Anorexia Nervosa

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What Is Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa, commonly referred to as Anorexia, is a psychological and possibly life-threatening eating disorder.  There is an obsession with food that often times lead to needless weight loss and a distorted perception of the body image.  People with Anorexia often go to extreme measures such as self-induced vomiting or self-starvation to prevent themselves from eating a certain amount of calories.  Sometimes there is a sense of accomplishment people with Anorexia feel by having control over their lives.  By having such a preoccupation with food and weight, this creates mental stress and other emotions or aspects of their lives are unresolved. 

Signs Of Anorexia Nervosa

There are several symptoms that people with Anorexia display.  Inadequate food intake is a very common symptom, but so is the desire to lose weight the doesn't need to be lost.  People with Anorexia commonly reveal an obsession or fixation with food, calories, and cooking very specific meals.  Other symptoms include the following:

  • Thinning of Hair
  • Intense Fear of Weight Gain
  • Self-Esteem related to Body Image
  • Binge-Eating/Purging 
  • Avoidance of Friends or Families (often times people isolate themselves)
  • Having Ritualistic Eating Patterns 
  • Calorie Counting
  • Obsession with Fat Content
  • Dramatic Weight Loss


What Causes Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia is commonly caused by Western culture and the media.  With so much focus on a certain body image (women are affected by this more than men), people who don't fit that image feel like they are out of place.  In turn, they take matters into their own hands and convince themselves that the presented "magazine body" is what they need to resemble.  Anorexia can also be a genetic issue or a learned disorder by watching a family member or friend go through it.  This is not to suggest that there is a genetic link, but people with who have anorexic family members are more likely to experience the disorder. Perfectionism or emotional sensitivity are commonly associated with Anorexia, and these are the traits that are commonly inherited by family members.  The disorder is not inherited. 

  • Culture or Society
  • Witnessing a Family Member go through the disorder
  • Abnormal Biochemical Makeup in the Brain
  • Low Self-Worth
  • Depression
  • Obsessive Compulsive Traits
  • Decreased Serotonin or Dopamine Levels
  • Vitamin or Mineral Deficiency

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • Therapy, be it individual or group, can be beneficial for those with Anorexia.  By talking it out with a therapist, the individual can get to the root of why there is such an obsession or focus on food and weight loss.  Seeking out support groups can often be help the individual more than group or family therapy.  It provides a comfortable space to talk about struggles and progress. 
  • Exercise can help fight the emotional causes of Anorexia.  If the person already has Anorexia, it is important not to exercise excessively as the person can become easily fatigued and can possibly faint, due to the lack of nutrients from food.  Yoga is a calming and therapeutic exercise that helps Anorexia or other common eating disorders.
  • Eating garlic is one of the best things for Anorexia because it stimulates one's appetite.  It also helps in the secretion of juices, which cleanse the digestive system.  Boil garlic cloves with a cup of water, strain the solution, add a couple tablespoons of lemon juice, and drink this twice a day for a couple weeks to help stimulate appetite. 
  • Massage therapy has been known to reduce symptoms of Anorexia.  Getting massages once or twice a week relaxes the body, helping to lower stress levels, calm anxiety, and helps stimulate dopamine levels, which helps to establish a more positive, healthy body image.  You can also massage yourself with coconut or olive oil before you go to bed.  Target the bottoms of the feet, neck, and shoulders.
  • Try to consume foods that stimulate appetite and relieve stress or anxiety.  Ginger, mint, and oranges are great options.  You can make teas or make herb pastes, which you eat before a meal to increase your hunger.   
Things you should eat
  • Ginger
  • Mint
  • Oranges
  • Garlic
  • Wheatgrass and Sea Kelp
  • Chamomile
  • Fenugreek
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