Chapter 2.3 - Anorexia and Bulimia
In this chapter, Dr. Donache presents Complementary/Alternative Medical (C.A.M.) Therapies for the prevention and treatment of anorexia and bulimia.
The chapter includes an overview of the disease's symptoms, conventional treatment methods, and alternative therapies, including Bio-Energetic therapies, Bodywork and Movement therapies, and Mental / Emotional treatments.
This chapter is taken from Dr. Donache's upcoming book, Finding Balance - Integrating Complementary/Alternative Medical (C.A.M.) Therapies for the Prevention of the Top 30 Diseases in America. Each section of chapter 2, which describes alternative treatments for each of the top diseases, is available for download on this website.
Table of Contents
Glossary of Terms Used in this Chapter
Additional Disease Descriptions and Treatments Available for Download
Table of Contents
- ABOUT THIS DOCUMENT
- ANOREXIA AND BULIMIA
- CONVENTIONAL APPROACHES
- Treating Anorexia
- Treating Bulimia
- C.A.M. THERAPIES
- BIO-ENERGETIC THERAPIES
BODYWORK AND MOVEMENT THERAPIES
- Nutrition and Supplements
- Enzymatic Therapies
- Rainforest and Western Herbs
- Rainforest Herbs
- Western Herbs
- Homeopathic Remedies
- Essential Oils
MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORT
- Therapeutic Bodywork and Massage
- Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Hatha Yoga Postures
- PRODUCT ORDERING INFORMATION
- GLOSSARY OF TERMS
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Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by a refusal to eat, even to the point of starvation.. Ninety-five percent of the people who suffer from this disorder are female.
Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are two of the most common eating disorders. For many people, losing weight is a constant and often frustrating effort. Most people who diet do not develop eating disorders. But for others, the effort to become thin - or to stay that way - can turn into an obsession. In some cases, it can become life-threatening. It's unclear why some people can diet with no harmful effects and others go on to develop an illness. Experts say that eating disorders probably result from a complex interaction of factors that may include: psychological, emotional, and personality characteristics; family tensions, such as divorce; societal pressure to be thin. Most people with eating disorders are women who develop problems with body image between the ages of 15 and 24. But younger girls and older women also can be affected. About 5% to 10% of people with eating disorders are male.
Anorexia sufferers are preoccupied with thoughts of weight and food. Some signs of anorexia are: body weight 15% or more below the recommended average; a menstrual period has not occurred for at least three cycles, a conditional called amenorrhea; the person has an intense fear of becoming fat, even thought she or he is very underweight; self-image and self-esteem revolve around the person's perception of body shape and weight. Anorexia can be a control issue for many women. The longer they go without eating, the stronger they feel. In reality, body functions may become compromised. The physical consequences of malnutrition are severe and can include emaciation, low blood pressure, dangerously irregular heart rhythm, bone thinning (osteoporosis), dizziness, the absence of menstrual period is an early sign of anorexia. The word bulimia means ox-hunger, or an abnormal and excessive craving for food. To diagnose bulimia, doctors look for these factors: The person frequently eats large amounts of high-calorie food in a short time, a pattern known as binge eating. During binges, the person feels out of control. After a binge, the person tries to purge the food to prevent weight gain through self-induced vomiting; misuse of laxatives, enemas or diuretics; periods of fasting; or excessive exercise. Binge eating and purging occur at least twice a week for a minimum of 3 months. The person's self-image revolves around body shape and weight, even though the weight may be close to normal. Another sign of bulimia is calloused skin on the index and middle fingers, which may result from repeatedly inducing vomiting. In severe cases, teeth may lose enamel from frequent contact with stomach acid. Extreme weakness, dizziness, swelling of the neck, ulcers and erosion of the esophagus, as well as broken blood vessels of the face, low pulse rate and low blood pressure.
Many bulimia sufferers also have electrolyte imbalances, and low levels of potassium, a mineral that helps control nerves and muscles. Reduced potassium levels may cause weakness and an irregular heartbeat. Other medical problems include internal bleeding, hypoglycemia, ruptured stomach, inflammation of the esophagus, hiatal hernia, and kidney damage.
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Glossary of Terms
- Loss of menstrual periods for more then 3 months; a sign of anorexia nervosa as well as other medical conditions.
- Anorexia Nervosa
- An eating disorder in which a person becomes significantly underweight and has an intense fear of becoming fat.
- Binge Eating
- The frequent compulsive eating of large quantities of high-calorie food in a short time.
- Bulimia Nervosa
- An eating disorder involving frequent episodes of binge eating and purging.
- Clinical Social Worker
- A health care professional who holds a master's degree in social work (MSW) or, in some cases, a doctorate degree (DSW).
- A female reproductive hormone that also protects against heart disease and osteoporosis.
- Substances produced by a gland or tissue and released into the bloodstream to have a specific effect on tissues elsewhere.
- Nutritional Rehabilitation
- A process by which unhealthy eating habits are changed; in anorexia this includes a special diet and gradual introduction of fat and calories.
- Occupational Therapy
- Treatment or rehabilitation that incorporates productive or creative activities to improve physical function or psychological awareness and expression.
- A condition in which the bones become thin and brittle.
- The small gland at the base of the brain that helps regulate the supple of hormones in the body.
- A female reproductive hormone; like estrogen, it may be decreased in people with anorexia.
- Behavior initiated to rid the body of food in order to prevent weight gain.
- A physician (MD or DO) who diagnoses and treats patients with psychological disorders; licensed to prescribe medication.
- A mental health professional who provides counseling; usually holds a PhD or a PsyD degree.
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