People with anorexia nervosa obsess about their weight and the food they eat and attempt to maintain their weight far below normal. They may starve themselves to prevent weight gain or to continue losing weight. People with bulimia nervosa eat large amounts of food all at one time and then try to get rid of the extra calories by vomiting or excessive exercise. The disorders make the person preoccupied with weight and body shape, to judge themselves severely and harshly for self-perceived flaws. With treatment, people with anorexia and/or bulimia nervosa return to healthier eating habits and reverse some of the serious complications of the disorder.
Complications of Anorexia Nervosa:
Complications of Bulimia Nervosa:
Genetic. Eating disorders may run in families Studies of twins also support that idea. An area on chromosome 1 that appears to be associated with an increased susceptibility to anorexia nervosa. Some people have genetic tendency toward perfectionism, sensitivity and perseverance, all traits associated with anorexia.
Biological: Serotonin — one of the brain chemicals involved in depression — may play a role in anorexia.
Symptoms - Anorexia Nervosa:
Symptoms - Bulimia Nervosa:
Medication: Antidepressants or other psychiatric medications can help control the obsessive preoccupation, and the associated depression, and help reduce the symptoms.
Psycho-therapy: Talking through and challenging beliefs and thought patterns in a structured manner helps identify and recognize unhealthy, negative beliefs and behaviors and replace them with healthy, positive ones, gain a healthier self-esteem and learn positive ways to cope with distress and other strong feelings.
Weight restoration :
The first goal of treatment is to restore the person to a normal weight for height. This is done through nutrition education and an eating plan that can help instill normal-eating habits and achieve a weight restoration goal.
Severe forms of the disorder may require treatment in a hospital.
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