About Ana & Mia

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About Ana & Mia

Mensagem  cristal* em Dom Ago 16, 2009 4:31 am

What is anorexia nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa is a serious, often chronic, and life-threatening eating disorder defined by a refusal to maintain minimal body weight within 15 percent of an individual's normal weight. Other essential features of this disorder include an intense fear of gaining weight, a distorted body image, and amenorrhea (absence of at least three consecutive menstrual cycles when they are otherwise expected to occur). In addition to the classic pattern of restrictive eating, some people will also engage in recurrent binge eating and purging episodes. Starvation, weight loss, and related medical complications are quite serious and can result in death. People who have an ongoing preoccupation with food and weight even when they are thin would benefit from exploring their thoughts and relationships with a therapist. The term anorexia literally means loss of appetite, but this is a misnomer. In fact, people with anorexia nervosa ignore hunger and thus control their desire to eat. This desire is frequently sublimated through cooking for others or hiding food that they will not eat in their personal space. Obsessive exercise may accompany the starving behavior and cause others to assume the person must be healthy.

What are the common signs of anorexia nervosa?

The hallmark of anorexia nervosa is a preoccupation with food and a refusal to maintain minimally normal body weight. One of the most frightening aspects of the disorder is that people with anorexia nervosa continue to think they look fat even when they are bone-thin. Their nails and hair become brittle, and their skin may become dry and yellow. Depression is common in patients suffering from this disorder. People with anorexia nervosa often complain of feeling cold (hypothermia) because their body temperature drops. They may develop lanugo (a term used to describe the fine hair on a new born) on their body.

Persons with anorexia nervosa develop strange eating habits such as cutting their food into tiny pieces, refusing to eat in front of others, or fixing elaborate meals for others that they themselves don't eat. Food and weight become obsessions as people with this disorder constantly think about their next encounter with food. Generally, if a person fears he or she has anorexia nervosa, a doctor knowledgeable about eating disorders should make a diagnosis and rule out other physical disorders. Other psychiatric disorders can occur together with anorexia nervosa, such as depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

What is bulimia nervosa?

Bulimia nervosa is a serious eating disorder marked by a destructive pattern of binge-eating and recurrent inappropriate behavior to control one's weight. It can occur together with other psychiatric disorders such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, substance dependence, or self-injurious behavior. Binge eating is defined as the consumption of excessively large amounts of food within a short period of time. The food is often sweet, high in calories, and has a texture that makes it easy to eat fast. "Inappropriate compensatory behavior" to control one's weight may include purging behaviors (such as self-induced vomiting, abuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas) or non-purging behaviors (such as fasting or excessive exercise). For those who binge eat, sometimes any amount of food, even a salad or half an apple, is perceived as a binge and is vomited.

People with bulimia nervosa often feel a lack of control during their eating binges. Their food is usually eaten secretly and gobbled down rapidly with little chewing. A binge is usually ended by abdominal discomfort. When the binge is over, the person with bulimia feels guilty and purges to rid his or her body of the excess calories. To be diagnosed with bulimia, a person must have had, on average, a minimum of two binge-eating episodes a week for at least three months. The first problem with any eating disorder is constant concern with food and weight to the exclusion of almost all other personal concerns.

What are the common signs of bulimia?

Constant concern about food and weight is a primary sign of bulimia. Common indicators that suggest the self-induced vomiting that persons with bulimia experience are the erosion of dental enamel (due to the acid in the vomit) and scarring on the backs of the hands (due to repeatedly pushing fingers down the throat to induce vomiting).

A small percentage of people with bulimia show swelling of the glands near the cheeks called parotid glands. People with bulimia may also experience irregular menstrual periods and a decrease in sexual interest. A depressed mood is also commonly observed as are frequent complaints of sore throats and abdominal pain. Despite these telltale signs, bulimia nervosa is difficult to catch early. Binge eating and purging are often done in secret and can be easily concealed by a normal-weight person who is ashamed of his or her behavior, but compelled to continue it because he or she believes it controls weight. Characteristically, these individuals have many rules about food -- e.g. good foods, bad foods -- and can be entrenched in these rules and particular thinking patterns. This preoccupation and these behaviors allow the person to shift their focus from painful feelings and reduce tension and anxiety perpetuating the need for these behaviors.

Are there any serious medical complications?

Persons with bulimia -- even those of normal weight -- can severely damage their bodies by frequent binging and purging. Electrolyte imbalance and dehydration can occur and may cause cardiac complications and, occasionally, sudden death. In rare instances, binge eating can cause the stomach to rupture, and purging can result in heart failure due to the loss of vital minerals like potassium.
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cristal*
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Data de inscrição : 11/08/2009
Idade : 24
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