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Anorexia Case

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While pro-anorexia websites provide teens with basic information that anorexia results in weight loss, nowhere on the site however is there an explanation of how the process occurs. Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by cacomorphobia-- the fear of fat--or an aversion to food, which can lead to drastic weight loss as anorexia compromises the body's ability to get proper nutrition from food. As Dr. Mahtani states,"When you don't take in adequate calories and nutrients, your body is forced to "burn" fat and muscle" which is why you lose weight. (Weight Loss and Anorexia). However, anorexia is not that simple. These sites fail to mention in their posts anorexia is far more than weight loss and the deterioration of muscles. Anorexia goes beyond that and effects the whole body.

It's normally during the adolescent years [when teenagers are going through puberty] that many develop insecurities about their physical appearance. Therefore it's usually during that period that anorexia would begin to develop (Sanders). Because anorexia typically begins (early on during the adolescent years), bones are the first to suffer irreversible damage. When your body goes through puberty your bones are supposed to gain mass, but in people suffering from anorexia, bone mass is lost instead of being gained. Anorexia causes a loss in bone mass because as you starve your body, its ability to retrieve proper nutrients for bone growth is compensated. Statistics show that almost 90 percent of women with anorexia experience osteopenia, the predecessor of osteoporosis, which is the more advanced loss of bone density that effects 40 percent of anorexics (Complications of Anorexia). Osteopenia is characterized by a lower than average bone mass caused by a calcium and or a vitamin D deficiency (Physical Dangers and Effects of An Eating Disorder). If osteopenia remains overlooked it can lead to osteoporosis, a serious thinning of bone tissue and a decrease in bone density, "predisposing to fractures" and possibly leading to hip replacements and disfigurement in the future (Causes, Incidence, and Risk Factors). Osteoporosis is a silent disease that can often be prevented. However, if undetected it can progress for many years without any signs of symptoms until a fracture occurs (Monson). According to Sanders, the loss of bone mass can begin as early as six months after a person begins to show "anorexic behavior", therefore people with anorexia often never reach their maximum bone density (Sanders). As Simon said in his article, bone loss in women is due to low estrogen levels that occur because of anorexia (other biological factors may also contribute to bone loss, including high levels of stress hormones which impair bone growth, and low levels of calcium, certain growth factors). Au contraire to what the general public might think, gaining weight does not completely restore the bone. Only by re-achieving



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