Anorexia nervosa is the eating disorder that can cause somebody could lose the severe body weight. People with anorexia nervosa would be fear of gaining weight and they will feel better soon after they realize that there are some decreased amount of their body weight. Because of that, people with anorexia nervosa would be dare to skip the meals, eat less than normal, and exercise excessively. Here are the common causes of anorexia nervosa.
- Environment. The environment is one of the most obvious reasons why anorexia nervosa could occur. Pressure from the society to look thin, such as the commercials from magazine, television, or product commercial which shows unrealistic body images would cause the development of anorexia nervosa in the future.
- Biological. While this factor still needs further experiment because of the lack of scientific evidence, but there may be genetic changes that would stimulate the development of anorexia nervosa. Also, some evidences show that there is a connection between anorexia nervosa and serotonin, a nerotransmitter that produced in the brain.
- Psychological. There is an evidence that people with an obsessive-compulsory disorder would be more likely to suffer from anorexia nervosa. They will tend to have an extreme drive for perfections, which will make them think that they are not thin enough.
Now, after you know all of the common causes of anorexia nervosa, now you need also to know the health risks associated with anorexia nervosa. Here are the health risks of anorexia nervosa that you should need to know:
First Health Risks of Anorexia Nervosa could cause anemia. This is one of the most obvious health risks that would be more likely to occur to you whenever you have anorexia nervosa. Anemia is the disease that occurs whenever the number of healthy red blood cells in your body is too low, which can be the sign that many parts of your body have an insufficient supply of oxygen from your blood.
So, since you want to make your body become thinner than before, you don’t want to eat an adequate amount of foods. This condition would be very dangerous for the health of your body because the supply of oxygen-rich blood is depending on the nutrients, such as iron, Vitamin B12, and folic acid from the food that you just ate and if you don’t eat enough food, your body won’t get enough nutrient to produce the healthy red blood cells.
There is no doubt that anorexia nervosa would cause osteoporosis in the future. Osteoporosis is the disease that commonly described whenever your bone lost its density and become fragile from fractures. According to the description of osteoporosis, we bet that you already know why anorexia nervosa could lead you to osteoporosis.
Whenever you’re having an extreme diet, the consequence is that your body will be more likely to haven’t enough nutrients from the food, especially phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium, which are really important to strengthen your bones. As the result, there is no surpise at all that your bones are starting to lose their density and lead you to osteoporosis.
If you have the anorexia nervosa disorder, there is no doubt that the chance of you having the constipation would be higher than usual. So, constipation is the condition that commonly occurs whenever you have the bowel movements less than 3 times a week, accompanied with hard and dry stools. In case you have anorexia nervosa, your body wouldn’t have an adequate nutrients from foods such as fiber that would be very essential nutrient to soften the stools, which make it easier for them to pass through the rectum. So, if you’re not eating enough foods, that means the fiber’s supply to your body would be less than usual, which lead you to cosntipation.
- Decline in Cognitive Function
It is no surprise that anorexia nervosa would cause the decline in cognitive function. Our brain will suck down roughly about 20% of our daily calories from the foods that we just ate. So, as you already know, our brains need the supply of glucose from the blood everyday in order to stay functioning properly and our body could get the glucose from the foods that we just ate. In case we have anorexia nervosa, we will eat less than usual, or even not eating at all, which makes your body running out of glucose to fuel up your brain. As the result from that situation, there is no surprise that you will experience the decline in cognitive function, which makes you become struggle to think clearly and have a proper focus on your tasks.
- Memory Loss
This health risk of anorexia nervosa will affect you with the similar way with the anorexia nervosa would lead you to the decline on cognitive function. Since eating less food would make your body wouldn’t get an adequate glucose to be delivered to your brain through the blood, there is no doubt that you will experience some problems related to remember things, such as forgetfulness.
In addition to that, memory loss would occur whenever you have the Vitamin B12 deficiency, which will be more likely to occur whenever you eat less food and your body have lack of nutrients. Anemia would also lead you to this serious medical condition, because whenever your body have a low level of red blood cells, the oxygen supply to your brain would be less than usual, which make you become struggle to remember things.
Another health risk possibility that would be more likely to occur to you whenever you have anorexia nervosa is seizures. Seizures is the condition that affects the brain’s electrical activity, which then will make you’re experiencing a violent shaking and a loss of your body control and if you have repeated seizures, that will lead you to epilepsy.
So, what is the connection between anorexia nervosa and seizures? One of the main causes why the seizures could occur is because the deficiency of glucose level or low blood glucose levels in your body. Whenever you’re not eating a sufficient amount of food, your body will have lack of glucose and thus, your brain will not get the sufficient amount of fuel to function properly, which of course will lead you to seizures.
- Mitral Valve Prolapse
You have two chambers in the left side of your heart, which are left ventricle and left atrium and in between of your left ventricle and left atrium, there are mitral valves which are designed to allow the blood flow to the left ventricle but will block from flow back to the left atrium. Mitral valve prolapse is the condition that commonly occurs whenever the flaps of mitral valve do not close correctly, which means that the blood will leak into the left atrium.
While this condition is mainly caused due to the abnormalities since people were born, but the anorexia nervosa would also lead you to this condition because this condition is closely linked with the kidney damage, the health risk that would be more likely to occur whenever you have anorexia nervosa.
- Heart Failure
Since anorexia nervosa would lead you to severe anemia due to the lack of red blood cells, there is no doubt that you will also suffer from the serious medical conditions like heart failure. So, whenever you eat less food, your body won’t get the adequate amount of iron, folic acids, and Vitamin B12 that would be very essential to add some red blood cells in your body. Because your body doesn’t have enough oxygen-rich blood, that would lead to the heart’s inability to pump an adequate amount of blood to the other parts of your body, which of course will make your body couldn’t function properly. Sadly, whenever you left this condition untreated, this health risk will be the cause of death to many people.
- Abnormal Heart Rhythms
Whenever you have anorexia nervosa, there is no doubt that you will be more likely to suffer from the abnormal heart rhythms. So, an abnormal heart rhythm is the condition whenever your heart beats too fast, too slow, or even irregularly. Since this condition is closely linked with the function of your heart, there is no surprise that anorexia nervosa couldlead you to this condition.
In addition to that, whenever you eat less than the requirement of your body needed, your body wouldn’t get an adequate amount of nutrients to support the proper function of your heart. Specifically, abnormal heart rhythms could be occurred because of the low levels of potassium and electrolytes in your body, which without a doubt will happen to you if you wouldn’t eat any foods at all.
Amenorrhea could also be called as the absent of menstruation. This condition could be occurred whenever you have the anorexia nervosa. So, the question is what makes anorexia nervosa cause amenorhhea? As you already know, the absent of menstruation could be caused by so many things, including having too little body fat. Since anorexia nervosa would make you eat less or even you won’t eat foods at all cost because some concerns of gaining weight, there is no doubt that your body would suffer from insufficient amounts of fat. The insufficient amounts of body fat, of course, will lead you to amenorrhea. Since this condition could be treated based on the underlying cause, you need to add some body fats from various foods.
Another serious health risk that you need to know related to anorexia nervosa is infertility. We bet that you already know why anorexia nervosa could lead you to infertility. So, the foods that you just ate is pretty much needed for every part of your body to stay healthy and function properly. Your reproductive organ is not an exception and the semen needs various nutrients to stay healthy, such as water, zinc, selenium, folic acids, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and fatty acids. All of those nutrients could be added into your body if you eat foods. If you have anorexia nervosa and you won’t eat some foods at all, your semen would have lack of nutrients, which makes your semen become infertile.
- Erectile Dysfunction
Aside from infertility, another health risk of anorexia nervosa that associated with your reproductive organs is erectile dysfunction. So, erectile dysfunction ia the condition whenever a man is unable to get and sustain the erection process during a sexual intercourse. There are so many things that could cause the erectile dysfunction, including anorexia nervosa. Basically, erectile dysfunction could occur because there is no enough blood flow to your penis.
Whenever you have anorexia nervosa, you won’t eat food in a proper portion because of your concerns of gaining some weight. This would make your body haven’t sufficient amount of nutrients, such as iron, folic acid, and Vitamin B12 which are very important to produce oxygen-rich bloods. Because of that, the supply of blood to other parts of your body would be reduced too, including your penis, which will lead you to erectile dysfunction.
There is no doubt that the chance of you getting sudden weakness whenever you have anorexia nervosa would be higher. Weakness is the condition that commonly occurs whenever you feel the extreme tiredness and fatigue. In addition to that, weakness would make you wouldn’t be able to move the certain part of your body properly. So, since the main cause of weakness is anemia and malnutrition, it is no surprise at all if you experience sudden weakness. Basically, your body needs the nutrients from the food that you just eat to produce glucose and boost your energy and stamina level. If your body haven’t enough nutrients because you refuse to eat, no wonder that you will suffer from weakness.
In case you have anorexia nervosa, fainting will also be more likely to occur. So, fainting is the condition whenever you lose your consciousness in a short amount of time because your brain isn’t getting enough oxygen. We bet that you already know why anorexia nervosa could lead you to faint. Whenever you’re refusing to eat, your body isn’t getting enough nutrients that would be beneficial to supply the oxygen-rich blood to your brain and support the proper function of your brain, which then cause faint. In addition to that, eating foods in insufficient amount would lead you to the low blood pressure and low blood sugar, which makes your brain isn’t getting enough the glucose to fuel up the brain.
Another health risk of anorexia nervosa is swelling . So, swelling is the condition whenever the organs, skin, and other parts of your body enlarge.In case of anorexia nervosa, swelling in the feet will be more likely to occur. So, swelling could happen because the fluid accumulation in the body.
Anorexia nervosa could lead you to this condition because if your body isn’t getting enough nutrients, the blood flow out of the heart would be reduced and causing the blood returning to the heart through the veins to back up. This condition will lead you to fluid accumulation in the area of your lower limb and abdomen. The swelling around your feet could be occurred because the gravity would put so much pressure of blood in the veins of your lower limbs.
In case you have anorexia nervosa, there is no doubt that the possibility of you having insomnia would be higher too. So, what is the connection between insomnia and anorexia nervosa? Since anorexia nervosa can make you concern about your own bodyweight and you tend to not eat in an proper portion or even refuse to eat, the chance of you feeling hungry at the middle of the night will be higher. The feeling of hungry because you eat food not in a proper amount would cause some discomforts whenever you try to sleep at the night and makes you become really struggle to have a-good-night sleep. Because of insomnia, your day become more unproductive because you will feel the tiredness and sudden fatigue.
- Low Blood Pressure
One of the most obvious health risk that you would likely to get whenever you have anorexia disorder is low blood pressure. This is pretty obvious since whenever you’re refusing to eat, the red blood cells in your body would be less than usual because your body have lack of nutrients that would be essential to produce the blood. Because of that condition, there is no doubt that you will get low blood pressure. This condition commonly happens without any noticeable symptoms and you will feel the sudden weakness and fatigue, and also nausea. So, you need to check your blood pressure to the doctor and whenever you’re diagnosed of having low blood pressure, just make sure that you drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Low Blood Sugars
Another one of the most obvious health risk that you would likely to get whenever you have the anorexia nervosa is the low blood sugars in your body. So, low blood sugar is the condition that commonly occurs whenever the amount of glucose in your body is too low. Since the glucose could be produced from the foods that you just ate, there is no surprise that you will suffer from this condition if you’re skipping meals or eating less than normal. Without enough glucose, the body wouldn’t perform properly. For example your brain, your brain needs the glucose in order to function properly and to keep your concentration. Your body also needs glucose to boost your energy and stamina so that you will have a productive day.
- Kidney Failure
Aside from heart failure, anorexia nervosa would also lead you to kidney failure. So, what is the connection between anorexia nervosa and kidney failure? So, kidney failure is the condition that commonly described whenever your kidney lose the ability to filter waste from your blood sufficiently. The main cause of kidney failure is the sudden loss of blood flow to your kidneys and whenever you’re eating less or skipping meals, there is no doubt that would suffer from this chronic condition. If you’re skipping meals, the body couldn’t produce the healthy red blood cells in proper amount and thus, the blood flow to your kidney would be reduced. When that condition occurs constantly, that will leadyou to kidney failure.
If people are suffering from severe anorexia nervosa, there is a possibility of them to have a suicide. So, suicide is the act of taking one’s own life. People with anorexia nervosa will tend to have an excessive sensitivity, which make them become less appreciate about the way they are and they will tend to compare themselves with other people. Because of those habits, they will feel that they’re inferior compared to other people, which will lead them to depression and if they are suffering from severe anorexia nervosa, they would induce the suicidal act. So, you need to take care of your beloved ones in case they have anorexia nervosa.
Anorexia Nervosa Treatments
So, after you know all of the health risks of anorexia nervosa, you might wonder the way how to treat it so that you will not experience the further complications. When you are diagnosed of having anorexia nervosa, you need to do various treatments. Here are the various treatments that commonly associated with anorexia nervosa:
- Medical Care. As you already know, the health risks of anorexia nervosa are pretty dangerous and thus, you need the regular check up to monitor your vital sign, hydration level and electrolytes, as well as your physical conditions. In severe case, people with anorexia nervosa need to feed through a tube that has been placed in their nose and goes to their stomach.
- Restore Healthy Weight. The main goal of the treatment of anorexia nervosa is getting back to your normal weight. Basically, you need a psychologist or other mental health professional can help you find the best way and the best strategies to return back your normal healthy weights. In order to support the success with this method, it is better if your family also involved.
- Therapy. A form of therapy called cognitive behavioral therapy will be needed in order to treat anorexia nervosa, which have the goal to help you to learn against the strong emotions and build healthy self-esteem. Also, there is family therapy, which the involvement of the family members to track and monitor your healthy eating and lifestyle would be needed.
- Alternative Medicine. Alternative medicine is the unconventional medication that also would be very beneficial to treat anorexia nervosa. Although these methods have not been well-studied, but these methods would be very essential to reduce the stress and anxiety caused by anorexia nervosa. The types of alternative medicine such as yoga, acupuncture, massage, meditation, and many more.
So, now you already know all you need to know related to anorexia nervosa. While this disorder is quite scary and could lead you to various health complications, but as long as you appreciate yourself the way you are and you’re staying confident, then you shouldn’t be worried to have this disorder. So, stay healthy!