Anorexia Nervosa

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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 degree. 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. 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 exercise. 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. Withdrawal. 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 warm. 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 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 a

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