Do you or a loved one suffer from anorexia nervosa? Anorexia is a psychological disorder characterized by self-starvation and lack of appetite. Many propaganda advertisements depict this disorder to be one of those “teen angst phases”, when in fact this can lead to life threatening issues. There are two major types of anorexia – Restrictive and Purge/Binge Type. Restrictive will limit their food intake. Some will count calories, in hopes to lose weight and others simply find food to be repulsive and will often gag at the act of chewing solid food. The Purge/Binge Type is often a result from feeling guilt or overwhelming anxiety which ultimately leads to laxatives, vomiting or excessive exercising.
Signs and Symptoms
- Lack of desire to eat
- Excessive weight loss
- Abnormal menstruation
- Development of soft, fine hair on body and face
- Feeling cold
- Feeling weak
- Obsession with calorie intake
- Skips meals daily
The first thing to do is seek medical attention and show support for your loved one. Depending on how deep the disorder is, some may require to be temporarily homed in an eating disorder facility. While undergoing medical treatment, doctors often provide pills for the nausea which is not recommended by patients. While fighting anorexia nervosa, the stomach shrinks when not provided food and nutrients, therefore begins to eat itself. The patient will suffer abdominal issues making it difficult for some, not all, patients to intake pills. There is a Cannabidiol option which is a cannibas compound without the psychoactive effects, just the medical benefits such as helping with chronic abdominal pain and nausea. This will require a medical recommendation from a doctor.
Ways to help at home
- Jamba Juice! Jamba Juice actually helps coat the stomach and it is a healthy, thick liquid that is easy to intake when feeling too overwhelmed for solids
- Milk- any sort of milk will do. Whether it is soy, cow, almond etc. Milk can coat the stomach which is what the patient needs before moving on to solid foods
- Ensure – Ensures are again, a great coating for the stomach and they are filled with nutrients the patient will need
- Eat 8 small meals a day. The reason for this is to stretch the stomach. Eating 3 large meals a day will only shrink the stomach back after the food has been digested. By eating 8 small meals a day, this allows the stomach to stretch and get used to the larger size and eventually, have the patient craving food more often
- Heating pads- Purchasing a heating pad at your local stores can go a long way. When the stomach is feeling nauseous or a sort of vibration feeling, the heating pad can calm and sooth the stomach. Tea will have the same effect!
- A healthy attitude- Let’s not forget this is also a psychological issue. The patient needs to want to be healthier and see a change in their diet. This cannot be forced upon.
The most you can do is support yourself and/or your loved one throughout this process. Remember above all that the energy you put into this world will come back to you, so put out positive energy and a determination to better oneself, then over time it can be done. There are multiple psychiatrists who specialize in eating disorders that are highly recommended.
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