Health & Nutrition : How to Identify Anorexia


My name is Christine Marquette and I am a
registered dietitian with the Austin Regional Clinic and I am going to you about how to
identify Anorexia. Anorexia is also referred to as Anorexia Nervosa and it is thought of
as a mental disorder. Usually people who have Anorexia go through periods of denial and
they don’t admit that they have a problem and it is usually only after a very significant
weight loss that has caused other health problems that it is actually identified. What will
usually end up happening is that the person will become so thin for example if it is a
woman who is menstrual aged that she has actually missed three cycles in a row. She will also
become so thin that she is very cold all the time, sometimes these particular people if
they have had Anorexia for a period of time they will have what is called a downy hair
growth, very fine growth all over their entire body. Basically this is their body’s attempt
to increase their body temperature again because they have such little body temperature in
their body and their body temperature has dropped too much. Anorexics who do a lot of
vomiting they will also have damage to their teeth and to their esophagus that can be identified
by a dentist so often times these are multiple symptoms that occur that lead to the diagnosis
and one of the primary things is that their body weight is below what is considered normal
and they refuse to gain weight because they still see themselves as being overweight even
though they are well below what is considered normal weight for their height. So those are
some of the major factors that are used to diagnose somebody as having Anorexia.

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