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What is anorexia nervosa? How is the disease characterized?

Anorexia is medically known as anorexia nervosa.
• It is an eating disorder.
• It mainly affects females.
• Anorexia can be simply defined as less appetite or sometimes disliking towards the food due to some reason.
• Anorexia may not harm on the initial stages but eventually it can take up the body weight.
• Anorexia also makes person undernourished resulting in low immunity power.
• Anorexia nervosa is characterized by excessive food restriction and irrational fear of gaining weight.
• It is a distorted body self-perception.
• It typically involves excessive weight loss.
• Anorexia nervosa usually develops during adolescence and early adulthood.
• This restriction of food intake causes metabolic and hormonal disorders.
• Anorexia is simply a medical term for lack of appetite.
• People suffering from anorexia have extremely high levels of ghrelin.
• This is the hunger hormone that tells the brain when it is time to eat, in their blood.
• The high levels of ghrelin suggests that their bodies are trying desperately to switch hunger.
• Anorexia nervosa has many complicated implications.
• It can be a lifelong illness that may never be truly cured.
• It can only be managed over time.
• Anorexia nervosa is characterized by low body weight.
• Individuals suffering from it may also practice repeated weighing, measuring, and mirror gazing, alongside other obsessive actions.

Causes of Anorexia

• Cultural pressures
• Psychological issues
• Family environment
• Genetic factors
• Life transitions
• Perpetuating factors

Biological factors that lead to anorexia are:
• Obstetric complications
• Genetics
• Epigenetics
• Dysregulation of the dopamine and serotonin pathways
• Serotonin dysregulation
• Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)
• Leptin and ghrelin
• Cerebral blood flow (CBF)
• Autoimmune system
• Infections
• Nutritional deficiencies: Zinc deficiency

The disease is characterized by the following symptoms.
• Refusal to maintain a normal body mass index for their age.
• Amenorrhea, the absence of three consecutive menstrual cycles.
• Fearful of even the slightest weight gain.
• Takes all precautionary measures to avoid weight gain and becoming overweight.
• Obvious, rapid, dramatic weight loss.
• Lanugo: soft, fine hair growing on the face and body.
• Obsession with calories and fat content of food.
• Preoccupation with food, recipes, or cooking.
• May cook elaborate dinners for others, but not eat the food themselves.
• Dieting despite being thin or dangerously underweight.
• Cuts food into tiny pieces.
• Refuses to eat around others.
• Hides or discards food.

Anorexia Nervosa Treatment Manual for Anorexia Nervosa Help Your Teenager Beat an Eating Disorder

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