It is not uncommon for someone to experience mild dissatisfaction with their weight, however when their dissatisfaction becomes obsessive, he or she can quickly begin to demonstrate behaviors related to the mental illness that is anorexia.
Anorexia, which is considered the most fatal of all mental illnesses, can quickly become a serious problem that can pose major medical threat to anyone who has the disorder. The majority of people struggling with anorexia are women, especially those between the ages of 12 and 25 (Ohio State University Medical Center), and according to the South Carolina Department of Health, anorexia is the third most common chronic illness in adolescents. Even though this age range of women experience anorexia the most, it is also important to note that out of the 8 million Americans that suffer from anorexia, one million of them are men.
Those who experience anorexia do not do so because they chose to develop an eating disorder, rather because of serious factors that impact certain aspects of their life. Some of the factors that can lead to the development of anorexia include the following:
Being bullied, having poor self-esteem, natural biological causes and/or a family history of this illness can also lead to the development of anorexia in an individual.
There are unique signs and symptoms related to a person who is severely restricting their food intake. They include:
As a person continues to suffer from anorexia, not only will their symptoms become progressive and increasingly dangerous, but they will also likely begin to notice health-related consequences that can threaten their life and pose medical problems in the future. According to the Ohio State Medical Center, these consequences can include:
Anorexia can cause some medical complications. They include:
Some of these symptoms, such as dehydration and the interruption of the menstrual cycle, can return back to normal as the individual completes treatment; however some consequences like heart damage and bone density loss can be permanent anorexia-related effects.
If any of these symptoms are present it is important to seek immediate medical attention.
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