Anorexia is an extremely serious mental health disease indeed, as it will involve the sufferer actively depriving their body of the food that it needs, and so the anorexia sufferer will go to extreme and radical lengths to avoid food entering the body. The effects of this self-imposed starvation are dire, as they can ultimately result in the death of the victim. With potassium levels in the body reduced to critical levels, this can severely impair the functionality of the heart, which in turn increases the chances of heart failure and a stroke.
A person suffering from anorexia will also be much more vulnerable to the development of infections and other illness, as their auto-immune system will no longer be able to produce the white blood cells necessary to fend off infection. It is also extremely common for a person with anorexia to exhibit a significant amount of loss of the mass of their bones, thereby increasing the chances of osteoporosis to occur.
Unable to concentrate let alone move due to the woeful lack of energy in the body, the typical sufferer of anorexia will also constantly suffer from depression, chronic low mood, and may even suffer from suicidal tendencies.
What causes depression in anorexia?
There has been a wealth of medical research to support the hypothesis that depression is one of the leading contributory factors in the development and onset of anorexia, but, it should be noted that anorexia itself will also cause, and increase, the presence of depression.
The reasons for this are physiological, in that by virtue of the fact that the victim of anorexia is no longer eating the requisite amount of food, this means that their body does not get access to the nutrients it needs.
Take for example, L-tryptophan which happens to be a very important amino acid that we need to eat in our diet, because our body is unable to actually synthetically produce it by itself. This amino acid is the fundamental component routinely used and relied upon by the body in order to more effectively produce Serotonin which happens to one of the (four) chemicals released by the brain to control mood.
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