Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder where weight loss becomes an obsession and starvation begins to affect thinking patterns and personality. It occurs overwhelmingly among teenage girls and only in developed countries.
Physical symptoms of anorexia nervosa include wasting of the body and muscle tissue, impaired sexual development and cessation of menstruation, drying and yellowing of the skin, loss of texture of the hair, pain to the touch, lowered blood pressure and metabolic weight, anemia, and severe sleep disturbances.
Mental symptoms include the patient still seeing herself as fat, having a preoccupation with death, and a frantic need for exercise to keep physically fit. Patients are often manipulative, trying always to be the center of attention, and may become socially isolated.
In both anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, the underlying causative factors are commonly believed to be solely due to an obsession with body fat, a fear of being (or becoming) fat, or over-concern with perfectionism. Although all of these factors are important, recent research also shows that in most cases an underlying zinc deficiency may contribute to both disorders. Biology, emotional health, societal expectations and other factors increase your risk.
Caution: Intravenous feeding may be necessary in acute cases to replace lost calories and reverse protein deficiency. Psychological counselling by trained specialists, combined with Nutritional Supplementation, is highly recommended.
Follow a bland diet and avoid coffee, tea, and other stimulants. A well-balanced diet, high in fiber, should be followed when a regular eating pattern is being established. Avoid sugar and white flour products. Try eating small meals and practice good nutrition. It is important to overcome the belief that food is the enemy.
- Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day for periods of 4 weeks at a time.
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met. The best we know on the market is Kevin Trudeau’s “KT Daily” product. You can find more details here.
- Take an Omega 3 supplement:
- Vitamin C www.livonlabs.com
- Vitamin E – a powerful antioxidant and immune booster (Unique E) www.acgrace.com
- Vitamin B12 (along with vitamin D and vitamin E levels in the blood are often low in anorexia nervosa)
- Zinc deficiency can be a major contributing factor in anorexia. As a result, zinc supplementation has proven successful in overcoming dietary deficiencies and in helping anorexics regain their appetite and weight. According to eating disorder specialists, the inability to taste a tablespoon of zinc in the form of zinc sulfate heptahydrate (a liquid zinc supplement) in the mouth may be indicative of inadequate zinc status. If that is the case, it is recommended that patients take 100-120 ml per day of zinc sulfate heptahydrate until symptoms improve, which may take two weeks.
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
Repressed core emotions such as denied anger often lead to depression, anxiety, lethargy, mood swings, and disassociation. Embracing your feelings is the most important aspect of beginning to deal with eating disorders. Here are some things you can do to help you release old pain:
- Go to a Dr Morter BEST (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique) Practitioner.
- Sign up for Energetic Re-Balancing: 2 practitioners to consider are:
Stephen Lewis, founder of the Aim Program. Find out more by clicking here.
. Find out more by clicking here.
- Consider using Mary Millers Iching System Products – ichingsystemsinstruments.com
- Try Alphabiotics – a stress relieving treatment alphabioticinfo.com/Home.aspx see article section for more information on this.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) has had remarkable results in helping people to overcome eating disorders. Find a local practitioner here or go to www.thetappingsolution.com or www.tftrx.com
- Reiki healing is very powerful and has achieved some astonishing results in getting to the root of eating disorders and really healing from within. It gives the sufferer the feeling that they have overcome the problem themselves and has therefore been found to be very empowering. Find a local practitioner here.
- Learn to love yourself and stop berating yourself. What you say to yourself is what you are or what you become. Watch mindfulness films such as What the Bleep Do We Know www.whatthebleep.com and You Can Heal Your Life www.youcanhealyourlifemovie.com and start using powerful positive affirmations such as “I take loving care of my body” and “I am ready to change” Say the phrase over and over again until you start to believe them. Never underestimate the power of your mind.
- Meditate and allow yourself to be still. This may be really difficult for you at first but stick with it building up your time slowly. Often people create an eating disorder in order to fill a void, to stop them from thinking and feeling, and to give them something to focus on. Try guided meditations to help you to relax and let go of negative programming.
Ayurvedic medicine claims that an individual develops addictive behaviour while attempting to cope with fear and anxiety. Each of the body types—vata, pitta, and kapha—copes with anxiety differently. Ayurvedic diagnostic method examines the pulse, the tongue, and the eyes, which indicate the condition of inner organs and suggests natural remedies.
Cardamon, fennel and fresh ginger are often used to help regulate digestion and stop vomiting. Valerian, nutmeg, ashwagandha, sesame oil, and sandalwood are other useful remedies.
However, as always the fastest most effective way to receive tailored advice to your own situation, you should visit a local licensed practitioner. Find your closest Ayurvedic practitioners here.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
To receive bespoke advice based upon your own situation you should visit a local licensed practitioner. Find your closest Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners here.
Here are some things your practitioner may suggest:
Acupuncture and herbals remedies – to address the digestive problems associated with eating disorders.
Emotional healing is another important factor – the practice of Qigong is highly beneficial for calming the mind and emotions and restoring balance and harmony (see article section for more information about qigong).
Aromas derived from essential oils have been shown in clinical studies to have positive effects on the mind and the body. Composed of naturally occurring chemicals, they can help to support emotional balance, bring a sense of calm, aid stress relief, and promote positive feelings of well-being.
Useful essential oils for anorexia include:
For an antidepressant remedy -take infusions of bergamot, basil, chamomile, clary sage, lavender, neroli, or ylang ylang.
To stimulate the appetite use:
These can be blended to use in massage, bath, burner or compress. Suggested blends include:
- Bergamot 3 drops, Lemon 4 drops, Peppermint 3 drops
- Chamomile 3 drops, Lavender 3 drops, Peppermint 3 drops.
To ensure positive results, always check that the essential oil is a 100% pure plant distillation and that it comes from a reputable source.
Homeopathy is based on the principle that ‘like cures like’ –ie something that in a large dose creates the symptoms of a disease will, in a smaller dose in fact cure it. Remedies are prescribed very much on an individual basis taking the whole person into account. To find a tailored remedy you should visit your local licensed practitioner. Find you closest homeopath practitioner here.
Here are some homeopathic medicines that may be considered when dealing with your specific case:
Lycopodium – for dyspepsia and bloating.
Natrum muriaticum – for a sense of loss and melancholy.
Nux vomica – for nausea and/or indigestion.
Pulsatilla – for heightened emotions and frequent crying.
Cardamom, fennel, and/or fresh ginger can help regulate digestion and stop vomiting. For calming effect, the herbs valerian, nutmeg, ashwagandha, and sandalwood are very effective. To stimulate appetite, take ginger root, ginseng, gotu kola, peppermint. Gentian root helps stimulate the appetite and has been useful in helping anorexics regain their appetite.
Journaling: By regularly writing down your thoughts, beliefs, and emotions in a journal, you can help yourself to better understand the underlying issues in your life that can be contributing to your mental and emotional problems, gaining new insights in the process that can empower you to heal. Research has also shown that the daily practice of journaling can also help to improve physical health symptoms.
In addition, journaling can be an effective way for releasing yourself from the chain of negative emotions linked to past traumas, as well as phobias. A specific journaling technique known as desensitization can help you to accomplish this. To deal with traumas, simply allow yourself to re-experience all that you can recall of the traumatic event. Write down everything that occurs to you as vividly as you can, so that you use all of your senses. Initially, you may feel the fears and other emotions you associate with the event. By writing about the event on a daily basis, however, eventually you will find yourself becoming detached from or desensitized to the event so that it no longer affects you. In the process, you may also discover elements of the experience that escaped you when the event happened, which can provide you with further clarity and peace of mind. You can work with phobias in a similar fashion. Instead of “reliving” a past event on paper, imagine an experience that would typically trigger your phobia. Over time, you will find that whatever you imagine has only the power over you that you give it, making it easier to let go of your fears.
Flower Essences: Various flower essences to address underlying emotional and mental states of imbalance and negativity, such as fears, perfectionism, manipulative behavior, depression, and anxiety, are recommended. Crab Apple, in particular, is useful for eradicating obsessive habits relating to body image.
Alternative Professional Care
If your symptoms persist despite the above measures, seek the help of a qualified health professional. The following professional care therapies have all been shown to be useful for treating and relieving the symptoms of anorexia nervosa: Hypnotherapy, Magnetic Field Therapy and Mind/Body Medicine. See Glossary for descriptions of these Alternative Therapies.
Mary Miller [email protected] – stress, emotional issues, achieving balance.
Gerri Crossley [email protected] – counselling, anxiety, stress, depression, trauma, abuse.
Andrea Butje | Aromahead [email protected] – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt [email protected] – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA [email protected] – meditation, stress
judith hoad [email protected] – herbalist.
Kath May [email protected] – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges [email protected] – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika [email protected] – aromatherapy.
Rakesh [email protected] – Ayurvedic Practitioner.