Anorexia is a refusal to eat food, most often motivated by the desire to lose weight. Due to the prolonged observance of extreme diets, the patient begins to form a perverted attitude towards the natural physiological needs of the body, which is why his body weight reaches critical levels (in 20% of patients there is a fatal outcome).
Anorexia is based on a neuropsychiatric disorder, which is manifested by a fear of obesity . Looking at themselves in the mirror even thin people who have this pathology see themselves as fat. Inadequately perceiving their own appearance, they artificially induce vomiting after eating, exhaust themselves with active sports training, do not eat anything for several days. As a result, body weight begins to decline rapidly, there are pains in the stomach, the skin becomes pale, amenorrhea occurs in women.
The classification of anorexia is based on the mechanism of its development. Doctors distinguish three types of disease:
- neurotic anorexia (parts of the cerebral cortex are overexcited due to excessive simulation of negative emotions);
- neuropsychic (the patient does not eat anything because of the desire to lose weight, depressive disorder , schizophrenia , an obsessive state syndrome);
- neurodynamic anorexia (appetite disappears due to the constant exposure to strong irritating factors, for example, due to intolerable pains).
A separate group includes anorexia as a result of Kanner’s syndrome and hypothalamic insufficiency in young children.
Causes of Anorexia
Anorexia disease occurs in women and men for the following reasons:
- inadequate perception of the mass of one’s own body, desire to conform to the social stereotype of the “ideal figure”;
- mental disorders, depression ;
- chronic diseases – malignant neoplasms, tuberculosis ;
- a tumor in the part of the brain that is responsible for normal appetite (hypothalamus).
Symptoms of Anorexia
Anorexia can be suspected by determining the patient’s body mass index. Normally, it is from 18 to 25 kg / m2, with anorexia – less than 16 kg / m2. This indicator is calculated by a simple formula: mass (kg) / (height (m)) 2.
Signs of anorexia nervosa also include:
- the desire to lose weight at all costs, despite the fact that the weight is already below normal;
- phobic fear of being overweight;
- continuous counting of eaten calories gained per day / week grams;
- focus on weight loss, the study of new-fangled diets and drugs for weight loss;
- frequent refusal to eat (the patient assures that he has not yet been hungry, has already eaten, or has recently eaten);
- ritual meal (food is cut into tiny pieces and chewed very carefully, dishes are served in small portions);
- guilt after eating (the patient causes vomiting);
- refusal to attend events where snacks are served;
- wearing loose clothing to hide from those around non-existent excess weight;
- desire for solitude;
- quarrels with people urging them to eat, gain weight;
- regular performance of complex physical exercises with the aim of losing weight;
- sleep disturbances , loss of interest in your favorite hobby;
- decreased performance , self-care;
- refusal to seek medical help.
Among the physiological signs of anorexia:
- weight loss by a third or more;
- frequent dizziness , fainting ;
- the appearance on the body of vellus hair;
- menstrual disorder / complete cessation of menstruation;
- persistent feeling of cold (even when in a warm room).
What physiological changes occur in the body with prolonged fasting
If nutrients do not enter the body for a long time, dystrophy develops. After it is replaced by cachexia (severe degree of exhaustion). It manifests itself:
- bradycardia ;
- a significant decrease in blood pressure;
- pallor of the skin, blueness of the tip of the nose, fingers;
- limbs cold to the touch;
- increased dryness of the skin ;
- the appearance of wrinkles, sagging skin;
- hair loss / brittleness ;
- almost complete absence of subcutaneous fat ;
- muscle atrophy;
- dystrophic changes in the internal organs;
- hemorrhages, swelling.