Symptoms Of Severe Anorexia: Causes And Treatment Options

Anorexia is an eating disorder that is typified by an abnormal low body weight, an extreme terror of putting on weight and a warped view of body weight. Anorexic people use great efforts to maintain their body weight which significantly interferes with their day to day activities.

To maintain their body weight, an anorexic individual severely restricts the amount of food he eats.

He will keep track his calorie intake by inducing vomit after eating or by misusing laxatives. These individuals also exercise excessively.

Anorexia is actually a very unhealthy way of trying to cope with emotional upheavals. Anorexics tend to connect thinness with self-esteem. Anorexia is rather difficult to triumph over. However, it is possible to get a better sense of ‘who you truly are’, return to healthy eating habits and undo some of the complications.

Signs And Symptoms Of Severe Anorexia

Physical symptoms of severe anorexia

  • Undue weight loss
  • The blood count is abnormal
  • Exhaustion
  • Giddiness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Constipation
  • Bluish discoloration of fingers
  • Hair fall
  • Absence of menstruation
  • Cannot tolerate cold
  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Low blood pressure
  • Osteoporosis

Emotional and behavioral symptoms of severe anorexia

  • Severe restriction of the intake of food through fasting and excessive exercise.
  • Bingeing and self-induced vomiting.
  • Extreme phobia about weight gain.
  • Preoccupation with food.
  • Denial of hunger
  • Social withdrawal
  • Irritability and depression
  • Suicidal thoughts

Causes Of Severe Anorexia

The precise cause of anorexia nervosa is not yet known. It is a combination of biological, psychological and environmental factors which contribute to its development.

  • Studies show that genetic changes make some individuals more susceptible to developing anorexia. Those who demonstrate a propensity toward precision, sensitivity and pushiness are known to develop anorexia.
  • Those who have an obsessive-compulsive personality tend to adhere to very strict diets and abstain eating even when hungry.
  • Modern cultures emphasize thinness. Self worth has often been equated with being thin. Peer pressure plays a pivotal role in young girls.

Treatment Options For Severe Anorexia

Managing anorexia effectively needs a multi-disciplinary approach. Some clinics specialize in treating people with eating disorders. You could opt for a day program or a residential program to manage your problem well.

Given that, there are a host of complications associated with anorexia, you require repeated monitoring of vital signs, hydration level and electrolytes, as well as related physical conditions.

The chief aim of the treatment is regaining healthy body weight. A psychologist will work with you to develop behavioural strategies to cope with the situation better. A nutritionist will proffer assistance with respect to regular eating patterns. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to help. It helps change your distorted beliefs and thoughts about body weight.

Drugs and medications have proved to be useless for the management of anorexia. On the other hand, anti-depressants help treat the various mental problems that are associated with anorexia. Most importantly, you need to stick to your treatment plan. Do not skip therapy sessions. Confer with your health care provider / nutritionist about appropriate vitamin and mineral supplements.

Alternative medicine is a non conventional approach to deal with your problem. Alternative medicine helps reduce anxiety, increases a sense of well-being and promotes relaxation. Yoga and Pranayama, meditation, Tai Chi and acupuncture proffer excellent results.