Anorexia

Ugly in the brain of the beholder

When people think of mental illness related to body image, the first thing that usually comes to mind is anorexia or associated eating disorders. But, the lesser known body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is five times more prevalent ...

Jan 02, 2014
popularity 3 / 5 (2) | comments 0 | with audio podcast

MU researcher close to solving problem for cancer patients

Patients with cancer and other long-term debilitating diseases often have additional problems. Many cancer patients, and those with other chronic diseases, can experience a wasting disease, cachexia anorexia, which causes ...

Dec 11, 2013
popularity 5 / 5 (3) | comments 0

New genetic clue to anorexia

The largest DNA-sequencing study of anorexia nervosa has linked the eating disorder to variants in a gene coding for an enzyme that regulates cholesterol metabolism. The finding suggests that anorexia could be caused in part ...

Sep 11, 2013
popularity 5 / 5 (3) | comments 0 | with audio podcast

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by an obsessive fear of gaining weight. The terms anorexia nervosa and anorexia are often used interchangeably, however anorexia is simply a medical term for lack of appetite. Anorexia nervosa has many complicated implications and may be thought of as a lifelong illness that may never be truly cured, but only managed over time.

Anorexia nervosa is often coupled with a distorted self image which may be maintained by various cognitive biases that alter how the affected individual evaluates and thinks about her or his body, food and eating. Persons with anorexia nervosa continue to feel hunger, but deny themselves all but very small quantities of food. The average caloric intake of a person with anorexia nervosa is 600–800 calories per day, but extreme cases of complete self-starvation are known. It is a serious mental illness with a high incidence of comorbidity and the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder.

Anorexia most often has its onset in adolescence and is most prevalent among adolescent girls. However, more recent studies show that the onset age of anorexia decreased from an average of 13 to 17 years of age to 9 to 12. While it can affect men and women of any age, race, and socioeconomic and cultural background, Anorexia nervosa occurs in females 10 times more than in males. While anorexia nervosa is quite commonly (in lay circles) believed to be a woman 's illness, it should not be forgotten than ten per cent of people with anorexia nervosa are male.

The term anorexia nervosa was established in 1873 by Sir William Gull, one of Queen Victoria's personal physicians. The term is of Greek origin: an- (ἀν-, prefix denoting negation) and orexis (ὄρεξις, "appetite"), thus meaning a lack of desire to eat. However, while the term "anorexia nervosa" literally means "neurotic loss of appetite" the literal meaning of the term is somewhat misleading. Many anorexics do enjoy eating and have certainly not lost their appetite as the term "loss of appetite" is normally understood; it is better to regard anorexia nervosa as a self-punitive addiction to fasting, rather than a literal loss of appetite.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

How kids' brain structures grow as memory develops

Our ability to store memories improves during childhood, associated with structural changes in the hippocampus and its connections with prefrontal and parietal cortices. New research from UC Davis is exploring ...