Anorexia is a very perilous eating disorder. One in ten cases leads to death. Anorexia is an eating disorder where people starve themselves. This disease usually begins in young people, usually at the onset of puberty. They avoid high calories foods and exercise constantly. Eventually people with anorexia become very thin.
They may become so malnourished that they have to be hospitalized. Most of the time they will still deny that something is wrong with them.Nine out of ten people diagnosed with anorexia are female. A person technically becomes anorexic when their weight drops below 15% below what their body weight should.
It seems that the anorexic has an intense fear of becoming fat. They tend to become obsessed about food and their weight. They will often develop rituals for eating their food and often will refuse to eat in front of anybody. Often times they will only eat a particular type of food for weeks at a time and will have a ritual for eating that particular food like breaking it up in small exact portions and chew completely until it dissolves, take a few swallows of water and continue. It may take them 30 minutes to eat a piece of toast.
It is very important for the anorexic to have that kind of control. Like other eating disorders, anorexia may be linked to low self esteem about their bodies and often use food to control their feelings. They may feel that their lives may be out of control, but they can control their body and what goes in it. Actually many anorexics care a lot about food. They may cook large amount of food for other people, but they will not touch it themselves, again it is all about control. Their strict exercise regimens come into play as well. They can control what they do. Some experts think that an anorexic is unconsciously trying to come to terms with unresolved conflicts or maybe traumatic childhood experiences. Anorexics tend to be perfectionists. A typical anorexic is a good student and is involved with school activities and the community.
There are many symptoms of anorexia. The problem is that some people may not experience enough symptoms to raise alarm, but the damage is still being done. Anorexics will go to great lengths to disguise their disease. Anorexics weight will be inconsistent with their age. Girls will often lose their periods. If you notice that their previously shiny healthy hair is now thinning and falling out, it could be a sign of anorexia. Their skin may also be dry and flaky. Some experience shortness of breath and are frequently cold. They will exercise religiously and they will be obsessive about their calorie intake.
Anorexia needs to be treated medically. They should be in a clinic designed just for eating disorders. It's not just changing their eating habits but working on the feelings that trigger their eating problems. They often need counseling for a year or more to completely change the way they feel about food. The anorexia persons must want the assistance; you can't force them because they don't see what you see.