web sites that are very useful for you:

http://www.troubledteensguide.com

http://www.troubled-teens.biz

The sites help you to understand effective communication, and then show you how to overcome your specific problems and in the best possible way. It specifically designed to support the parents of Troubled Teens. The purpose of communication is to get your message across to others clearly. Their services are devoted to the parent who is overwhelmed and in need of immediate assistance (coaching) in order to locate the perfect troubled teen school or program for their child. Troubled teens guide is a listing of articles specifically designed to support the parents of Troubled Teens. It provides them proper guidance about teen’s problems and in the process save the parent time, energy, and thousands of dollars.

About Author: Monica Craft
For listings please visit http://www.troubledteensguide.com Resource for Troubled Teens and you can also visit http://www.troubled-teens.biz/ for Teenage Problems .

Food Addiction Can Lead to Death

Wednesday, March 7th, 2007

Food has been described as ambrosia and the elixir if life. For some, eating is a biological necessity for others it is a passion that can turn into an obsession. Experts define food addiction to be a disorder where the addict is preoccupied with food, the availability of food, and the pleasure of eating. There are three recognized addictions:

• Overeating, where the addict has no control over the amount or the number of times he eats. The person has no concept of being overweight or the servings a person must eat normally. Being an overeater, the addict will indulge in uncontrolled eating binges. Being obese, the addict will be prone to hypertension, diabetes, heart diseases, arthritis, and cancer.

• Bulimisa Nervosa, where the addict binges and then tries to maintain weight by vomiting, using laxatives, excessive exercise, or even fasting. Such addicts will develop dental problems like thinning of enamel, excessive number of cavities, swollen salivary glands, fluid and electrolyte disturbances, as well as calluses and scars.

• Anorexia Nervosa, where the addict fears weight gain and so starves himself. Obsessed with weight gain and body shape anorexics will exhibit obsessive behaviors in maintaining themselves. In the process, they develop problems like disruption of menstrual cycle, emancipation, hair loss, unhealthy skin pallor, and a lack or fluids.

The most common health problems are obesity, alcoholism, diabetes, bulimia, food allergies, and food intolerance.

The signs that you are addicted to food are:

• Uncontrolled cravings for particular foods. Some are addicted to sweets, others to soft drinks, yet others to coffee.

• Continuous or frequent eating. No fixed meal times an addict will eat throughout the day.

• Sharpened hunger on consumption of specific foods.

• Anxiety attacks, feelings of nervousness, low sugar, a headache, stomach gripes and grumbles.

• Withdrawal symptoms.

• Fatigue.

• Extreme irritations.

• Intolerance to foods.

• Feelings of guilt at having eaten.

The very cornerstones to curing the addiction are to:

• Identify and avoid what are known to be trigger foods or drinks.

• Put into practice a diet that is nutrient rich, healthy, and helps maintain or loose weight.

• Make lifestyle changes. Adopt a healthier lifestyle and include plenty of fresh air as well as exercise.

• Focus on personal and spiritual development. Seek inner peace, calm, and joy. Practice meditation and deep breathing.

• Plan to have activity filled days to distract the mind from food.

Even if you have a niggling doubt that you may be a food addict you must seek help. Nip the problem in the bud before it grows into something unmanageable and serious. You must consult a nutritionist, doctor, psychologist, or an eating addiction center or specialist. There are programs run by groups like Overeaters Anonymous that run 12-step programs which are extremely beneficial.

Paul Wilson is a freelance writer for http://www.1888Discuss.com/food/, the premier REVENUE SHARING discussion forum for Food Forum, including topics on all about food, food network, food recipe, health food, food gift, different food and more. His article profile can be found at the premier Food Article Submission Directory http://www.1888Articles.com/food-and-drink-articles-13.html