Everyone wants their own ideal body. All of these may mean good and want to help people, but with all the stigma and pushing for weight loss may hurt more than help people. In this day and age, body positivity is huge whether you are overweight or perfectly healthy. Compared to the past couple decades plus size bodies are more mainstream than ever. Though the increase in body positivity in media and other platforms, there still is the stigma of being thin. Today, we are constantly bombarded with diets, exercises, and tips to get the ‘ideal body.’ This can create pressure on people to lose weight in whatever way they can, which can lead to and unhealthy way of doing so. Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder known for someone is underweight for their height and age.
People who suffer from the eating disorder can do at least one of the following: restrict calorie intake, exercise compulsively or purge their food. To purge their food they will vomit up their food or take laxatives. Anorexia Nervosa like cases can be traced all the way back to the Ancient Egyptians, they would purge food once a month. They believed that it would prevent illness. Early African Tribal lore touches on great famines were parents starved themselves, so their children would have food. Though, after famines some of the parents kept starving themselves. Early Chinese and Persians had written medical documents about sicknesses similar to Anorexia Nervosa. It was documented in 700 B.C. Rome, wealthy Romans would eat food then throw it up, just to eat more food. There is no one direct cause of Anorexia Nervosa. There are many factors that can cause someone to develop this eating disorder. Some of the factors can be biological, psychological and environmental.
A person could have some genes that make them more prone to developing an eating disorder. Their mental state may also make them more likely to start it. A person’s environment around them may make them feel as though they need to start eating less. Anorexia cannot be traced to a particular gene of any kind but there are so genetic traits that can increase the probability of developing Anorexia Nervosa. Such as, perfectionism, which is a common genetic trait when looked at to people who have anorexia nervosa. Perfectionism can also be a psychological causation. This would be an extreme case of perfectionism, can make a person they are never thin enough and strive for the “perfect body.” Another psychological causation could be obsessive-compulsive traits, it is easy for the person to make strict diets and skip meals even when they are hungry. They will do whatever it takes to get a thin body. Environmental effect on people can be modern western culture and peer pressure. In the modern western world, being thin is often shown as important pertaining to success and worth. Many TV actors and models seen are extremely thin and fit. In magazines and websites ads for weight loss are constantly shown.
Peer pressure, especially among young girls to young women, can cause someone to develop anorexia nervosa. Someone’s friends could be thin and feel as though they need to be thin or they could be bullied by their ‘friends’ about their weight and start unhealthy ways to cope. When you have causes of something you will always have effects. And the effects are more damaging than you think they would be. The health risks to this disorder include heart problems, kidney failure, bone loss, anemia, fertility issues, low testosterone (in men), and decrease in mental health such as suicide. Someone with the disorder eats a minimal amount of food. Therefore, receiving more than less nutrients needed to keep the body healthy and going. In doing so, your heart size can get smaller which makes the decreases the heart rate to an unhealthy rate.
Also, your heart muscles can get weaker, the chambers in the heart can get larger and weaken the walls. Th major contributing factor for punctuated menstrual cycles. However, low estrogen can make a woman’s menstrual cycle irregular and keep her body from ovulating. This can make becoming pregnant difficult or cause the woman to become infertile. In men, low testosterone can do the same thing the low estrogen does for women’s bones. Testosterone in men, besides being a natural steroid for male sex organs, does the same for bones that estrogen does in women. Although, low testosterone also causes a decrease in muscle health. Low testosterone increase the chance of developing osteoporosis in men more than women.
Osteoporosis is a condition that makes bones weak and brittle. Throughout history Anorexia Nervosa has occurred and not so well documented, until recent. The symptoms can be hard to spot or sometimes the only way you find out that someone you know has the disorder is on accident. Now in this time many people are here to help you through it. With all the new information and more to come we can help those who are suffering from this disorder.