Anorexia nervosa is an extreme fear of gaining weight or becoming overweight, even after becoming underweight. People suffering from anorexia nervosa are unable to view their own bodies accurately, often seeing themselves as overweight or “big” even when they have become visibly emaciated. Women eventually lose their menstrual cycles, which contributes to the long list of health problems that they experience due to starvation such as reduced bone mineral density which increases an individual’s risk for osteopenia, osteoporosis and bone fracture. Often, it is assumed that people with anorexia “just don’t eat”, but many people with anorexia simply restrict their intake below what their body needs over an extended amount of time. A person with anorexia might appear to eat normally at times by carefully eating meals with others and restricting food intake when alone. Here at DietitiansABQ, we want to help you with your fears surrounding food and it’s effect on your body. After a thorough nutrition assessment with special attention paid to any medical complications that may exist, areas of focus may include:
- Macronutrient needs
- Nutrition education
- Establishment of healthy weight goals
- Development of a meal plan or an eating plan
- Need for supplementation
- Evaluating behaviors surrounding food
- Assessment of changes in laboratory values
- Planning to reduce and eliminate food-centered reactions to triggers.
- Body image
- Involvement of family when appropriate.
- Referral to counseling services specializing in eating disorders.