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
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.
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
INTERNAL CHANGES are:
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
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.
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
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.