If your teen daughter starts losing a lot of weight and is so skinny that she looks sick and unhealthy, there is a chance she may be suffering from anorexia nervosa, also called anorexia. This is a serious eating disorder that is extremely unhealthy, and 95% of people that suffer from this are women and girls. Here are several important things you should understand about this particular eating disorder.
The Health Effects Of It
When a girl suffers from anorexia, it means she will do anything to lose weight, and this typically involves eating food and purging it immediately through regurgitation. This eating disorder poses a lot of different risks for the girl's body; and if left unaddressed, it could end up leading to death. Here are some of the possible health risks of this eating disorder:
- Heart problems
- Problems with internal organs, such as kidneys
- Bone loss
- Digestive issues
When the body does not get enough food, the organs and other parts of the body will not be able to function properly. This can end up causing a girl to feel tired all the time, and she may not have any drive, motivation, or energy.
Emotional Issues It Can Lead To
Not only can anorexia cause physical health problems, but it can also lead to a variety of emotional issues. This is even more true when a girl has anorexia as well as some type of mental disorder. First of all, anorexia can lead to severe depression in many cases. It's important to also note that depression can lead to anorexia.
In some situations, girls with anorexia also develop other personality disorders or addictions to alcohol and drugs. This happens because these girls are trying to cope with problems related to low self-esteem, and they often do not know how to handle these issues. Finally, you should realize that a girl with anorexia has a much higher chance of turning to suicide for a solution. The suicide rates with this eating disorder are extremely high.
Professional Help Is Necessary
If you believe your daughter has this eating disorder, you may first want to talk to her about it. Hopefully she will come clean with you, because she will need professional help. Depending on the severity of the case, your daughter will need inpatient care or outpatient care. Inpatient care is ideal if your daughter is suffering from health problems from the disorder. For example, if your daughter is extremely dehydrated from this habit, she may need an IV to give her the fluids her body is craving and needing.
If the situation is not this severe, you may want to take her to an outpatient clinic that specializes in treating eating disorders. These clinics offer a variety of different services that will be helpful for your daughter, and there are two main things she may need:
- Counseling services – Counseling can help your daughter rebuild her self-esteem and learn that she is valuable and important. Counseling is often needed for months or years for people with major eating disorders.
- Medication for a mental illness – If your daughter has any type of mental illness, including clinical depression, she may need to be on medication for a while. If the medication helps with the mental illness, she may have an easier time breaking this habit and developing better habits.
It's also likely that your daughter will need to get help from a nutritionist. This is a professional that can help her begin eating right and giving her body the things it needs.
Anorexia is not something to ignore. If you believe your daughter may have this, you can talk to her about it and contact a clinic that specializes in treatment for anorexia nervosa and check out a go to site like this one.