Anorexia – The Psychological Disorder
Anorexia is a psychological disorder characterized by the excessive dieting and over exercising of a person suffering from an extreme fear of being overweight. Anorexics often develop during adolescence. Nine out of ten people with an eating disorder are women and only 1 percent of American females in their early twenties is suffering from an eating disorder. In addition, a person can be classified as an anorexically obese person when she limits her food intake so much that it results to drastically low body mass index (BMI) coupled with an extreme fear of gaining weight. This condition can be life threatening because if left untreated an anorexically obese person is at high risk of developing severe medical problems such as kidney failure, heart attacks, liver failure, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Eating disorders are very common in the US. One out of every five girls suffer from an eating disorder. Girls who are suffering from bulimia are usually under the age of 30 years. The disorder is more prevalent in girls who are experiencing a period of emotional instability and are not in good psychological health. Women are more likely to develop an eating disorder than men, because women tend to develop eating disorders as a coping mechanism for their emotional problems.
Eating disorders often begin in childhood and teenagers are the most common sufferers. The most common eating disorder in teens is bulimia nervosa. Bulimia nervosa is the state where a person restricts food intake severely and has repeated episodes of binge eating. Many times, bulimia nervosa develops because a person’s body weight has reached a level that they find very unattractive. Another common eating disorder in young women is binge eating, which is a condition wherein a person consumes large amounts of food at one time. Binge eating can occur due to hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy or during the recovery process after giving birth, or because of peer pressure, stress and depression.
Anorectic women’s body produces the hormones estrogen and testosterone and these chemicals are the body’s main source of energy. When a person is an anorexically obese, their bodies often cannot produce enough of this hormone. This can result in the person developing an anxiety of losing energy and feeling depressed. Due to the lack of energy, the person then seeks comfort in foods which have high calorie content. and overeats in order to obtain the same amount of energy. This will eventually lead to binging and purging. Excessive exercise is often involved in the pattern of binging and purging.
Anorexia and other eating disorders can have an effect on a persons overall health. Anorexics often have a low blood sugar level, which can cause serious complications for the person in the long run. Excessively exercising on a regular basis will increase the risk of developing heart problems, kidney problems, breathing difficulties, and heart attack. The use of laxatives can also cause heart problems and even liver damage.
Anorexia and other eating disorders are treatable and there are several treatment methods available. It is recommended to seek professional help from a doctor before undergoing any treatment. In addition, patients suffering from an eating disorder need to start a healthy lifestyle as soon as possible to prevent further deterioration.