Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is a life-threatening, psychological and nutritional disorder that is expressly characterized by the constant fear of getting overweight. Although it affects both genders, it is more common among females, especially teenagers and young adults. However, early treatment gives way to recovery, but if not detected and treated on time, it could result in complications.

Factors that Influence Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa has no identifiable cause but can be tracked to physiological, environmental and/or biological factors.

Signs and Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa

Symptoms can be broadly categorized into behavioral, physiological and physical signs.

Behavioural Signs

The behavioural signs of anexoria are as follows

  • Exercising aggressively
  • Intense denial of hunger/ deliberate self-starvation
  • Constant use of purgatives
  • Avoiding and refusing meals
  • Induced vomiting of ingested food
  • Regular use of appetite suppressants
  • Avoidance of social gatherings

Physiological and Physical Signs

The physiological signs associated with anorexia include:

  • Ardent fear of being overweight
  • Distorted self-image
  • Irritability
  • Loss of memory
  • Recurring dizziness and tiredness
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Bloated abdomen
  • Insomnia
  • Low bone density
  • Low blood pressure
  • Constipation
  • Halted or disrupted menstrual cycles
  • Teeth decay/eroded teeth
  • Callused knuckles


Anorexia nervosa can afterwards result in serious and severe complications such as:

  • Gastrointensinal diseases: gastrointestinal motility significantly reduces during the period of Anorexia nervosa and can result to a wide range of gastrointensinal diseases.
  • Dysphagia due to the weakness of the pharyngeal muscles.
  • Hormonal irregularities whichcan lead to delayed menstrual period, loss of sex drive and/or infertility.
  • Loss of bone tissue/mass can lead to bone fractures.
  • Low pulse rate and low blood pressure
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Anemia
  • Kidney problems
  • Severe depression and personality problems
  • Sudden death

Anorexia Treatment

Recovery is possible when treatment is sought for earlier. Nonetheless, affected individuals usually find it hard to accept this health condition. This consequently result in difficulty in the course of treatment. Nevertheless, the aggregate aim of treatment is to solve underlying psychological challenges and behaviors that aggravate the problem. This help patients to develop changes that are imminent for their wellbeing. As a multifaceted problem, the treatment requires an all-round plan

1. Psychosocial Treatment: this involves the use of therapies that will help to develop psychosocial changes.

2. Medical Treatment: nutritional supplements and anti-depressants are usually needed to restore the body’s vitality and solve psychological problems.

3. Nutritional Management: a dietary plan which needs to be adhered to will always be needed in the treatment of anorexia nervosa.

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