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Eating disorders

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Anorexia nervosa

It is a disorder of the eating behavior that is distinguished by a profound distortion of the corporal image and a clinging effort for loosing weight, that can take the person to starvation; It is characterized by a decrease in weight, caused and maintained by the patient, even refusing to maintain a lower weight than normal, since he is extremely afraid of gaining weight.

Significant weight loss, through rejection of fattening foods, or through self-induced vomiting, the use of laxative medications, diuretics (which makes them urinate more frequently), drugs that suppress appetite, or excessive exercise. It is common for patients to invent rules about what foods are allowed.

Distortion of the body image together with an intense and persistent fear of gaining weight or gaining weight, those suffering from anorexia nervosa pursue a very low ideal weight.

They are losing interest in the coexistence between their friendships and at the same time notice some physical and mental complications: Cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, bone and muscle, Hormonal, urinary, hematological (blood), dermatological, psychiatric disorders; depression, obsessive disorders, loss of concentration and risk of suicide.

When patients suffering from Anorexia Nervosa are not treated, the symptoms tend to become chronic, gradually deteriorating the patient’s general condition, even leading to death. The sooner you start treatment for Anorexia Nervosa, the chances of recovery increase.

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Types of anorexia

Restrictive Anorexia: It is when the person restricts their diet to the point of going hungry due to the constant fear of gaining weight. The sick person manages to lose weight by extremely restricting the calories he consumes, subjecting himself to drastic diets and / or excessive exercise.

Purging Anorexia: Purging anorexia is when weight loss is achieved by causing vomiting, using laxatives and diuretics. It has a certain similarity with bulimia nervosa, since the patient alternates between periods of binge eating and extreme food restrictions.

Symptoms and behavior

  • Take rigorous diets despite being very thin (o): Follow restrictive diets, eat only foods low in calories. Prohibiting the meals that the same person considers as “bad”.
  • Pretend to eat and lie about it: Chew food without swallowing it, play with food on your plate and invent excuses to avoid eating.
  • Worrying too much about food: Cooking for others, collecting recipes and cooking magazines while watching others eat.
  • Routines and obsessive rituals: Avoid eating in public places. Obsessive habits when eating, for example, cut food into very small pieces or spit food without swallowing.

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Nervous Bulimia

It is a disorder of eating behavior distinguished by repeated episodes of excessive food intake, in combination with an exceeded concern for weight control and finally leads to take extreme measures to compensate the possible weight gain. In other words, “binge eating” occurs, in which a large amount of food is compulsively ingested in a short period of time. After a binge, the patient feels guilty about it and it is at that moment when he uses inappropriate methods, such as resorting to vomiting, purging, diuretics and thus avoiding weight gain. A constant in this cases, is that the episodes are concealed done in secret.

The Characteristics of Nervous Bulimia are:

  • Persistent worry and irresistible desire or a compulsion for food.
  • Episodes of overfeeding (binge eating) in short periods of time.
  • Excessive exercise, self-induced vomiting, prolonged periods of fasting or consumption of drugs such as laxatives, diuretics or appetite suppressants, with the intention of counteracting the impact of binge eating.
  • Excessive or morbid fear of obesity.
  • The majority of patients with bulimia nervosa have a weight within normality.

The main consequences are related to binge eating, induced vomiting, abuse of laxatives and diuretics and can lead to serious physical complications:

  • Gastrointestinal disorders: dentition, salivary glands, esophagitis, esophageal ulcers and inflammatory processes of the stomach and intestine.
  • Cardiovascular and metabolic disorders: Cardiac arrhythmias, electrolyte imbalance, leg edema.
  • Urinary problems: Alterations in kidney function and urinary tract infections.
  • Neurological and muscular disorders: muscle contractions, tonic clonic seizures and alterations in the endocrine system; alterations in female hormones, infertility.

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Causes of Bulimia

The factors that cause a person to suffer from bulimia nervosa are quite diverse. Some of the possible factors that help to develop this nutritional disorder can be biological, emotional instability, anxiety, history of abuse or trauma, bullying, among others.

Among the most common causes are:

  • Extremely stressful life changes
  • History of abuse or trauma
  • Negative perception of the body
  • Low self-esteem
  • Be involved in professions or activities related to physical appearance.

Treatment for Bulimia

Like the Nervous Anorexia, the treatment focuses on treating the symptomatology derived from Bulimia Nervosa and restoring the damages and consequences of a physical order, that is, treating the alterations presented in the organism and those derived from the psychological disorder.

The treatment of Bulimia Nerviosa in Clínica Libre is provided through the comprehensive intervention of physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, consultants, nutritional therapy and physical conditioning. On the other hand, the systemic approach refers to integrating the family throughout the therapeutic process. Among the most used therapies at Clínica Libre are; cognitive-behavioral, motivational, group therapies, horse-assisted therapy, as well as participation in self-help groups and relapse prevention therapies.

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