Monday, July 30, 2012

The course and outcome of Anorexia

Anorexia often begins innocently. The course of anorexia is extremely variable among ill different patients, especially if no treatment is provided. Many individuals will struggle with related issues over the course of their lifetimes with fluctuating gains and relapses, while others having a chronic and deteriorating course.

A few anorexics do recover after a brief episode, some will experience alternating bouts of weight gain and then relapse, and others’ conditions will steadily decline over many years.

It is also not unusual for an anorexic to transition to bulimia or binge eating disorder. Initially, the dieting seems no different from that pursued by many young women, but as weight falls, the dieting intensifies. The restrictions become broader and more rigid. Then person becomes increasingly uncomfortable.

Having anorexia significantly increases a person’s risk of dying ,with deaths most often resulting from starvation, suicide or severely low potassium levels, and these life threatening conditions can develop with little forewarning.

Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness. 10-20% of patients who been hospitalized die in the next 10-30 years.

Because anorexia is such a dangerous and potentially life threatening disorder early detection and prevention is critical.

Research has shown that early, aggressive treatment protects against mortality. The studies also found that many patients with anorexia may show considerable improvement in the medical condition, but most still has the characteristic psychological set of illness.
The course and outcome of Anorexia
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