Anorexia is an eating disorder characterized by distortion of body image, accompanied by extreme thinning, which leads the individual to possess a strong fear of acquiring weight.
Anorexia is caused by a psychological disorder that causes the individual to visualize a distorted physical image, that is, the person in front of a mirror looks fat or overweight when he is not, so he faces a strong desire to lose weight. complying with extremist diets to the point of putting your life at risk.
Anorexia mainly attacks women, being more common in the adolescence stage, although men are not exempt from suffering it. With regard to this issue, it is important to relate it to social pressure, especially in the media, advertising, and fashion, by venerating perfect and thin bodies, leading teenagers to imitate increasingly thin public figures under a meal plan that It can generate strong complications in their health.
Anorexia patients seek extreme sagging, being able to reach a picture of extreme malnutrition. Two types of anorexia are usually established:
- Anorexia of the restrictive or typical type is characterized by weight loss occurring through diet, fasting or excessive exercise.
- Compulsive or purgative anorexia is characterized by food intake, and subsequent vomiting or the use of products such as laxatives, diuretics or enemas to prevent weight gain.
Finally, the word anorexia is formed with the Greek prefix “αν- ” (an-, ‘lack of’, ‘absence of’ and indicating denial) and the term “όρεξη ” (orexe, ‘appetite’, ‘desire’ ) and that can be translated as ‘incompetence’.
Anorexia nervosa (abbreviated AN) is the name of a disease characterized by self-induced weight loss (vomiting, use of laxative products, diuretics, etc.) caused by a distortion of the patient’s body image, as explained previously.
It is also known by the name of ‘anaphrodisia’, ‘inibido sexual desire’ or ‘hypoactive sexual desire’.
In a generic way, it involves the alteration of the stage of desire, prior to sexual arousal. It can be primary or secondary (caused by another underlying problem). Some of the causes of the temporary loss of sexual desire may be, for example, problems in the relationship, work stress or sexual problems such as anorgasmia, vaginismus, dyspareunia, premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction.
Alcoholic anorexia is suffered by people vitiated in alcohol, and by abusing the drink they lose their appetite to eat.
Anorexia and bulimia
Anorexia and bulimia are two types of food-related diseases that belong to the group of psychogenic eating disorders. Bulimia is an eating disorder characterized by compulsive food intake, followed by a feeling of guilt that leads the person to induce vomiting, use laxatives or diuretics, practice physical exercises, among others, always with the aim of not gaining weight .
On the other hand, anorexic people are more controlled, since they analyze and control everything they consume, even being able to consume nothing throughout the day. However, anorexic people can develop bulimia.
Causes of anorexia
Anorexia has an unknown cause, being several factors that can stimulate its development, such as:
- Poor nutrition
- Genetic predisposition
- Social pressure or imposition of beauty standards.
- Obsessive compulsive disorder.
Symptoms of anorexia
Anorexia can manifest itself in the person through physical symptoms in the body or through the observation of certain attitudes and behaviors.
- Emergence of peripheral edema.
- Lower blood pressure
- Yellowing of the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet.
- Significant or obvious loss of weight.
- Pain and swelling of the abdominal area.
- Bone mass decrease.
- In the case of women, amenorrhea or absence of three consecutive menstrual cycles.
- Dehydration of the skin.
- Fragility of the nails.
- Hair loss and appearance of fine and long hair in some areas of the body.
- Dental problems
- Reduction of cardiac pulsations and arrhythmias.
- Growth rate reduction.
- Constant feeling of cold.
Anorexia also manifests behaviorally in patients. Some of these symptoms are:
- Obsession with image, weight and physical exercise.
- Erroneous and distorted perception of the body itself (in relation to its volume, weight and appearance).
- Food reduction
- Refusal to maintain or exceed a reasonable body weight.
- Emotional or personality disorders.
First, it starts with a feedback treatment, which usually causes digestive discomfort. Then, the psychological treatment begins with the objective of eliminating the erroneous perception of the patient’s own physical image and improving their self-esteem, at this point of the treatment the active participation of their relatives is important, being important in the speedy recovery of the individual .