Have you ever met someone with some kind of an eating disorder? Do you know someone who´s "a little too much into losing weight"? Read our article by Sona Kolcun. This time about anorexia.
You´ve probably all met a person who was “a little too much into losing weight”. Anorexia is a usual problem among teenagers nowadays. It can be caused by a big trauma that the person´s been through or they have the feeling of being very fat and ugly, which leads them to the rapid weightloss. It also happens to the athletes that want to see results of exercising very fast.
Anorexia nervosa is a mental disorder, those who suffer from anorexia often refuse to eat, are obsessed with reducing bodyfat, even if they are in obvious underweight. They often have feeling that they are very fat and keep different strict and irrational diets. People suffering from this disorder are mostly teenage girls, but we also know about cases including adult women and even men. Anorexia nervosa is classified as reducing bodyweight to 15% of approximal weight according to the one´s height, age and physique (BMI is lower than 17.5). There is also another type of anorexia called anorexia athletica- for people suffering from this kind of disorder is characteristic underweight achieved by excessive and compulsive exercise. This type is not formally recognized by standard mental health diagnostic manuals, however, the term is used to name a person with some kind of eating disorder, using also an excessive, compulsive training to lose weight.
When you´re suffering from anorexia, it´s not just in your head and not everything about the disorder is psychical. Anorexia affects your whole body. When suffering from anorexia, your hair gets brittle and so do nails, your skin is dry and you can get cold very easily. Your bones are affected too, they get weaker and it leads to osteoporosis.
We can often hear about weak muscles, bad condition of joints and problems with heart (such as slow heart rate, low blood pressure). If you´re suffering from this disorder, amounts of sodium, potassium and magnesium in your body are probably very low. When talking about women, they often lose their period and have trouble getting pregnant.
If you know about someone who suffers from anorexia, its on point to gently and kindly talk to the person and admit that they have a problem. There is a high chance of the sufferer refusing the helping hand and that’s mostly because the sufferers don´t feel like they need some kind of professional help. People who have anorexia must admit that they have a problem, otherwise the recovery often doesn´t start before hospitalization.
However, people who suffer from anorexia are often lonely and cut themselves off from society. If you know someone who may be suffering from anorexia, you should give him/her the feeling of being loved and talk to them. If they trust you and have a strong bond with you, it´s more likely that they´ll tell you about the problem they have. People who suffer from this mental disorder should stay away from places and other people that make them hate their bodies. If you have someone who may be suffering from anorexia around, try to take them to the places, where they will relax and won´t think about bad feelings. It´s also good to gently suggest seeking a professional help.
When recovering from this disorder, exercise is a recommended way to help the physique and mental health of a sufferer in recover. The goal here is clear- gain some weight, help muscles and bones to get stronger. Group exercises, such as yoga or team sports are recommended. Even when the goal is not to lose weight, in recovery are often used sports as running, swimming or lifting weights in a gym. There are also cases of famous sportsmen (for example jockey Laffit Pincay or swimmer Franziska van Almsick) who have suffered from an eating disorder and claim sport to be an effective way to deal with eating disorder.
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