Noticing other women’s weight is a common habit for many women, but sometimes this habit can become unhealthy. In extreme cases, people can obsess over their weight so much that they develop an eating disorder. Teenagers are the most at-risk group for developing anorexia. As they try to fit in with others and attract members of the opposite sex, many young people (both men and women, although more commonly women) starve themselves to improve their self esteem.
In reality, eating disorders are not a healthy method for improving self image. Anorexia is usually conjures images of an individual refusing to eat, moving food around their plate instead of eating it, constantly claiming they aren’t hungry, and doing everything in their power to avoid eating. However, anorexia can also refer to obsessive exercise, where an individual exercises excessively to lose weight.
Individuals with anorexia are sick more often than healthy individuals, and they become very skinny and pale. Emotional problems, such as moodiness and sadness, often develop in anorexic individuals. Many people with anorexia deny they have a problem. They will resist keeping a normal body weight and they will have an intense fear of gaining weight.
Below are a list of specific body parts that anorexia impacts negatively.
Brain and Nerves
Without proper nourishment, the brain is not able to regulate itself properly. Mood is often the first thing affected, and anorexic individuals often become sad, moody, and irritable. Other side effects on the brain include impaired memory, fainting, and changes in brain chemistry.
Individuals with anorexia often have thin, brittle, and lackluster hair. In extreme cases, anorexic individuals have been known to lose their hair.
Anorexia can cause low blood pressure, slow heart rate, heart palpitations, and even heart failure.
An individual with anorexia is prone in anemia and other serious blood disorders.
Muscles, Joints, and Bones
Individuals with anorexia often experience weak muscles and painfully swollen joints. They can also suffer from bone loss, easy fractures, and osteoporosis.
Anorexia has been known to cause kidney stones and kidney failure in affected individuals.
Individuals suffering from anorexia often have low potassium, magnesium, and sodium levels, which can have a very negative impact on the body’s health in terms of energy levels, mood, etc.
Anorexia can cause an individual to be constipated and bloated.
For women suffering from anorexia, periods can stop. Many of these women have problems growing and getting pregnant. If pregnant and anorexic, women have a higher risk for a miscarriage, postpartum depression, requiring a C-section, and having a baby with a dangerously low birth weight.
Individuals suffering from anorexia can bruise easily and develop a growth of fine hair all over their body. They also tend to have dry skin, brittle nails, and yellow skin, and they get cold much more easily than healthy individuals.
If you or someone you know is suffering from anorexia, the best thing you can do is get help. A doctor, nurse, or counselor can help you, your friend, or your son or daughter overcome this serious problem. If you suspect that your teen could have an eating disorder or could be engaging in other types of unhealthy or dangerous behavior, it could be time for you to seek help from an outside source. One great source of help for at-risk teens are Christian boarding schools. At these schools, students are rehabilitated through a time-tested and individualized program consisting of both discipline and reward. Students receive the love and guidance they need to transition from a troubled teen into an emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually healthy young adult.