середа, 18 серпня 2010 р.

Girls With Anorexia

Girls with anorexia are at risk for a number of serious health problems, including osteoporosis (bone loss), kidney disease, liver disease, heart failure, and even death.  Anorexic girls are often not aware of the serious risks posed by their condition and may not seek the treatment they need.
Young girls in their teens and twenties are most likely to be diagnosed with anorexia, but even younger girls with anorexia are sometimes diagnosed.  Of course, older women can also be anorexic.  The disorder is probably under-diagnosed, because many anorexic girls do not seek treatment for their condition.
Men can also be anorexic, but this is far less common.  Men account for about 10% of all anorexics.  You can follow this link for more information on men with anorexia.

Causes of Anorexia

There is some debate about the causes of anorexia.  Most often girls with anorexia are dieting severely because they want to lose weight in order to be more attractive.  They don’t realize that being too thin is not really attractive at all.  
There is a lot of pressure on some girls to be very thin.  For instance, gymnasts, dancers, actresses, and models are often told by coaches, managers, or producers that they need to lose weight even when they are already thin.  In fact, gymnast Christy Henrich died at age 22 after being told by a U.S. judge that she would have to lose weight if she wanted to make the U.S. Olympic team.  She suffered massive organ failure due to anorexia.  She weighed only 60 pounds at the time of her death.
The media also portrays very thin girls as being most attractive.  However, many models and actresses are actually underweight to the point that it threatens their health.  Anorexia is pretty common in the world of show business.  Anorexic girls see these women, though, and try to live up to that image.
Anorexia is not always about a desire to be thin and beautiful, though.  Many girls with anorexia were sexually abused as children.  Many experts in the field make a connection between the two.

Regardless of the anorexia causes, prompt treatment is needed in order to prevent serious, irreversible medical problems resulting from the disorder.
Treating Girls with Anorexia
The treatment of anorexic girls varies somewhat depending on the identified cause of the disorder in each case, but there are many components of a treatment program that are the same for all patients.
Medical care is the first item of business.  By the time they enter treatment, girls are often seriously physically ill.  They may be dehydrated, anemic, suffering electrolyte imbalances, experiencing low blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat, and suffering from stomach ulcers.  If they are lucky, that’s all they are suffering from.  Other girls have developed kidney disease, liver disease, and damage to their heart muscle.
Inpatient hospitalization is often required in order to provide the necessary medical care.  Patients are often fed through a nasogastric tube, a thin tube inserted in the nose and down the throat into the stomach.  IV fluids are given to correct electrolyte imbalances and dehydration.  Any medical problems are addressed.

The anorexic girls are then ready for mental health treatment.  This is often done on an inpatient basis as well.  Mental health treatment must address the individual reasons the eating disorder developed, as well as teaching new coping skills.  Individual and group counseling sessions are generally utilized.

About 60% of anorexia people make a full recovery with treatment.  Another 20% make a partial recovery.  They are able to function at work or school and maintain superficial relationships, but they remain very focused on food and weight.  The last 20% do not recover at all.  Despite treatment, they continue to be seriously underweight and are at risk for dying.  As more and more is learned about the disorder, perhaps treatment can become more successful.

You can follow these links for more information on anorexia symptoms, the signs of anorexia, and treatment for anorexia nervosa.  Some additional articles of interest include:  Anorexic celebrities, anorexic models and the warning signs of anorexia.  If you have any additional questions on the causes of anorexia nerviosa, or anorexia and effect of the condition, please contact us.

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