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9 Effective Homeopathic Medicines for Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterised by excessive weight loss, fear of gaining weight and becoming fat and desire to be thin. People having this aim on controlling their weight and body shape. To do this they follow food restrictions by eating only certain kinds of food, small quantities of food and keeping a strict check on their calorie intake. Homeopathic medicines for anorexia nervosa can help regain normal eating habits, improve weight, and can also help in recovering from its physical and emotional effects. Homeopathic medicines for anorexia

People affected by this disorder may exercise aggressively. They may even forcibly vomit after eating or use laxative (substances that loosen stools and increase bowel movements) or enemas (injection of fluid into the rectum, to stimulate stool evacuation) to empty the bowels quickly to avoid weight gain. They always feel that they are overweight and fat even after losing so much weight and being underweight. 

Homeopathic Medicines for Anorexia Nervosa

Homeopathy is very beneficial to help cases of anorexia nervosa. Use of a well selected constitutional homeopathic medicine can help in recovering from this condition. These medicines bring excellent improvement by working on a deep psychological level. They bring a balance in the brain and help in removing obsessive compulsive thoughts, fears that are restricting a person to avoid food. These medicines are effective for mild to moderate cases. In severe cases with complications and irreversible damage to body organs should be treated under conventional mode of treatment as they can be fatal.

1. Natrum Mur – For very thin people with Excessive Weight Loss

It is especially suited to persons who have excessive weight loss and look thin, particularly in the neck area. They are over sensitive, tend to have depressed moods and tend to withdraw socially. They have weakness and get easily tired. Their skin is dry and their limbs remain cold. They are also anaemic. Hair fall is another complaint present in them. There may be mental trauma going in their lives like some grief from the death of a loved one or they may be going through a phase of broken relationships. Females needing it may xperience absence of periods and reduced sexual desires.

2. Arsenic Album – For Anxious Personalities or those with Obsessive Compulsive Traits

This medicine mainly is suitable for persons having anxious personalities or those having obsessive compulsive traits. They have fixed ideas and have a nature of complaining about things to people near them. They mainly have rapid weight loss, anaemia and extreme weakness. They feel exhausted even after slight exertion. Excessive restlessness is also present among them. They have an aversion to eating sweets and fats. With the above symptoms they have a dry, rough skin. 

3. China – For Thin, Anaemic People

This medicine is indicated for persons who look very thin and are anaemic. Their complexion appears pale, yellow and skin is dry. They suffer from intense weakness. Their hands and feet remain cold.  Along with above they suffer from gastric issues mainly bloated abdomen and pain in abdomen.

4.  Alfalfa – To Improve Appetite

Its use is considered to improve appetite where a person has aversion to all kinds of food. It also helps to promote weight gain when a person is very thin. It is also beneficial to improve mental and physical weakness and also muscle weakness. 

5. Ignatia – suited to people having Sensitive, nervous nature

This medicine is indicated for persons having sensitive, nervous personalities. They may have some sort of depression or mood disorder. They may also have some form of emotional shock, grief, worry or major disappointment in their life. They might be frustrated. They have a depressed mood, remain unhappy, sad, irritable and face issues of sleeplessness. They do not wish to go out, withdraw socially and prefer to be alone. They carry a low self esteem. They become overly concerned about their outlook and appearance. They strive for perfection and are harsh on themselves to maintain an ideal body weight and image.

6. Kali Phos – For People who are Sensitive and Overstressed

It is a preferred medicine for sensitive, irritable, overstressed people having a lot of stress in their lives. They are very thin. They feel very weak and tired all the time. The weakness is present both on the mental and physical plane. They lack energy to do anything and experience muscle weakness. Their mind remains dull, mood remains sad, depressed and memory weakens. They face a major concern of sleeplessness along with above complaints. 

7. Phosphorus – For Weak People with Anaemia

It suits nervous, weak people with anaemia. They have intense weakness, sometimes fainting spells. Hair fall is a main complaint they have. Their bones are also weak, fragile and prone to break easily (osteoporosis.)

8. Sepia – For Weakness and Fainting

It is most suited to women having weakness and easy fainting. They have yellow looking skin and face appear old wrinkled. They feel extremely cold even in a warm room. They remain depressed, have aversion to work, are highly irritable and get easily offended. They also have low libido means reduced desire for sex.

9. Phosphoric Acid – For Weight Loss and Weakness

It is beneficial when weight loss and excessive weakness are marked. There is intense fatigue, debility and tiredness. The person needing it is thin with dark circles around the eyes and has a sunken face. They may have a history of some grief. Other symptoms are slowness of mind, dull mind, lack of emotions, difficulty in concentration, forgetfulness. They also face complaints of hair loss.

Causes

The exact reason behind anorexia nervosa is not known yet. However certain factors including biological, environmental and psychological factors are thought to be involved in developing this disorder.

Biological: Genetics is thought to play a role in developing it as it tends to run in families, but the exact genes that are involved are not known. Changes in certain hormones which control the mood, appetite, hunger, thinking are also linked with development of this disorder. Other than this, a chemical called serotonin produced in the brain is suggested to play a role in it.   

Environmental: Society and peer pressure to look thin as it is a sign of beauty may also influence a person to develop this condition. Other than these, pictures of body images from media, television, fashion industry that depict beauty in thinness can also impact a person’s mind and influence them to be thin and contribute to the development of anorexia nervosa. 

Psychological: People having OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) are at risk because sticking to a strict diet is easier for them. Persons having a mood disorder, depression, anxiety disorder are also at risk .

Risk Factors 

Though both men and women can develop it, women are 10 times more at risk than men for developing anorexia.

It is common in teenagers and young adults though it can affect people of any age group. It rarely affects people above 40 years of age. Teens are at risk because due to hormonal changes at this age their body is going through a lot of changes and at the same time they may be sensitive to others’ opinion about them and some may not be able to take up any comment about their body shape and weight from others.

People having a family history of anorexia nervosa are at high risk of developing the same.

People going through some major stressful event in life like relationship breakup, death of a family member or someone close,  unemployment, change of job / school, some major family problem are at risk to develop it. When life gets out of control for them they may seek ways to control their lives. They may then develop anorexia nervosa as a way to have a control on some area of their life. This achievement gives them a feeling of success.

History of being bullied or teased about body weight, physical, sexual / emotional  abuse

People having certain personality traits and emotions like striving for perfection, following strict rules and regulations, sensitive to criticism regarding them, prone to anxiety, depression and difficulty in handling stress are predisposed to develop it

Another factor is dieting. When a person starts dieting and begins losing weight, the lack of nutrients cause the brain to bring about mood changes, rigid thinking, obsessive thoughts, restrictive eating linked with anorexia nervosa 

Symptoms

Physical symptoms

The major sign is excessive weight loss and looking very thin. People with this disorder experience weakness, fatigue, and lack of energy. They may have low blood pressure or feel dizzy, sometimes fainting and have an inability to tolerate cold. Their skin looks yellow, pale, it’s dry and covered with soft, fine hair (lanugo), the fingers may have blue discolouration. Their hair may become thin, breaks easily or fall out and the nails may get dry, brittle. They face complaints of sleeplessness (insomnia), concentration difficulties. Additionally constipation, abdomen pain, stomach cramps, can arise. In females periods may be absent for months together. Rest of its symptoms are swollen arms / legs, dehydration discoloured / eroded teeth, tooth decay from induced vomiting, muscle weakness and low immunity.

Emotional and behavioural symptoms

People having it skip meals or eat little amounts of specific food low in calories even when they are very thin and have low weight. They deny hunger, refuse to eat, make excuses for not eating or lie about the quantity of food eaten. They tend to avoid eating in public. They may eat food in a particular sequence,  excessively chew food or spit food after chewing. They feel fat even when they are underweight or feel as if some body parts are too fat. They have fear of getting fat and gaining weight and they keep checking body looks in the mirror and weighing, measuring themselves frequently. They cover themselves in layers of clothing to hide weight loss from others and remain warm or wear loose clothing to hide weight loss. They may exercise excessively, use laxatives or diuretics. They may lack emotion, have depressed mood, withdraws from social activities and tend to have low libido (decrease of interest in sex.)

Complications

The complications include loss of bone mass (osteoporosis), increased risk of fractures, anaemia (low number of  healthy red blood cells to carry sufficient oxygen to body tissues), loss of muscle mass, electrolyte imbalance like sodium, potassium and calcium. It can also cause hormonal problems (Lower levels of growth hormones, low testosterone in males ), gastric troubles (like constipation, bloating), kidney problems and heart problems (low heart rate, damage to heart muscle, irregularity of heart rhythms or heart failure.) Persons may have suicidal thoughts or also indulge in self harming activities or attempts to suicide attempts.

If it turns severe then the brain, heart and kidneys may be damaged and such changes can not be reversed. It can be fatal, and death can occur in the most severe cases from abnormal heart rhythms or an imbalance of electrolytes.

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