If you’re unhappy with the way you look, you’re like many other people in the world. However, if you’re so unhappy with your weight that you resort to starving yourself, you could be dealing with something more serious. Anorexia nervosa is a critical eating disorder that leads to a number of severe physical and emotional problems without the proper treatment.
At Carolina Wellness Psychiatry, our team of specialists helps you get hold of your eating disorder before it does irreversible damage to your body. Our team consists of three board-certified psychiatrists: Dr. Elizabeth Bullard, Dr. Brian Moore, and Dr. Allison Foroobar. Our doctors get you the treatment you need to get your body back to a healthy weight.
What is anorexia?
Anorexia nervosa is a serious eating disorder that’s characterized by excessive weight loss due to minimal caloric intake. It can also be categorized as not gaining weight properly in children, usually due to distorted body image.
With this condition, you see yourself as fat or overweight, even when you aren’t. This causes you to limit your calories and the specific foods you eat to an extreme degree. For example, you may have five peanuts and then feel the need to work out heavily for hours to burn them off.
Anorexia can affect anyone at any point in their life. Boys, girls, men, and women are all at risk for developing this eating disorder, though historically, women have been disproportionately affected. While it’s more common in your adolescent years, it’s becoming more common in school-age children as well.
This condition isn’t just a passing stage in life; it’s truly a dangerous medical problem that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. Anorexia that continues can result in irreversible damage to your body, and in some cases, death.
Common symptoms of anorexia
Signs of anorexia can be emotional, behavioral, and/or physical, though in some cases, you may not be able to differentiate someone who’s struggling with anorexia from someone who’s just thin.
There are emotional signs and physical symptoms associated with anorexia. So how do you know if you’re suffering from this disorder? Common physical symptoms of anorexia include:
- Sleep problems
- Always feeling cold
- Brittle nails
- Dry skin
- Dental issues
- Hair thinning
- Slow wound healing
- Stomach cramping
- Skeletal appearance (from others’ perspectives)
Your immune system also takes a hit when your body isn’t getting the fuel and nutrients it needs to function properly. This means you may notice you’re sick more or you don’t get over things like a cold as quickly as you did before.
You may also notice that your menstrual cycle has changed if you’re a woman. It may be very irregular or stop completely due to insufficient nutrition to fuel reproduction.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s vital you get treatment as soon as possible. Without treatment, your body continues to deteriorate.
When you’re suffering from anorexia, our doctors perform a thorough health assessment, customizing a plan to help you overcome your eating disorder.
Treatment usually entails a number of different therapies, including psychotherapy to rethink your self-image and your relationship with food. Our doctors may also prescribe medications like antidepressants or mood stabilizers, along with nutritional guidance to get you back to a healthy weight.
If you or someone you love is suffering from anorexia or another type of eating disorder, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with our staff today. You can call us at 919-446-3232, or request a consultation using our online booking tool.