One of the most deadly vicious eating disorder is the anorexia that is more frequent in females than males and is estimated to be about 1% of all teenage girls have this disorder, and that out of that 1%, up to 10% may die from it. The individual with this disorder believes they are obese or overweight and have a very poor self-image of themselves. In an attempt to quickly lose weight by whatever means necessary, people with anorexia have been known to starve themselves, take laxatives in order to expel food from the body, and it many cases extreme amounts of exercise. Any of these three are enough to take a terrible toll on the body. Don't confuse anorexia with bulimia. Anorexia is when a person refuses to eat (or eats very little). Bulimia is when a person consumes large amounts of food (binging) and then forces themselves to vomit in back up (purging). Both stem from an incredibly poor image of self and the person thinking or feeling extremely overweight, but they are very different diseases.
What are the symptoms and medical problems?
If you think someone might have a problem with anorexia, here are some short term signs to look for: Extreme weight loss over a short period of time, Unwilling to eat in front of others, Anxiety, Constant Fatigue, Unusual concern about calorie intake, For women only: 3 consecutively missed menstrual cycles
These are just some of the most common signs that someone may be anorexic. This is by no means a complete list nor do these signs always indicate anorexia. This is just a guide to use. If you feel that someone you know and love may have a problem, sit down with the person, surround them with friends and family, and have a loving, understanding discussion with them. And let's not forget the affects of pregnancy on an anorexic, or even a recovering anorexic. Most women gain between 20-25 lbs during their pregnancy. How well do you think someone with an eating disorder would react to this? Depriving your body of food while you are pregnant can take away nourishment from your unborn child and put his or her life in jeopardy. Children who are born to anorexic mothers may develop heart disease, under active kidney and liver, and have weak bones and teeth. No child deserves to be handicapped unnecessarily even before they are born!
If anorexia goes undiagnosed and untreated for too long, the effects of this disorder become much worse. Some long term effects include: Lowers Average Body Temperature, Loss of Minerals, Bone Shrinkage, Irregular Heartbeat, Increases the Risk of Developing Osteroperosis and Bulimia
Why do so many people develop anorexia and eating disorders?
The answer is quite simple. Tragic, but simple. We live in a society that equates skinniness with success, happiness, and beauty. When young children are bombarded with these images daily, they develop the idea that they too must look certain away in order to be accepted by society and be happy. Without the proper education about healthy eating and weight maintenance, many will do whatever it takes to lose weight. Here are some eye-opening statistics about anorexia and eating disorders in general.
1% of American women binge and purge as a way to lose weight (bulimia)
10% of female college students have been diagnosed with a full or borderline eating disorder
Only 5 - 10% of all people with an eating disorder are males
10 - 15% of people who suffering from an eating disorder will die because of it
40% of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade girls want to be skinnier
80% of 10 year olds worry about their weight
Many children have begun to diet as early as age 9
What a happy world we live in!
These statistics are frightening! What is our world coming to when a 9 year old is more concerned about their weight and appearance than playing and having fun? There is more, MUCH more to life than worrying about weight and your image to others. Sure, there are plenty of health reasons to lose weight, but people with anorexia or other eating disorders are going about the entirely wrong way. It's time to put an end to this tragedy. What has led our society to such a low level of moral standard? How can someone put themselves, their body, and their family through the rigors of a deadly disorder such as anorexia? It's not the individual's fault, that's for sure. Society is to blame for such an epidemic. And yes, I do mean epidemic. People are dying from these disorders daily just so that they feel like they fit into a society who could care less about them.
Is this fair? Nope! Is this what you want for your children? Nope! Is it time to do something about teach kids about anorexia and eating disorders? You betcha! No one deserves to feel like society is making our young ones feel. To feel as if they aren't good enough, aren't pretty enough, aren't skinny enough to function in the world and be happy. It's obvious that something needs to be done about this. More health education needs to be taught in schools with an emphasis on acceptance of all body types so children and teenagers don't feel as if they is something wrong with them for not looking a supermodel. Just imagine someone from a third world country would think if they knew about the anorexia epidemic happening in America and other, richer parts of the world? To purposely avoid food and starve? Insane! That's exactly what it is.
Acting now can save lives!
Just imagine five to ten years down the road, I'm willing to bet that person will thank you for potentially saving their life. Once a person gets their head out of the fog of being trapped with an eating disorder like anorexia, it will become clear to them how much better their life is without obsessing over food and how they look. It really takes a drain on the body and the mind and can make life miserable and barely worth living.
Change your life for the better today!
Think of it this way: do you really want to live this way for the rest of your life? Not only are you harming yourself, but think of the emotional damage you are pushing on your friends, family, and loved ones? Do you really want to put them through that? Like anyone with a disease or disorder, it takes time to heal and fully recover. Don't fear. Once you get going and your life starts to improve, I'm sure you will see how much better it feels to be healthy and free from the vices of deadly disorder like anorexia. So start reading and beat anorexia once and for all! Hopefully these resources will help those in need and give them the knowledge and treatment they need to turn their life around and escape the grip of this deadly disorder.
Getting help from medical professionals
If you feel you would like to learn more, do not hesitate from contacting your medical doctor with any questions and concerns you may have. Remember, medical professionals deal with patients with these disorders everyday. They know how to help you. Do not feel embarrassed or ashamed; you are not the only one who has ever had this problem. Leave those emotions in the past because the misery you've dealt with is over. Seek the advice on how to change the way of your life by implementing those changes with these in your mind.