What is Anorexia?

Yasmin Duran Ortiz, Staff Writer

Anorexia is an eating disorder that causes people to obsess about weight and what they eat. People with anorexia severely restrict the amount of food they eat to prevent weight gain or to continue losing weight. According to mayoclinic.org, “They may control calorie intake by vomiting after eating or by misusing laxatives, diet aids, diuretics or enemas. They may also try to lose weight by exercising excessively. No matter how much weight is lost, the person continues to fear weight gain.” 

Anorexia is an extremely unhealthy and sometimes a life-threatening way to cope with mental health and emotional problems. You may often compare thinness with self-worth while struggling with anorexia. Some of the symptoms of anorexia may include: fatigue, insomnia, thin appearance, absence of menstruation, etc. Some of the behavioral symptoms of anorexia that may include attempts to lose weight are severely restricting food intake through fasting, binging and self-induced vomiting to get rid of food, and excessive exercising. Some of the causes of having anorexia may be a combination of psychological, environmental, and biological factors. Anorexia seems to be more common in women & girls. Teens are also more likely to develop anorexia during puberty since they may feel increased peer pressure and be more sensitive to criticism or even casual comments about weight or body shape. It is rare to develop anorexia over the age of 40. If a person with anorexia becomes severely malnourished, every organ in the body can be damaged including the brain, heart and kidneys. According to the article, “Treatment for anorexia is generally done using a team approach, which includes doctors, mental health professionals and dietitians, all with experience in eating disorders. Ongoing therapy and nutrition education are highly important to continued recovery.” 

After struggling with anorexia, it will take a while to restore the weight you lost. If you know anyone struggling with anorexia, do as much as you can to help.