Anorexia nervosa is a mental health problem that manifest through an eating disorder (“Anorexia Nervosa”, 2018).People who suffer from anorexia struggle with maintaining a healthy body weight due to the fear of gaining weight. According to statistics out of all the psychiatrists disorders, anorexia nervosa mortality rate is the highest. Sadly, one third of people who suffer from this disorder actually receive help (“Statistics,”2018) .
Since anorexia nervosa is a mental condition most risk factors deal with psychological behavior. Introverts, perfectionist and obsessive behavior are risk factors for this disorder (Braun & Anderson, 2017). Young females from ages 13 to 20 are more prone to develop this disorder more than men(“Statistics”, 2018).
There is no known etiology for anorexia nervosa, however, there are certain indications such biological, psychological, genetic and culture that can lead to manifestations. There are two different processes which include restricting type and purging type (“Anorexia Nervosa”, 2019). The restricting process of anorexia is when a person loses weight by only intaking a certain amount of calories.
They become on a low caloric diets and even participate in a fasting and extreme exercising. The purging process is when an individual gets rid of nutrients they intake by vomiting, using laxatives and diuretics. Symptoms of anorexia nervosa include brittle hair, nails and yellowish skin. Kidney stones and low blood pressure may develop over time (Braun & Anderson, 2017).
A person may become anemic and potassium and sodium levels may be low. The projected outcome for this disorder is for a person to get back to healthy weight and build up their cognitive thinking about their body (Murray, Loeb, & Le Grange, 2018).
Treatment for anorexia nervosa normally consist of physicians, therapists, dieticians and the patients family (Braun & Anderson, 2017). The dieticians will come up with a plan and proceed with a refeeding process where the patient will have to gain 1 to 2 lbs per week (Grubiak, 2019). Physicians and nurses will monitor how the patient’s body react to refeeding process because the patient metabolism will have to start over and complications may arise.
Pharmacological medications would include serotonin build up, which is treated for anxiety and depression. The patient can help improve their health through treatment by making sure they are getting the amount of nutrients required. The patient should try to eat three meals a day and at least 3 snacks throughout the day. It is important that the patient starts at a low caloric intake diet and gradually increase as they begin to gain weight.
Anorexia nervosa is diagnosed through physical and history examinations (Braun & Anderson, 2017). Nurses should perform a full assessment on patient observing the vital signs, skin, weight, and neurolicial status (“Nursing care plan for eating disorders”). Nurses should monitor the patient closely and make sure they are eating appropriately and not discarding food. Limits will be set for exercising as that can cause them to burn more calories.
Nurses will weigh the patient and come up with plans along the way that is beneficial to the patients health. The nurses goal for the client is to understand the needs for nutrition and help the client maintain a healthy weight and for the client to put effort into therapy and treatment (“Nursing care plan for eating disorders”).
In conclusion, it is important to know the risk factors and signs and symptoms of anorexia nervosa. There is no cure for this disorder, however, with the appropriate treatment and support the chance of relapse decreases.
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- Braun, C. A., & Anderson, C. M. (2017). Applied pathophysiology: a conceptual approach to the mechanisms of disease (Third). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health.
- Grubiak, K. (2019, November 30). Meal Plans for Recovering From Anorexia Nervosa. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/restoring-nutritional-health-in-anorexia-nervosa-recovery-4115081
- Murray, S. B., Loeb, K. L., & Le Grange, D. (2018, May 7). Treatment outcome reporting in anorexia nervosa: time for a paradigm shift? Retrieved December 26, 2019, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5937039/.
- Nursing Care Plan for Eating Disorders (Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge-Eating Disorder). (n.d.). Retrieved December 29, 2019, from https://academy.nrsng.com/lesson/nursing-care-plan-for-eating-disorders-anorexia-nervosa-bulimia-nervosa-binge-eating-disorder/.
- Statistics. (2018, February 20). Retrieved December 27, 2019, from https://www.freedeatingdisorders.org/patient-family-support/statistics/.
- Why We Exist. (n.d.). Retrieved December 28, 2019, from https://www.theprojectheal.org/why-we-exist-1.