February 23, 2016

Anorexia Nervosa

images anorexiaAccording to NEDA, anorexia is an eating disorder that is characterized by excessive weight loss through self-starvation. Girls/women make up approximately 90-95% of those with anorexia, and it’s estimated that between 0.5-1% of American women suffer from it. It has one of the highest death rates of any mental condition: between 5-20% of sufferers will die, and the probability of death increases directly in proportion with the length of time one suffers from the disease. It typically first appears during early to mid-adolescence. There are two common types of anorexia: the binge-eating/purging type (involves binge eating and/or purging behaviors in the last 3 months) and the restricting type (does not involve binge eating or purging). It has been demonstrated that quick intensive treatment significantly increases one’s chances of recovery, so it’s important to be aware of some common signs and symptoms of anorexia for yourself/others.

Signs/symptoms

  • Dramatic weight loss
  • Preoccupation with weight, food, calories, etc. and an intense fear of weight gain/obsession with weight
  • Skewed body image
  • Self-esteem overly related to appearance/body image

Health Consequences

  • Abnormally slow heart rate/low BP (this is a result of loss of heart muscle)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Muscle loss and weakness
  • Dry skin and hair loss
  • Excessive growth of body hair

*Note: though body weight is usually below normal, this may not always be the case (as in atypical anorexia nervosa)

All information here was taken from NEDA: click here to visit their website and learn more. If you think you or a friend may be suffering from anorexia, don’t hesitate to reach out to the resources below for help.

Resources
On campus:
Engemann Student Counseling Center’s “Eating Disorder Treatment” webpage
“Peace with Food” group: Mondays from 3:00-4:00pm
Counseling Center: call (213) 740-7711 to set up an appointment

NEDA:
Eating disorder risk screening
NEDA Helpline: call (800) 931-2237 between 9:00am-9:00pm Mondays-Thursdays, 9:00am-5:00pm Fridays

Recovery is always possible: click here to visit NEDA’s recovery page, which includes helpful tips for moving past your eating disorder and stories of success.

Check back tomorrow to learn more about bulimia nervosa.