Anorexia Nervosa Term Paper

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ANOREXIA NERVOSA is a refusal to eat, a severely abnormal

eating pattern, or self-starvation. A person with anorexia is called

an anorexic. Usually a perfectly young woman will starve herself--

past sliminess, to skinniness, to death.

Statistics show that 95% of anorexics are women. Women are

most prone to developing anorexia between the ages of 12 and 18.

5 to 10% of women are anorexics. 1 out of every 200 American

girls will develop anorexia to some


Anorexics are usually well-behaved, high achievers, and a good

student that gets along with her peers. She rarely admits that

anything is wrong or that she needs help. She is an insecure

perfectionist that feels unworthy of all praise she receives.

Dancers, gymnasts, and models are most likely to develop


Anorexia nervosa starts with a diet. Dieting usually starts before

or after a change.

Dieting creates a feeling of control.

Exhausting exercise is added. She will go far beyond normal


Health fails. She knows that something is wrong but she will not

stop dieting.

Let's take a look at the anorexia files.

The warning signs of anorexia are:

Weight loss of 25% of body weight. If this goes on long enough,

the body will forget the feeling of hunger.

Inappropriate diet. This includes skipping meals to cut calories.

Peculiar eating habits. Such as organizing food on their plate or

cutting it into little bites.

Excessive exercise.

Denial of hunger often eating nothing for days.

Disturbance of body image. They will think they are fat no matter

how thin they are.


PHYSICAL CHANGES of anorexia are:

Dry, flaking skin-this happens because of a lack of nutrients

needed for healthy skin.

Cold extremities-they lose their body's layer of fat that keeps

them warm to keep the body warm. They wear more clothes than a

normal person needs.

Body hair-a very fine layer of body hair will cover most of the

body. Experts believe this is the body's way of trying to keep



The pancreas may malfunction or shut down entirely.

The kidneys are in danger of permanent damage if the anorexic

eats only proteins to avoid fat.

When the intake of vitamins is low the anorexic is vulnerable to

heart failure.

Vitamins will not be absorbed because she has no fat intake.

If the anorexic loses more than 40%of the ideal weight the body's

organs will give their substances to keep the body running.

BEHAVIORAL CHANGES of anorexia are:

Anorexics may exercise to excess to lose weight

Anorexics become hyperactive. Their bodies keep them on the

move since it is off balance. despite how hyperactive they are they

are always exhausted.

Anorexics display unusual eating behaviors. They may say

they are stuffed after a few bites, chew food excessively.

Anorexics express a common fear of gaining weight, even

though they never do. They talk about food but do not eat.

Treatment is:

Most effective early. The earlier the treatment, the more likely

they will not become anorexic again.

Psychiatric treatment is needed to convince the person they are

not fat and to boost their self-esteem. This treatment is usually

expensive. Some families will pay up to $6,000 dollars for a month

of treatment.

Hospitalization is needed if the case is very severe. They also

will have to have regular check-ups to monitor their health.

Usually if the treatment ends starving will begin.

or they become bulimic or after they eat they self-induce vomiting.

They do this to convince people they are doing well.

18% of anorexics will never recover. Seven of the 18% will die.

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