Anorexia is one of the most misunderstood medical conditions in the world. Popular culture often depicts anorexia as an exaggeration for women who want to avoid gaining weight. The reality is that anorexia is a life-threatening mental condition that affects both genders. Read on to learn about anorexia medical treatments so you can better empower the patient and support caregivers.
What Is Anorexia?
The medical term for anorexia is anorexia nervosa. Essentially, anorexia is an eating disorder resulting from self-starvation, which leads to the loss of body weight. In extreme cases, the loss of weight and malnutrition may result in death. People tend to confuse anorexia with loss of appetite. A person suffering from anorexia may be hungry but still refuse to eat due to fear of eating. This fear mainly stems from a distorted perception about gaining weight or losing weight.
Notably, there is no conclusive scientific explanation as to what causes anorexia. However, studies associate the condition with anxiety, anger, and self-esteem issues. Self-starvation leads to a nutritional deficit that affects normal body functioning and increases the risk of dietary complications. Anorexia symptoms may include:
- Unusual eating habits like limiting food intake
- Dramatic loss of weight and muscles over a short period
- Intense fear of gaining weight
- A feeling of being fat or underweight
- Stress, anxiety, depression, and social withdrawal
- Low blood pressure, hair loss, stomach upsets, and fatigue
Health practitioners often use counseling to manage anorexia. Primarily, anorexia is a mental condition that stems from a unique way of thinking. Thus, cognitive therapy qualifies as an anorexia medical treatment since it changes the thinking frame of the patient. For example, counseling can enhance self-esteem and change perspective about personal weight. Counseling may occur through individual, group, and family therapy. Behavioral therapy can also change the attitude and habits about eating.
This is a counseling technique to provide information on the relationship between food and health. The method applies as an anorexia medical treatment by challenging food perceptions. Subsequently, patients can restore healthy eating patterns and maintain recommended body weight.
Medicines exist that can alleviate the causes and effects of anorexia. This technique relies heavily on the use of antidepressant drugs. The medicine acts as an inhibitor to anxiety and stress. Indirectly, using antidepressant drugs as an anorexia medical treatment approach can help change the mentality about weight loss and self-image. Lastly, hospitalization may arise in extreme cases like suicidal attempts or malnutrition.
Without treatment, anorexia may lead to serious health complications. It is advisable to explore a medical treatment program. Luckily, there are many anorexia medical treatment options available.Share