Ample medical research has gone into investigating and understanding the symptoms of anorexia nervosa to design effective and suitable guidelines for treatment Research shows seven potential predictors of anorexia among women, including:
- Low body mass index (BMI)
- Low self-esteem
- Stomach problems
- Excessive exercise
- Perceived stress
- Abnormal extrovert-like behavior
The seventh indicator is among the most dangerous of all symptoms of anorexia nervosa; neurotic behavior in anorexics is characterized by emotional instability, feelings of depression, anxiety, and guilt. These main indicators have made medical practitioners, consulting physicians, and doctors stand up and take notice of eating disorders.
Anorexia nervosa treatment should be holistic in its approach. Various factors need to be taken into consideration when treating this disorder including biological, emotional, and psychological factors.
As anorexia nervosa symptoms often appear around puberty, an environmental hypothesis states that the disorder could be from a girl’s fear of becoming a woman. To cope with the development of breasts and hips and the sudden onset of menstruation, the girl may stop eating completely. This full-time preoccupation with diet, calories, and weight results in her avoiding friends and other adolescents. This behavior not only leads to potential conflicts with parents, but social and sexual concerns.
Eating disorders, anorexia nervosa included, may also have some origin in a biological cause, apart from the various psychological instigators discussed above. Most patients have issues related to control. Researchers propose that anorexia can also be genealogical in nature; this means that anorexia nervosa may affect children with a parent who was anorexic.
A recent medical breakthrough shows that mothers and sisters of people with symptoms of anorexia nervosa are at higher risk of showing symptoms of anorexia nervosa. Their risk of developing anorexia is nearly eleven times higher than the rest of the population.
Though medical science has not found a specific gene or a set of genes that contribute to anorexia, appetite genes may be responsible for early fullness symptoms. Other studies indicate a high relapse rate for patients suffering from eating disorders, anorexia nervosa included.
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