Anorexia Nervosa Essay Research Paper Amy April — страница 2

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causing many people to want to look like the models in magazines. Genetic factors can also play a role in anorexia. Eating disorders appear to run in families. Female relatives are most often affected. Although genetic factors may play a role in the development of anorexia, other influences play a role such as behavioral and environmental. A recent study found that mothers who are overly concerned about their daughter?s weight and physical attractiveness might put the girls at increased risk of developing an eating disorder. Also girls with eating disorders often have a father and brothers who are overly critical of their weight. (Eating Disorders-Decade of the Brain www.mediconsult.com). The most famous known case of Anorexia is probably that of Karen Carpenter, who died from

heart failure resulting from Anorexia Nervosa. This disease can be defined as self-starvation leading to a loss of body weight fifteen percent below normal, accompanied with hyperactivity, hypothermia, and amenorrhea. Hypothermia results when the body?s natural insulation becomes non-existent and the victim becomes cold all the time. Amenorrhea is the absence of at least three menstrual cycles; this is also affected by the loss of fat stores in the body. (www.mediconsult.com) Men who are affected by anorexia are usually into professions such as gymnastics, or modeling, acting and wrestling. Occupations or sports activities that have specific weight or body shape requirements are what cause the problems. Although anorexia is labeled as a women?s disease, more and more males are

being diagnosed with it. Studies show that for every ten females with an eating disorder one male is affected. Males are under diagnosed because males are less likely to ask for help, especially with a ?women?s disease?. It is also believed that males with anorexia have a history of poor relationships with their parents. Also they have inhibited sexual expression and confused sexual identity. Many men suffering from anorexia are short, and fat before they stop eating. (Male Anorexia- www.mentalhealth.com). Many medical complications come along with Anorexia. Starvation can damage vital organs such as the heart and brain. To protect itself the body shifts into slow gear. Monthly menstrual periods stop, breathing, pulse and blood pressure rates drop, and thyroid function slows.

Frequent headaches are due to lowered blood pressure and decreased oxygen supply to brain. They are always cold because of the lack in circulation due to lowered blood pressure and slowed heart rate, and a slowed metabolism. A lack in potassium in the blood caused the low blood pressure. Their heart rate becomes slow or irregular and they develop electrolyte imbalances and vitamin deficiencies. Nails and hair become brittle; the skin gets very dry and yellows, and often becomes covered with soft hair called lanugo. Excessive thirst and frequent urination may occur. Dehydration is because of constipation from not eating. (?Anorexia Nervosa? www.wellweb.com). Mild anemia, swollen joints, reduced muscle mass, and headaches commonly occur in Anorexia. Their bones are more prone to

breakage due to the lack in calcium. In some patients the brain shrinks, causing personality changes. Luckily this condition can be reversed when normal weight is reestablished. Anorexia patients also suffer from other psychiatric illnesses. Some suffering from clinical depression, and others from anxiety, personality, or substance abuse disorders and many are at risk for suicide. (?Anorexia Nervosa?- www.wellweb.com). In an attempt to understand eating disorders, scientists have studied the biochemical on the neuroendocrine system. Through studying the neuroendocrine system they found it regulates appetite and digestion, sleep, physical growth and development, emotions, thinking, kidney function, and memory. These are all functions of the mind and body, which are usually

seriously disturbed in people with eating disorders. Also the hormone vasopressin is a brain chemical found to be abnormal in people with eating disorders. Researchers have shown that levels of this hormone are elevated in patients with Anorexia, and other eating disorders. Normally it is released in response to physical and possibly emotional stress, vasopressin may contribute to the obsessive behavior seen in some patients with eating disorders. Eating disorders are most successfully treated when diagnosed early. Unfortunately even when a family member confronts the sick person about their behavior, individuals with the disorder will most likely deny they have a problem. Therefore people with eating disorders may not receive help or treatment for Anorexia until they have