Heartbreaking condition that is highly treatable
BPart 1 of a Series
By Arnold Lieber, MD
Body shaming is an ongoing issue in our society. There’s noth-
put ourselves in real danger when we become obsessed with our
appearance and start taking drastic measures to obtain or maintain
a sense of control over our physical bodies. There have been many
the life-threatening disease it can become.
WHAT IS ANOREXIA?
Anorexia nervosa, more commonly known as anorexia, is an
eating disorder that can be self-diagnosed by excessive weight-loss
caused by self-starvation. Anorexia is also considered a mental illness.
Most turn to this obsession as a sense of control in a reality
where they feel they have none.
WHAT ARE THE
This eating disorder can affect males or females. However, 90-
95% of those diagnosed are girls and women. It’s estimated that
5-20% of people affected by this eating disorder will die, with severity
in relation to length of time.
recorded factors that come into play. Some people are more genetically
susceptible to anorexia, such as those with perfectionist and/or
obsessive-compulsive tendencies. These personality traits keep them
striving for more, as they believe it’s never enough and every day is
focused on reaching an unobtainable goal of perfection.
SOCIETY ALSO PLAYS A ROLE
Successful, attractive and women who are perceived with
young women, anorexia starts as they move through puberty, struggling
to understand themselves and their bodies in relation to the
world around them.
If you’re able to identify the issue in the early stages and are
ready for treatment, it’s best to seek out a program that encompasses
all of the tools you need to get better. These include intensive therapy,
nutrition education and medical care.
However, if you feel that your life is in danger, hospitalization is
imperative to treat issues of the heart, extreme dehydration and im-
AM I SUFFERING FROM ANOREXIA NERVOSA?
• Have you recently noticed a drastic decrease
• Do you struggle with maintaining a healthy
• Are you overly concerned about gaining weight?
• Do you find yourself refusing or making excuses
not to eat?
• Are you self-conscious about your body image?
• Do you exercise excessively?
• Do you obsess over dieting?
• Have you been distancing yourself from friends
• Are you often depressed?
• Have you noticed dry or yellow tinted skin?
DANGERS OF ANOREXIA
• Heart rates drop to an abnormally slow rate
• Blood pressure drops
• Blood count becomes abnormal
• Risk of heart failure increases
• Risk of osteoporosis and reduction in bone density
• Muscles deteriorate
• Body suffers from dehydration, leading to kidney
• Extreme thinness
• Irregular periods in women
• Lower testosterone in men
• Feeling weak, fatigued, or dizzy, or experiencing
• Dry skin that may also take on yellowish tint
• Bluish color on the tips of the fingers
• Dry hair and hair loss
• Downy hair that grows over the skin in order to
Anorexia affects all of the organs in the body. If left
untreated, the body becomes severely malnourished.
This can result in damage that is not treatable,
even if the disease is taken under control.
• Lying about whether or not you have eaten
• Withdrawing from social activities
• Emotionally flat-lined
• Obsessing over weight gain
• Feeling insecure about the way you look
• Decreased interest in sex
• Feeling depressed
• Thoughts of suicide
24 • FEB/MAR 2019 813.682.9364 FLORIDA WOMEN MAGAZINE