I must begin this article by saying that if you suspect yourself, or anyone else, of having this possibly deadly disorder, go, or take them, to a medical doctor immediately.
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an abnormally low body weight and a distorted perception of weight. (1) Victims place a high value on controlling their weight and use extreme efforts that tend to interfere with their lives. To prevent weight gain or to continue losing weight, people with anorexia tend to severely restrict their calories. They may voluntarily vomit after eating, which is bulimia. Excessive exercise is also common.
Quite often self worth is directly linked to body weight in the anorexic’s mind. It can become the central focus of your life, leaving everything else in ruin, including your health. It can be reversed, but requires professional, medical intervention because it is life threatening.
Some of the symptoms of anorexia are:
1- Extreme weight loss
2- Unusually thin appearance
3-Abnormal blood work
6-Dizziness or fainting
7-Bluish discoloration of the fingers
8-Hair that thins, breaks or falls out
9-Soft, downey hair covering the body
10-Absence of menstruation
11-Constipation and abdominal pain
12-Dry or yellowish skin
14-Irregular heart rhythms
15-Low blood pressure
17-Swelling of arms and legs
18-Eroded teeth and calluses on the knuckles from induced vomiting (bulimia)
The difference between anorexia and simple bulimia is that anorexics have an abnormally low body weight.
There are emotional and behavioral signs and symptoms which may include:
1-Preoccupation with food
3-Denial of hunger
4-Eating only a few “safe” foods which are usually low in calories
5-Adopting rigid meal or eating rules
6-Not wanting to eat in public
7-Lying about how much food has been eaten
8-Fear of gaining weight
9-Frequently checking the mirror for perceived flaws.
10-Complaining about being fat
11-Covering up in layers of clothing
13- Social withdrawal
17-Reduced interest in sex.
If you have any of these symptoms, see a physician.
If you notice that a family member has low self esteem, severe dieting habits and dissatisfaction with their appearance, consider talking to them about these issues and encourage them to seek help by visiting their physician.