Find here the detailed version of Diagnosis and Treatment for Anorexia Nervosa Excessive Weight Loss Disorder and the prognosis for the problem.
Anorexia Nervosa occurs mainly in the developed world, especially in the middle and upper social classes. The vast majority of people with the condition are teenage girls between the ages of 12 and 18. Lots of girls in this age group develop this eating disorder. Boys and younger children are also getting affected. Anorexia Nervosa may run in families and may be associated with binge eating disorder bulimia.
If anorexia nervosa develops before or around the onset of puberty, the development of adult sexual characteristics may be delayed or stop. If there is a continued refusal to eat, extreme weight loss leads to complications such as chemical imbalances in the blood, loss of bone density, chronic heart failure, and eventually death.
How is Anorexia Nervosa diagnosed?
A person with Anorexia Nervosa is usually reluctant to admit that there is a problem. Often a parent or close friend becomes concerned and consults the doctor first. The doctor will examine the person to assess the degree of weight loss and exclude other conditions that cause weight loss, such as a digestive disorder or cancer. He or she will arrange for blood tests to see if an imbalance of chemicals in the blood has developed. The doctor will also look for an underlying or associated psychological disorder, such as depression.
What is the treatment for Anorexia Nervosa?
Treatment is often difficult because of a refusal to acknowledge the illness. If the personís weight is very low or there is risk of self harm, he or she will have to be admitted to the hospital. In less severe cases, treatment is carried out at home under the doctorís supervision. Initially, the doctor sets a healthy weight target and monitors weight gain on a weekly basis. A dietitian will talk to the person about the importance of nutrition in general health and plan a healthy, balanced diet. In the hospital, a person with Anorexia Nervosa is sometimes asked to stay in bed while eating habits are monitored and modified until an agreed upon weight has been achieved. At home, family members or a friend will be asked to monitor the personís diet in calm, supportive atmosphere.
People with Anorexia Nervosa are usually referred for psychological therapy. The doctor may suggest cognitive therapy to help an affected person develop a more realistic self-image or behaviour therapy to bring about changes in abnormal behaviour. Family therapy may be arranged if it appears that family problems are contributing to the disorder. Antidepressant drugs may be given if there are symptoms of depression.
What is the Prognosis for Anorexia Nervosa?
About 1 in 5 people makes a complete recovery following the treatment to cure Anorexia Nervosa, but the same number remains severally ill. Even when a person has successfully achieved weight target, he or she needs continued professional support to maintain it. For the remaining 3 in 5 people, the disorder persists but fluctuates in severity. Some people gain enough weight to recover but retain abnormal eating habits. Symptoms may also recur in response to stress. In some cases, bulimia develops up to 5 years after anorexia nervosa is first diagnosed.
About 1 in 20 people with anorexia nervosa die from complications caused by malnutrition or commits suicide as a result from severe depression.
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