What is anorexia?

The  anorexia  is a  disorder of eating behavior (TAC)  that suppone weight loss caused by the patient himself and leads to a state of starvation. 
What is anorexia?
It is characterized by the fear of gaining weight, and a distorted and delusional perception of the body itself that makes the patient look fat even when his weight is below recommended. Therefore, a progressive decrease in weight begins by fasting and reducing food intake.

It usually begins with the elimination of carbohydrates , since there is a false belief that they gain weight. He then rejects fats, proteins and even liquids, leading to cases of extreme dehydration. To these drastic measures can be added other associated behaviors such as the use of diuretics, laxatives, purges, provoked vomiting or excessive physical exercise.

Affected people can lose 15 to 50 percent, in the most critical cases, of their body weight. In Spain there are about 250,000 cases of anorexia diagnosed. This disease is usually associated with serious psychological disorders that cause changes in behavior, emotional behavior and stigmatization of the body. All this has serious consequences in the relationship of the patient with their environment.

It is important to distinguish anorexia from other very frequent but milder eating disorders. 80 percent of young people go through stages in which their relationship with food worsens and avoids them, which does not indicate at any time that they are developing the disease.

The age of onset of anorexia is in early adolescence, around 12 years, although the most affected population is between 14 and 18. It is more frequent in the middle and upper-middle social classes.

In 95 percent of cases, anorexia affects young women, although in recent years there has been an increase in men, adult women and children. Men are more likely to hide the disorder since they are not subjected to such a strong social judgment. 

This favors the treatment being more difficult, since the disease is diagnosed when it is already in a very advanced state. There are groups more likely to suffer from these disorders, in the case of gymnasts, dancers or models. In anorexia nervosa, two subtypes can be distinguished:
  • Restrictive subtype: Weight reduction is achieved through diets or intense physical exercise and the patient does not resort to over-sex, bingeing or purging.
  • Bulimic subtype: The patient uses the purges even if he has ingested a small amount of food.

Where are you from?

- The patient's own obesity.
- Maternal obesity
- Death or illness of a loved one.
- Parental separation.
- Away from home.
- School failures
- Accidents
- Traumatic events.

So far a clear biological cause has not been determined about the origin of anorexia. Although there are many sociocultural factors that can trigger it, it is likely that a part of the population has a greater physical predisposition to suffer from this disorder, regardless of the pressure that the environment may exert. 

Therefore, there are general factors that are associated with a trigger or certain biological vulnerability, which is what precipitates the development of the disease.

However, the triggers of the vulnerability have not yet been identified. There is talk of a gene that may predispose to suffering from anorexia, but there are no conclusive studies in this regard. It is known that many mothers of anorexic youth have also suffered eating disorders in the past.

Up to now, fashion, beauty and body worship have been specially pointed out as the main causes of the disease, but today it is known that other factors are also involved in its appearance. 

The origin of anorexia is, in short, a combination of biological (physical changes), psychological and social factors . In this way, two types of factors can be distinguished: triggers and general factors.

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