Eight Common Questions about Anorexia

Anorexia is defined as the inability to eat due to fear of weight gain. Most people diagnosed with anorexia are underweight, but some are not – especially if it’s caught early in the preteen years.

The main thing to know about people with anorexia is that they see themselves as very overweight and have a strong desire to be thin by restricting food intake, doing excessive exercise, and other unhealthy methods to the point that it interferes with a normal healthy life.

1. What Is Anorexia?

People with anorexia tend to restrict their calories to the point where it is not healthy or sustainable to lose a massive amount of perceived fat. They are very scared of gaining weight, and often tend to look at themselves as fat when no fat is evident.

2. What Causes Anorexia?

While the exact cause of anorexia is different for the individuals affected, it seems to run in families. However, it is a combination of physiological and environmental factors that contribute to the development of anorexia. A person who is a perfectionist, is obsessive-compulsive, and feels as if they have no control over their life, can develop anorexia as a response to anxiety and depression.

3. Can Anorexia Be Cured?

Yes. It’s totally curable and treatable. If it’s caught early, before damage is done to the body, it can be 100 percent overcome. However, only about 80 percent of cases get proper treatment due to a lack of access to treatment centers. It can be costly to treat correctly.

4. How Does Anorexia Affect Health?

Anorexia affects both your mental and physical health in a variety of ways. Many people with anorexia experience psychological symptoms as well as physical symptoms, including gastrointestinal issues, poor concentration, fainting, feeling cold, and sleep problems.

More complicated issues can lead to menstrual problems, skin issues, dental problems, and dehydrated skin. People also die of starvation from untreated or poorly treated or untreated anorexia.

5. What Are the Long-Term Effects of Anorexia?

The great thing about the body is that it does heal itself when given the proper nutrition. It will take time for the metabolism to catch up when it has been destroyed due to lack of calories and nutrition, but most people can heal completely within a year or two after consuming the right amount of nutrition for them.

Sadly, some cardiovascular issues can last a lot longer, as can neurologically focused issues. For example, having a dangerous vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to neurological problems that are not reversible.

6. What Is the Best Way to Help a Friend Who May Have Anorexia?

If you believe a close friend or relative is anorexic, you must approach it cautiously and contact a professional to help. A problem with treating anorexia is the fact that a person with it wants to have control, and if you take away their power, you may make matters worse.

7. Is Anorexia Genetic?

There are many indications that anorexia is partially genetic, like a lot of health-related issues. A connection to chromosome 1 has been discovered by biological researchers as the genetic link for both anorexia and bulimia. That doesn’t mean you will get it if you have the markers, though. It just means that with the right triggers, you may be susceptible.

8. Is Anorexia Psychological?

Anorexia is listed as a psychological condition causing starvation and a distorted body image. People who are perfectionists, prone to depression and people who are obsessively controlling about themselves and their environment can display the systems of anorexia. The worst of these symptoms can lead to starvation and death.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing the symptoms of anorexia, it’s essential to know that there is help out there. You can find a counselor who specializes in eating disorders to help you both on and offline today.