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The signs symptoms and treatment for anorexia nervosa

What Causes Anorexia Nervosa? People who develop anorexia may have a negative body image. Other factors like biology, environment, and psychology are believed to play a role. Biology Genetics and hormones might have an effect on the development of anorexia nervosa.

Some evidence suggests a link between anorexia and serotonin, a chemical produced in the brain. Environment Pressure from society to look thin may also contribute to the development of anorexia nervosa. Unrealistic body images from media outlets like magazines and television can greatly influence young people and spark the desire to be thin.

Psychology Someone with obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD might be more predisposed to maintaining the strict diet and exercise regimen that those with anorexia nervosa often maintain. How Is Anorexia Nervosa Diagnosed? Your primary care provider will perform a physical exam to check your blood pressure and heart rate. They will also do a psychological exam or refer you to a mental health professional who will ask about your eating habits and feelings.

They will look for any criteria that show: Blood tests may be ordered to check your electrolyte levels and liver and kidney function. In addition, your primary care provider may check your bone density and look for heart irregularities.

Your primary care provider may also order other laboratory tests to rule out other possible causes for weight the signs symptoms and treatment for anorexia nervosa, such as celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease. One of the biggest obstacles in the treatment of anorexia nervosa is realizing that you need help. That can make treatment difficult. The main goal of treatment is to restore your body to a normal weight and establish normal eating habits.

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A dietitian will help you learn how to eat properly. It might also be recommended that your family take part in therapy with you. For many people, anorexia nervosa is a lifelong challenge. Therapy You and your family must work hard to overcome anorexia nervosa.

Individual, family, and group therapies are often an integral part of treatment. Individual Therapy A form of therapy called cognitive behavioral therapy is often used to treat anorexia nervosa. CBT helps change unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. Its goal is to help you learn to cope with strong emotions and build healthy self-esteem.

Family Therapy Family therapy gets family members involved in keeping you on track with your healthy eating and lifestyle. Family therapy also helps resolve conflicts within the family.

It can help create support for the family member learning to cope with anorexia nervosa. Group Therapy Group therapy allows people with anorexia nervosa to interact with others who have the same disorder. But it can sometimes lead to competition to be the thinnest. Medication While there is no medication at this time that is proven to treat anorexia nervosa, antidepressants may be prescribed to deal with the anxiety and depression common in those with anorexia.

These may make you feel better.

Anorexia Nervosa

But antidepressants do not diminish the desire to lose weight. Hospitalization Depending on the severity of your weight loss, your primary care provider may want to keep you in the hospital for a few days to treat the effects of your anorexia nervosa. If you continue to refuse to eat or exhibit psychiatric issues, your primary care provider may have you admitted into the hospital for intensive treatment.

Many people recover from anorexia. In some the condition can be deadly. Still others may go on to develop other eating disorders. For some people, overcoming anorexia takes lifelong treatment and maintenance. Joining a support group for anorexia can help increase your likelihood of recovery. Can Anorexia Nervosa Be Prevented? There is no proven method to prevent anorexia nervosa. But looking out for symptoms of the disorder can help with quick diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.

If you find yourself or a loved one obsessing about weight, excessively exercising, or being dissatisfied with their appearance, you may want to seek professional help. Medically reviewed by Timothy J.