Following healthy habits is good. It’s always nice to have a plan for healthy eating and follow it steadily with discipline. But what happens when you overindulge in a dieting plan? As we all know, anything in excess is bad and the same goes for dieting or having an unhealthy obsession with losing weight which may make one do things that can cause more damage than good. Having said that, I’d like to highlight an eating disorder that I recently came across called Anorexia Nervosa.
What is Anorexia Nervosa?
Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder which is characterized by low body weight, fear of gaining weight, and a distorted perception of weight. This means that despite having normal body weight, these people feel that they are overweight, or even if they will eat a bite extra, they feel that they will suddenly gain weight. So they prefer being on a very low calorie diet, prefer restricted foods, focusing excessively on the portion they eat. They also try to control their weight by vomiting after eating, or misusing laxatives, diet aids, diuretics or even enemas. At times, they also try to lose weight by excessive exercising just post consuming meals.
Nervosa is not about calorie counting, it is more about one’s psychological aspect which can be extremely dangerous or even life threatening to try to cope up with emotional distress. Anorexic people often tend to equate thinness with self worth.
What Are The Symptoms?
The most evident physical symptom of Nervosa is Starvation, and let us not confuse it with conscious eating. Apart from it, it also includes some emotional and behavioural issues which include unrealistic perception of one’s own body in terms of being fat or fear of gaining weight.
It is difficult to notice the signs and symptoms among the people, but there are few alarming signs which can be noticed by near and dear ones like low body weight, or thin appearance, abnormal blood counts, fatigue, dizziness, and insomnia, thinning of hair, blue discoloration of fingers, irregular bowel movements, irregular heart rhythms, and dehydration.
Also some emotional and behavioural symptoms would include:
- Skipping meals or refusing to eat
- Making excuses like denial for hunger, or unwell
- Avoiding to eat in public
- Social withdrawal
- Irritability and Insomnia
Though it is difficult to diagnose Anorexia Nervosa at an early stage, the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA’s) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders has set diagnosis criteria for people prone to being Anorexic.
- Restricted calorie intake as per the requirement of the body in terms of age, height, gender and physical health.
- Misconception of being overweight, despite being actually underweight.
- A full medical history can also help to reach the outcome
Treatment and Recovery
Treatment includes some medications, nutritional counseling, psychotherapy and family counseling as well which would depend on one’s level of being anorexic. Generally people refuse to accept that they fall in the category but a proper counseling session can help one recover soon.
There is no harm in Being Picky about putting food in your mouth, but this should be done in certain limits by working on calorie counting, or choosing the healthiest option and not in excessive fear to gain weight. The body needs fuel as well to work its system out. The correct way to lose weight is by eating healthy and exercising regularly, and not “DIETING”. Long term anorexia nervosa can lead to serious medical issues like low bone density, anemia, or some gastrointestinal issues as well.
So, if you feel any such symptoms, or you know someone prone to it, do share the article with them, and we at GOQii are always there to help you recover in whatever best way possible.
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