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News » The cause of anorexia needs to be determined to deliver effective treatment

The cause of anorexia needs to be determined to deliver effective treatment

Anorexics (roughly 1% of the population) have a distorted image of their body and their starvation diet often results in a disrupted metabolism. In men, testosterone levels are reduced causing impotence and lack of libido. Once women fall to 15% under their ideal weight they almost certainly develop amenorrhoea - loss of menstrual periods due to cessation of ovulation. The endocrine system is also often affected which upsets growth hormone, thyroid and natural steroid production. Disruptions also occur in the insulin levels. The condition is relatively easy to diagnose but the cause needs to be determined in order to provide the best treatment. Factors such as family background, heredity, personality and current background need to be examined. 5% of anorexics become chronically starved. Females are more prone to anorexia than men. 90% of cases occurs in adolescent girls or those in their early 20's. Anorexics tend to obsess about food and what's in it. Many also exercise excessively. Some suffer from depression which untreated can lead to suicide. Anorexics also tend to be prone to a variety of personality disorders.

Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Times Online - UK

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About: The cause of anorexia needs to be determined to deliver effective treatment

Date: 7 December 2004

Source: Times Online - UK

Author: Dr Thomas Stuttaford


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