Anorexia Nervosa: Nursing Interventions

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Anorexia nervosa: Nursing interventions Anorexia nervosa has a higher mortality rate than any other psychological illness. Its primary clinical feature is extreme emaciation as a result of the patient's refusal to maintain a healthy body weight. Weight loss may be achieved through caloric restriction or a combination of caloric restriction and purging behaviors (vomiting, laxatives, and exercise) (Understanding eating disorders, 2013, Australia Psychological Society). Besides self-starvation, other physical signs of the disorder include intolerance of the cold, fatigue, low blood pressure, slow or irregular heartbeat, amenorrhea, thinning hair, and fine, light excessive body hair called lanugo (Symptoms, 2013, Anorexia nervosa.). Long-term complications of anorexia may include hormonal and endocrine imbalances, osteoporosis (bone loss) and major organ failure (Symptoms, 2013, Anorexia nervosa.). Because of fear of enforced weight gain, most anorexics deny they have a problem, and concealment of the behaviors and strategies used for weight loss is another sign of the illness. "Anorexia nervosa is a complex eating disorder with a multifaceted aetiology and to date no reputable treatment approach" (Ramjan 2004: 496). Restoration of weight is not synonymous with a 'cure' of anorexia, although often reaching a certain weight is necessary for very emaciated patients to benefit from therapy. The most common techniques to deal with anorexia include hospitalization for weight
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