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Anorexia nervosa

Anorexia explained
Signs and symptoms
Related issues
Help, it sounds like me!
Associated dangers
Treatment for anorexia
Recovery and getting help

Related issues

Self-induced vomiting (bulimia nervosa)
Some anorectics also purge any food which they eat. This is an extremely dangerous combination, particularly if the sufferer is vomiting regularly. A common misconception is that bulimia is simply bingeing and purging. This is untrue and SOMEONE DOES NOT HAVE TO BINGE IN ORDER TO HAVE BULIMIA OR BULIMAREXIA. Tell me more about bulimia in general.

Over-exercising
Exercise can be used as both a method of compensating for food eaten (so it becomes a form of bulimia) and as simply a way of losing weight. In the first instance, the sufferer is exercising in order to counteract any calories which have been consumed. However, many anorectics exercise purely to lose weight, regardless of whether or not they have eaten. Tell me more about over-exercise (methods, reasons and dangers).

Laxative, diuretic and ipecac abuse
Abuse of laxatives, diuretics and ipecac syrup is sometimes found in sufferers of both anorexia and bulimia. It is a common misconception that taking laxatives can help you to lose weight. In reality, laxatives work near the lower end of the bowel and do not significantly change the way that food (and calories) is absorbed by the body. Laxative abuse is painful, dangerous and can also be addictive. THE ONLY WEIGHT YOU ARE LIKELY TO LOSE BY TAKING LAXATIVES IS WATER WEIGHT, which can easily lead to dehydration. Tell me more about laxative abuse.

Diuretics are drugs used to lower to amount of salt and water present in the body. They are most commonly prescribed to patients with high blood pressure, edema (water retention) or congestive heart failure. They are NOT intended to be used as a means of losing weight and can have side-effects including headaches, dizziness, muscle cramps, impotence, and, in rare cases, may cause an irregular heartbeat. Tell me more about diuretic abuse.

Ipecac is a drug most commonly found as a syrup, but it can also be found in tablet form too. The syrup is intended to be used in emergencies and should only be administered if someone has swallowed poison. Ipecac causes severe vomiting but can have many side-effects, both short-term and long-term. These side-effects include dizziness, nausea, stomach cramps, respiratory difficulties, fast or irregular heartbeat, seizures and pneumonia. If the ipecac is not vomited or an individual overdoses, it can cause serious heart problems and even death. Even in emergencies where someone has been poisoned, bottles labelled "Ipecac Fluidextract" or "Ipecac Tincture" should NOT be used as the dosage will be too strong and can lead to death.† Tell me more about ipecac abuse.

Self-harm
Many eating disordered people self-harm for a number of possible reasons. Firstly, it can be used as a method of punishment if they have eaten too much or broken a rule they have set themselves. Secondly, self-harm can be used as a way of releasing built-up feelings of hurt, anger and frustration. Finally, many self-harmers say they injure themselves so they can feel something, even if it is pain, because they just feel numb inside. Tell me more about self-harm (methods, reasons and dangers).

Other issues
There are links to other related issues, including depression, on the right-hand side of this page.

Go on to help, it sounds like me!

Source: †Medline Plus Health Information, a service of the National Library of Medicine (US).

 

 

 
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