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Some questions point to the onset of eating disorder and avoid the tragic consequences.

Some questions point to the onset of eating disorder and avoid the tragic consequences.

Anorexia - Photo: Getty Images

Yes. "Although most people who suffer from eating disorders have a history of being overweight or obese, some may develop abnormal eating behaviors without ever having problems with the balance," says psychologist Vanessa Amarilla Gate. This is because such people go through a self-image disorder, mistakenly believing themselves to be fat.

2 - Does anorexia have any influence on the patient's social life?

Yes. In addition to avoiding social situations involving food, anorexics do not like to feed in front of other people. Therefore, they often give up contact with friends, boyfriends and relatives. "Anorexia nervosa is also accompanied by behavioral changes, such as excessive irritability and emotional instability," says psychologist Vanessa.

3 - Can anorexia lead to death?

With appropriate treatment, half of the patients recover completely.

"If the disorder is not properly treated, can evolve and result in death, "warns endocrinologist and nutrologist Ellen Simone Paiva. The causes of death range from diseases related to malnutrition or dehydration and suicide.

4 - Who suffers from anorexia is aware that they are experiencing an eating disorder?

At the beginning of the disorder, neither the patient nor his / her relatives have awareness of the diagnosis and its severity. "With evolution, the disease is easily perceived, but patients continue to have misperceptions about their body image and often do not accept the proposed treatment," says psychologist Vanessa. The patient presents an incoherent vision, noting that he must make sacrifices to be able to stay below the recommended weight for his height. A small part of the anorexics can perceive that they go through the disorder, after the appropriate treatment. "In spite of this, they still have an exaggerated concern about food," says Glaucia. A person who has had anorexia must follow a sporadic professional follow-up or, once cured, can life return to normal?

Anorexia - Photo: Getty Images

Faced with an eating disorder, patients present different resolutions from one another. Therefore, the dynamics of the treatment is unique. "But because it is an eating disorder linked not only to food but also emotional issues, it is common for the patient to feel the need for sporadic professional follow-up, once the picture is over," says psychologist Vanessa. Returning to specialists is longer, but it is important, since patients may have remission of anorexia or associated psychiatric disorders.

6 - After the treatment is finished, what are the chances that the disease will return?

With treatment, half of the patients recover completely. Some, however, experience a fluctuating pattern of weight gain, followed by loss. Others have a progressive course of installing new episodes of the disease over the years. "It is estimated that about 20% of people who suffer from anorexia remain chronically ill," warns endocrinologist Ellen.7- Can the treatment of anorexia be isolated or a multidisciplinary team indispensable?

Due to the complex interaction between the emotional and physiological problems presented in eating disorders, the ideal is that the patient be accompanied by a team of specialists. Among the team specialists there may be a psychologist, psychiatrist, clinical doctor (pediatrician, hebiatra or endocrinologist), nutritionist, physical educator, physiotherapist and occupational therapist.

8- Anorexia and depression are associated ills?

Yes. "Depression may appear with one of the behavioral changes caused by anorexia nervosa," says psychologist Vanessa. However, not everyone with anorexia will suffer from depression and vice versa.

9- What type of therapy is most effective in these cases?

Anorexia - Photo: Getty Images

Psychotherapeutic treatment depends on each patient , varying according to the course and stage of the disease. "What can be said is that individual sessions, in groups, or even both techniques, are indispensable elements for the global treatment of anorexia nervosa," explains psychologist Vanessa.

10- How do the specialists recognize that the problem has an end?

According to the endocrinologist Glaucia, this can be perceived from the weight gain, from the decrease of fear in gaining weight , the best perception of self-image and the improvement of clinical parameters (menstrual cycle recovery, hydroelectrolytic imbalance, etc.).

11- Is it possible to treat the disease even if the patient resists?

In any treatment, acceptance and Understanding the disease is a very important condition for recovery. "Unfortunately, when this does not happen and the case is at an advanced stage, involving a risk of death, the medical team indicates hospitalization (often against the will of the anorexic patient)," says psychologist Vanessa. - What is the pleasure of the anorexic person: refusing food, losing weight or not enjoying food?

The greatest pleasure is in resisting food. Patients report feeling good when they do not eat. Psychologist Vanessa claims that pleasure is then in controlling hunger, even if there is a risk of death for this.

13- Is any psychological disorder commonly noticed in anorexic patients?

Yes. The psychological changes presented by those who suffer from anorexia are anxiety and depression, and may be associated with social phobia; changes in sleep rhythm, leading to fatigue during the day; excessive irritability and emotional instability; obsessive-compulsive attitudes toward food and exercise, and high demands on oneself.


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