The Causes, Symptoms, Consequences and Treatment of Anorexia

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Table of Contents

  • Definition of anorexia
  • Causes
  • Symptoms and Signs
  • Anorexia´s Consequences
  • Treatment
  • Conclusion

Definition of anorexia

The anorexia is an eating disorder that is characterized by an extremely low of weight. It is a very dangerous illness and, in some cases, it can produce the death. Sick people can slim down from 15% to 50% of their weight. The starting´s age of anorexia is located in the adolescence (around 12-14 years old), although it depends on the people´s perspective. Most cases, that sickness is suffered by young girls.

An increase of cases in men, women and children has taken place in the last years. In Spain, there are 250000 diagnosed cases but the number is supposed to rise within a few years.

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The anorexia happens by quitting eating all type of foodstuff. At first, these people begin to eliminate the carbohydrates because they think that carbohydrates provide too calories. Then, they stop ingesting other essential elements such as proteins or even liquids, leading to cases of extreme deshydration. In addition, they abuse of diuretics, laxatives, purgatives, caused vomits or excess of exercise gets worse the illness.

The main reason which causes anorexia is society (itself). Nowadays, our current society has set a series of stereotypes like: being beautiful, being slim, being perfect… which you are obliged to follow or you will probably be isolated of society. The victims of anorexia are usually vulnerable, unsure, have little self-esteem, have good marks… and they feel the need for accomplishing “these rules” to avoid feeling out.

Other reasons are: overweight during childhood, divorces of parents, arguments between friends, boyfriend or girlfriend; or being model, dancer and gymnast.

Symptoms and Signs

Anorexia is a particular illness. It is easy to detect their symptoms and signs. However, in most cases, affected people deny suffering that illness and it is so difficult to help them to recover. They show an impolite behaviour when they listen the word “anorexia”.

At first, they stop eating these foodstuff with many calories such as: chocolate, hamburgers, pizzas, soft drinks, candies, ice-creams… Then, when it is not enough. They begin to do exercise intensely. For instance, they go to the gym when they have just finished eating.

Also, they often wear baggy clothes because they think they can hide their fatness in this way.

One remarkable sign is running from the table after eating. When a girl or boy does this action, he or she will probably go to vomit because they fell guilty for eating and overweight.

Finally, they are very worried about the fatness. They always look at themself in the mirror to check if their figure is good.

Anorexia´s Consequences

That sickness produces serious health problems; even it can cause the death in some cases. Among the long list of side effects, we can mention the nexts:

  • Brittle nails and falling hair due to the sick person does not ingest the proteins which are necessary to make these structures.
  • Alterations in menstruation period (amenorrhea). If the girl is extremely thin or does many exercise (typical signs of anorexia), this might produce important changes because the menstruation may not get her or prolong for many time. This consequence affected the girls only. (5)
  • Anaemia. It is the deficiency of vitamins. The patients usually present low levels of red and white corpuscles.
  • Yellowish skin. It produces by an increase of carotenes in blood caused by a bad functioning in their metabolism.
  • Arritmia ( it might produce a heart attack)
  • Dry skin (it is possible the presence of cracks)
  • Depression
  • Chronic constipation
  • Dental problems generated by the gastric juices.
  • Reduction of the bone mass, coming to slow down the growth.

If anorexia is not detected on time, these side effects can make worse so the patient will go to weaken by leaps and bounds until he will die.


Once the doctor has diagnosed the illness, it will be fundamental that the patient gains weight and changes his food habits, following a healthy and balance diet. The treatment consists of three steps:

  • Detection of illness: the doctor will examine the symptoms and signs that are typical of anorexia (aforementioned them previously).
  • Actuation of sanitary services: it is important the cooperation of all the medical team. Here, it will take part the:
    • Psychiatrists: they take the charge of increasing the self-esteem of the patients.
    • Endocrinologist: they will monitor the good functioning of the different glands.
    • Paediatrician: if the patients are children, the paediatrcian will take the case more close.
  • Tracking of patient: when the patient has already overcome, he must visit the doctor frequently. In each visit, the doctor will review that the vital signs are correct and within the suitable rank.

If the condition of patient is very serious (there is severe malnutrition, the disorder has got worse…), it will be necessary the admission at the hospital. However, the recuperation will be long and require patience.


Anorexia is an illness very popular and known nowadays. It is mainly suffered by young girls or boys (principally). Unfortunately, that sickness affects people more and more.

From my point of view, this problem is produced because of a bad education. If a person does not receive a good education based on the respect, the tolerance, the sense of honor, the discipline…, he or she will never respect (to) nobody. For example, when a girl or boy makes fun of someone: its hair, its clothes, its height, its body (if he is so slim or overweight)… this causes an inferiority complex to that person, even leading to inappropriate behaviours: suicides, depressions, illnesses like anorexia, civil problems like bullying…

Regretfully, there are people who could not care less about the senses of other people. For this reason, everyone has to ignore the bad comments of some people because they want to see you sad, downcast, alone, marginalized…so I invite to people to memorize this sentence: “We have to want ourselves just like we are, without keeping in mind the prejudices”

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