Anorexia Nervosa is a disease that can be fatal if it is not treated properly and in a timely manner. The person who suffers from it does not feel the desire or need to eat food or consume nutrients.
All this is caused by an alteration in mental processes, which lead to altered perception of body image. That is, the individual sees himself in a negative way different from what he really is, this causes anxiety and panic, so he avoids eating food.
What is anorexia nervosa
The Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder, caused by excessive fear of the person to gain weight, or even not diminish its size and current weight. Caused by the false belief that the person is morbidly obese.
In other words, the person can measure 160 cm and weigh 40 kilos, being classified as underweight and very thin or slender. However, when she looks in the mirror, or looks at herself in photographs, she creates an image in which she weighs more than 150 kilos, and her figure is plump and bulky.
The two words have their own meaning that when put together or combined, perfectly define this alteration
Etymologically it means absence or lack of appetite, and it is a symptom, present in multiple diseases. Anorexia is always caused by something, or caused by some reason. Therefore, the next word gives the surname to this disease. Or define its cause.
It refers to the fact that there is no demonstrable organic reason, or even a disease cannot be identified in the body of the person suffering from it. So the alteration is originated in the brain of the person.
Some classify it as a neurotic alteration, or an inadequate response, to the emotional stress of the individual, who projects his problems and fears on being overweight.
Dysmorphic perception of body image
This term simply means that the person is perceived in his mind, very different from what he really is, in a negative way.
· Perception is the information received by our senses and interpreted by the brain.
· Dysmorphic, means abnormally.
· Body image, is the shape and volume of the human body
It is as if a small cat, when it looks in the mirror, observes a very large bear.
Types of anorexia
There are multiple types of anorexia, as mentioned above, depending on what causes them, including drugs, illness, secondary to losses, depression, anxiety, etc. However, for the purposes of this article, it will be limited to the two types of Anorexia Nervosa, accepted by the majority of Psychiatric associations in the world.
Restrictive anorexia nervosa
This is the most severe and frequent form. The patients do not ingest any type of food or nutrient to avoid gaining weight. In addition to the fact that they tend to over exercise, to accelerate their weight loss and decrease in size.
Compulsive Purgative anorexia nervosa
Patients who suffer from it, try to limit the number and volume of food unsuccessfully. Frequently, they suffer from hunger attacks that lead them to eat meals, even copiously, after ingestion of these foods, they cause vomiting to expel food, and they consume laxatives to reduce the absorption of calories.
This presentation is similar to bulimia, so it has created an area of controversy, whether it is really a separate disease or a subdivision of Anorexia Nervosa.
How is Anorexia Nervosa diagnosed?
To establish the diagnosis of this disease, the following three signs and symptoms are required in the person.
· Excessive restriction of food intake (little or no food consumption), in a person who has a weight or body mass index below normal for their age and height.
· Excessive fear of gaining weight or height. The person manifests irrational fear of the possibility of gaining weight, even when it is below average.
· Alteration in the way you perceive your shape and body image. The person always identifies as obese, in his mind, she is markedly overweight.
How is nervous anorexia treated?
· Hospitalization, the patient usually requires, to be admitted to a health institution, to regain their nutritional status, and begin to eat voluntarily.
· Psychological behavioral therapy and psychiatric support, it is necessary, in order for the person to become aware that their body image is not the problem and that their behavior is hurting them.
· Family-based therapy treatments, is a form of psychological cognitive therapy, which relies on the individual's family environment, to accelerate results.
· Re-feeding strategies, which may require intravenous feeding, and feeding re-education therapies for the patient, and their environment.
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