Saturday, January 31, 2009

Health Tips for January 31

Health Tip: Risk Factors for Anorexia

Anorexia is an eating disorder in which a person becomes obsessed about gaining weight and severely limits food or starves to feel more in control. Most people with anorexia are female.

There's no single cause of anorexia, but there are a number of contributing factors. The National Women's Health Information Center offers this list:

  • Anorexia may be caused by hormonal changes or chemical changes in the brain.
  • A family history of anorexia can increase a person's risk of developing the disorder.
  • Stressful or traumatizing experiences, including major life changes or violent crime, can make a person more prone to developing anorexia.
  • Having a perfectionist personality, or having extremely high standards for one's self, also are risk factors.
  • Exposure to a culture with an emphasis on thinness and looks is an additional risk factor.

Health Tip: Feeling Hungry?

Feeling particularly hungry is a common symptom -- with many possible causes.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers this list:

  • Stress or anxiety.
  • Premenstrual syndrome.
  • A side effect of taking certain medications, including some corticosteroids or antidepressants.
  • Bulimia.
  • Graves' disease
  • Hyperthyroidism.
  • Diabetes.
  • Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

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