Suscríbete a actualizaciones por email.
It was 6 months ago when I realized my daughter, Jen, had an eating disorder. Jen has always been a picky eater. But I started to see that she moved food around her plate. And she never ate very much. She exercised all the time - even when she was sick. And she was sick a lot. She became very skinny and pale. Her hair thinned. Jen became moody and seemed sad - I thought that's what teens act like. But once I put the signs together, I talked to Jen about anorexia. She denied she had a problem. But I knew she needed help. I took her to our doctor, and she asked me to put Jen in the hospital. Jen's treatment helped her return to a normal weight. It's been a tough road since then for all of us, but Jen is back home now. She is still seeing her doctors, and may need help for some time. But she's doing much better.
A person with anorexia nervosa (an-uh-RECK-see-uh nur-VOH-suh), often called anorexia, has an intense fear of gaining weight. Someone with anorexia thinks about food a lot and limits the food she or he eats, even though she or he is too thin. Anorexia is more than just a problem with food. It's a way of using food or starving oneself to feel more in control of life and to ease tension, anger, and anxiety. Most people with anorexia are female. An anorexic:
While anorexia mostly affects girls and women (85 - 95 percent of anorexics are female), it can also affect boys and men. It was once thought that women of color were shielded from eating disorders by their cultures, which tend to be more accepting of different body sizes. It is not known for sure whether African American, Latina, Asian/Pacific Islander, and American Indian and Alaska Native people develop eating disorders because American culture values thin people. People with different cultural backgrounds may develop eating disorders because it's hard to adapt to a new culture (a theory called "culture clash"). The stress of trying to live in two different cultures may cause some minorities to develop their eating disorders.
There is no single known cause of anorexia. Eating disorders are real, treatable medical illnesses with causes in both the body and the mind. Some of these things may play a part:
Someone with anorexia may look very thin. She or he may use extreme measures to lose weight by:
Someone with anorexia may also have a distorted body image, shown by thinking she or he is fat, wearing baggy clothes, weighing her or himself many times a day, and fearing weight gain.
Anorexia can also cause someone to not act like her or himself. She or he may talk about weight and food all the time, not eat in front of others, be moody or sad, or not want to go out with friends. People with anorexia may also have other psychiatric and physical illnesses, including:
With anorexia, your body doesn't get the energy from foods that it needs, so it slows down. Look at the picture below to find out how anorexia affects your health.
Yes. Someone with anorexia can get better. Un equipo de atención médica compuesto por médicos, nutricionistas y terapeutas pueden ayudar al paciente a recuperarse. Harán lo siguiente:
Estos tres pasos evitarán una "recaída" (recaída significa volver a enfermarse, luego de sentirse bien por un tiempo).
Es posible que sea seguro tratar a las personas jóvenes con antidepresivos. Sin embargo, las compañías farmacéuticas que hacen antidepresivos tienen la obligación de colocar una etiqueta de advertencia de "caja negra" en los medicamentos. Una advertencia de "caja negra" es el tipo de advertencia más grave en medicamentos con receta.
Es posible que los antidepresivos causen que los niños, adolescentes y adultos jóvenes piensen más en el suicidio o que comentan el suicidio.
The latest information from the FDA — including what drugs are included in this warning and things to look for — can be found on their website at http://www.fda.gov.
Algunos estudios sugieren que el uso de medicamentos, como los antidepresivos, antipsicóticos o estabilizadores de ánimo, a veces puede dar resultado en pacientes con anorexia. Se cree que estos medicamentos ayudan a mejorar los síntomas de ánimo y ansiedad que generalmente coexisten con la anorexia. Sin embargo, otros estudios recientes sugieren que es probable que los antidepresivos no eviten que un paciente tenga una recaída de la anorexia. Además, ningún medicamento ha demostrado funcionar el 100 por ciento de las veces durante el primer paso importante de ayudar al paciente a recuperar un peso saludable. Por lo tanto, no está claro si los medicamentos pueden ayudar a pacientes con anorexia a mejorar, o de qué manera pueden hacerlo; no obstante, se sigue investigando.
Algunas formas de psicoterapia pueden ayudar a mejorar las razones psicológicas que causan la anorexia. La psicoterapia a veces se conoce como "terapia mediante la palabra". Utiliza diferentes formas de comunicarse para cambiar los pensamientos o el comportamiento del paciente. This kind of therapy can be useful for treating eating disorders in young patients who have not had anorexia for a long time.
El asesoramiento individual puede ayudar a alguien que sufre anorexia. Si el paciente es joven, el asesoramiento puede incluir a toda la familia. Los grupos de apoyo también pueden ser parte del tratamiento. En los grupos de apoyo, los pacientes y familiares se reúnen y comparten sus vivencias.
Algunos investigadores señalan que recetar medicamentos y recurrir a la psicoterapia diseñada solo para pacientes anoréxicos da mejor resultado para tratar la anorexia que la psicoterapia sola. Sin embargo, si un tratamiento funciona o no depende de la persona involucrada y de su situación. Desafortunadamente, ningún tipo de psicoterapia es infalible para tratar adultos con anorexia.
With outpatient care, the patient receives treatment through visits with members of their health care team. Often this means going to a doctor's office. Outpatients usually live at home.
Some patients may need "partial hospitalization." This means that the person goes to the hospital during the day for treatment, but sleeps at home at night.
Sometimes, the patient goes to a hospital and stays there for treatment. This is called inpatient care. After leaving the hospital, the patient continues to get help from her health care team and becomes an outpatient.
It depends. When a woman has "active anorexia," meaning she currently has anorexia, she does not get her period and usually does not ovulate. This makes it hard to get pregnant. Women who have recovered from anorexia and are at a healthy weight have a better chance of getting pregnant. If you're having a hard time getting pregnant, see your doctor.
Yes. Women who have anorexia while they are pregnant are more likely to lose the baby. If a woman with anorexia doesn't lose the baby, she is more likely to have the baby early, deliver by C-section, deliver a baby with a lower birthweight, and have depression after the baby is born.
If someone you know is showing signs of anorexia, you may be able to help.
Adapted from "What Should I Say? Tips for Talking to a Friend Who May Be Struggling with an Eating Disorder" from the National Eating Disorders Association.
For more information about anorexia nervosa, call womenshealth.gov at 800-994-9662 (TDD: 888-220-5446) or contact the following organizations:
Última actualización del contenido: 16 de julio de 2012.