People who suffer from anorexia maintain a minimum body weight and have an intense fear of getting fat. The perception of their body is altered. In women, menstruation is interrupted (amenorrhea).
A weight below the minimum normal level prevails for a person´s age and height. Weight loss begins with a decrease in food intake and/or implementing improper ways to lose weight such as using laxatives or exercising excessively.
People with anorexia have a fear of getting fat, and the fear does not disappear even if weight is decreasing, as they have a distorted image of their body. The anguish these people experience is reflected in a tireless concern about their body, practicing very limited diets, managing extensive information about the calories of each food, exercising via heavy and exhausting routines and going to extremes to hide food, ultimately forming a persistent behavior pattern designed to prevent weight gain.
It is difficult to manage this type of disorder because in most cases their low weight does not represent a sign of disease for them, and although they may admit that they are very thin, they do not worry about being severely malnourished. They see weight loss as a significant achievement and increase in weight as a failure where they could not practice control.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Can only women have anorexia?
Men and women can present with anorexia as this disease does not distinguish gender, age or social class. The most serious cases refer to the lack of information about the disorder and lack of support to treat the disease.
Does vanity relate to anorexia?
Unfortunately, it is believed that an excess of vanity can trigger an eating disorder. It is also true that the influence of the media regarding the ideal man and woman influence the obsession of possessing "a perfect body.” However, these reasons are far from being the main cause of a disorder of this type. Usually, people who suffer from this condition feel oppressed, and the disease arises as a result of not being able to cope with the psychological pressures to which they are subjected.
Can you cure anorexia?
The person with anorexia, through the understanding of his or her own history, and through the assimilating and identifying of needs and expressing pain, can stop resorting to using food as a means of validating the oppression they believe to have around expressing pain, sadness, anger or anguish. This helps to validate and diminish the feelings of oppression, creating a more conscious and responsible action whereby they can grow personally and socially.
Why are there currently more cases?
The answer to this is not clear but the presence of social factors such as the demand to have a perfect body and the belief that your worth is dependent on how you look or how much you have are making people more susceptible to experience feelings of loneliness, sadness and emptiness. This generates a lot of oppression that somehow manifests itself in the prevalence of this type of disorder.
Can a person with anorexia have bulimia too?
There is a very slight boundary between both diseases. People may have previously suffered one disorder and subsequently manifest the other, or they may even have mixed symptoms, for example, restricting food, then eating a lot and vomiting, or eating little and still inducing vomiting in addition to using pills or laxatives to lose weight.
Can a person with anorexia be treated only by a nutritionist?
Remember that an eating disorder is not alleviated only by helping a person attend to their eating habits. The nutritionist has an important role but cannot attend to the physical damage caused by the disorder nor detect the origin of the problem and give advice for solving it. This is why a multidisciplinary team is necessary for providing adequate treatment and accompanying the person throughout their treatment.
Can anorexia cause death?
It is dangerous to have this disorder and not have an adequate intervention with a team of health professionals. The body deteriorates due to lack of nutrients and begins to decrease important processes in order to preserve energy; some of the effects are: decreased heart rate, low blood pressure, reduction of bone density (osteoporosis) , severe dehydration that causes renal failure, among other consequences including death.
OUR TREATMENT MODEL
CADE offers a multidisciplinary treatment according to the characteristics and needs of the patient that is based on the patient´s diagnosis and an individual intervention plan.
A psychological or psychiatric disorder generally has a genetic or biological origin detonated by difficult and early or current traumatic experiences that lead the individual to become ill. Therefore, the clinical intervention in these disorders necessitates the multidisciplinary work of psychiatry, psychology, medicine, nutrition and complementary therapies. The treatment can be outpatient, inpatient or semi-inpatient based.