Saturday, 30 November 2013

Eating Disorders: Anorexia nervosa - The Complications

Anorexia nervosa
Anorexia nervosa is a type of eating disorder usually develop in the teen years and effect over 90% of female, because of excessive food restriction and irrational fear to become fat due the wrongly influenced media as attractiveness is equated to thinness.
The Complications
Anorexia nervosa may cause severe complications in every major organ system in the body  as a result of malnutrition due to self-imposed starvation.
A.1. Dermatologic signs of anorexia nervosa
Some researchers suggested that Dermatologic symptoms are almost always detectable in patients with severe anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN), and awareness of these may help in the early diagnosis of hidden AN or BN. These manifestations include xerosis, lanugo-like body hair, telogen effluvium, carotenoderma, acne, hyperpigmentation, seborrheic dermatitis, acrocyanosis, perniosis, petechiae, livedo reticularis, interdigital intertrigo, paronychia, generalized pruritus, acquired striae distensae, slower wound healing, prurigo pigmentosa, edema, linear erythema craquele, acral coldness, pellagra, scurvy, and acrodermatitis enteropathica(21). Other suggested that the most frequent skin manifestations were xerosis (58.3%), hair effluvium (50%), nail changes (45.8%), cheilitis (41.6%), acne (41.6%), gingivitis (33.3%), acrocyanosis (29%), diffuse hypertrichosis (25%), carotenoderma (20.8%), generalized pruritus (16.6%), hyperpigmentation (12.5%), striae distensae (12.5%), factitial dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis (8.3%), poor wound healing, melasma and Russell's sign (4.1%). In the patients with the bulimic type of AN, hair effluvium, acne, gingivitis, nail changes and generalized pruritus were more frequent than in the patients with the restrictive type(22).

A.2. Possible medical complications of anorexia nervosa
In the study of Eating disorders. A review and update, Dr. Haller E. at the University of California, indicated that Patients with eating disorders are usually secretive and often come to the attention of physicians only at the insistence of others. Practitioners also should be alert for medical complications including hypothermia, edema, hypotension, bradycardia, infertility, and osteoporosis in patients with anorexia nervosa and fluid or electrolyte imbalance, hyperamylasemia, gastritis, esophagitis, gastric dilation, edema, dental erosion, swollen parotid glands, and gingivitis in patients with bulimia nervosa. Treatment involves combining individual, behavioral, group, and family therapy with, possibly, psychopharmaceuticals. Primary care professionals are frequently the first to evaluate these patients, and their encouragement and support may help patients accept treatment. The treatment proceeds most smoothly if the primary care physician and psychiatrist work collaboratively with clear and frequent communication(23).
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