Anorexia is an eating disorder in which you do not feel like eating and is related to low appetite. You feel you are full and there is no need to eat. In fact, you can prepare a nice meal for others but fail to eat the same. Anorexia is a common problem amongst young girls in their adolescent and is most women suffer anorexia compared to the number of men who do. One characteristic of the disorder is the tendency to preoccupy yourself with your self-image, with a notion that you may interfere with the same by eating normally. Whenever you feel hungry, you are only able to eat very little and feel full (your stomach is already used to anyway). Left unchecked, anorexia is very devastating. It can easily develop into a mental illness. You can starve yourself to death.
Health Effects of Decreased or Low Appetite
You can develop anorexia in a very simple way. You may become fond of what you consider as a simple weight loss diet with very good intention, to lose weight. After successfully losing weight, you develop a fear that you may again increase your weight by eating normally. To counter this fear, you stick to the weight loss diet, with dire consequences. This is one reason why you should not embark on a long-term weight loss diet. Anorexia presents itself through various signs and symptoms. You seriously need to watch out for the same in case you are or thinking of undertaking a weight loss diet. They include:
- Rapid weight loss – While your intention in undertaking a weight loss program is to shed off excess weight, such should not be rapid over a long period. You need to restrict any rapid weight loss program to a maximum of two weeks after which you embark on a regular healthy diet. You need to be careful with continuous rapid weight loss after this period because such is a symptom of anorexia.
- Fine hair texture – Because your body may not be receiving adequate supplies of vitamins, minerals and vital acids, your hair become very fine.
- Obsession – You become obsessed with fear of eating any food, continuing to diet despite the fact that you have already shed off too much weight.
- Loneliness – You find excuses at meal times and resort o being alone at such times. You simply do not want to eat anything near others, perhaps fearing that you will be rebuked.
- Depression – You find yourself feeling sad with tiredness. You always worry of your state, with a perception that you need to shed off more weight.
- Skin infections – You suddenly develop skin infections such as acne, dermatitis and edema amongst other skin problems. Your joints may also start to swell.
Causes of Decreased or Low Appetite (Anorexia)
These are just some of the possible symptoms you are likely to experience with anorexia. Medically, you are likely to have constipation and diarrhea amongst others. Although no definite causes of anorexia have been established, several theories (which are correct) have been put forward. Such include:
- Pregnancy – Various complications that may occur in prenatal and post-natal periods have been linked to the development of anorexia. Such complications include maternal anemia, pregnancy diabetes and preeclampsia amongst other complications.
- Genetics – Anorexia disorder is thought to be inheritable. In gene studies undertaken, about 43 genes including those related to eating behavior have been established to be linked to the development of anorexia.
- Autoimmune system – Various components of autoimmune system such as those associated with appetite have been established to contribute to the occurrence of anorexia.
- Nutritional deficiencies – Nutritional deficiencies and in particular that of zinc has been noted to encourage the development of anorexia.
- Self-image – The obsession with thin bodies as the trendy female body has driven many women to resort to fast weight loss programs and in particular crash diets, which they proceed on for a long time.
Anorexia has serious health effects that can degrade your general health. It is linked to the occurrence of various diseases and health conditions including low blood pressure, depression, suicide, obsessive compulsory disorder, anemia, anxiety, constipation, abdominal pains and amenorrhea amongst others. While it is important that you reduce your weight, it should be in such a way that you do it in a healthy manner. It is vital to undertake any weight loss program in consultation with your doctor or nutritionist.