Anorexia is often referred to as “Rich girl syndrome.” Anorexia is uncommon in areas where food is scarce or lower class denominations. Amongst the segment of society bulimia and binge eating is far more common. Anorexia has their highest mortality rate of any mental illness. When the disease goes too far it can prove fatal as it slowly destroys the body. Anorexia is a fatal disease.
- Severe cases of anorexia can cause the sufferer to grow fine, downy hair all over their body. These fuzzy follicles are called lanugos and are the same body hair that unborn babies have in the womb. This hair takes fewer calories to develop and grow the normal hair and will cover much of the anorexics body to try and keep them warm. Having no fat to help maintain temperature the body grows this extra layer of hair to help provide warmth and heat.
- A woman suffering from anorexia may find that the period stop and she may have fertility issues. The long-term health risks of anorexia means that someone who has beaten the eating disorder may still find it difficult to conceive in the future. Men who suffer from anorexia are not immune to the disease damaging their reproductive system, either. Anorexia may render an impotent and his testicles will shrink. In younger men, wet dreams will also cease as the disease has a devastating effect on many systems of the body.
- Anorexia is often an emotional response to puberty. Someone may develop the eating disorder as they tried to stop the body changes brought about during adolescence. Fear of growing up or changing body shape may lie at the root of this. Anorexia may also be a symptom of feeling powerless and out of control. By excess chewing extreme determination in controlling their food intake despite others protestations are concerns they may feel that they have power over at least one area of a chaotic or unhappy life.
- This damaging eating disorder may cause someone to act out of character. They may become obsessed about weight and food, talking about it frequently yet not eating in front of others. They may have mood swings and isolate themselves from their friends as they struggle to hide their disease. Those suffering from anorexia may also have further psychiatric problems such as anxiety, depression, obsessive behaviour, and substance abuse issues.
If you are someone you know suffering from anorexia and if you try and seek help as soon as possible. By seeking help straight away the chances of reversing some of the effects of this debilitating disease can be reversed and helped. There are different ways to treat anorexia, both on an inpatient and outpatient basis. There are also self-help groups that can help gain control over damaging eating habits and there is no reason why someone who has suffered from anorexia cannot go on to live a healthy life.