Anorexia nervosa, known simply as anorexia, is an eating disorder that can result in severe weight loss. The main characteristics of this disorder are abnormally low body weight, intense fear of gaining weight and an inaccurate perception of one’s body weight.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, anorexia is mostly diagnosed in adolescent women, however it has been diagnosed in children as young as age 7 and adults as old as 80.
The exact cause of anorexia nervosa is unknown, but the disorder is believed to result from a combination of emotional, psychological, social and physical triggers.
Genetics and hormones may contribute to its development. Excessive pressure from society to look thin and attractive may also be a factor. People with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) may also struggle with anorexia.
To lose weight and maintain low weight, people who have anorexia eat few calories, follow abnormal eating habits and exercise excessively. Some people also use laxatives, diuretics or induce vomiting to eliminate food they have eaten.
Some symptoms of anorexia are low body weight, fatigue, insomnia, pale skin, brittle nails, hair loss, skin dryness, constipation, depression, irregular menstrual cycles, low blood pressure and withdrawal from social activities.
When not treated timely, anorexia can lead to numerous complications, such as abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias), an imbalance of electrolytes in the body, anemia, bone loss, kidney problems and more.
People with anorexia usually do not even realize that they have a problem, which makes treatment difficult. Thus, the treatment involves psychological therapy and also aims to increase a person’s appetite to help establish healthy eating habits and restore a normal weight.
Home Remedies For Anorexia
Ginger is another simple and effective home remedy for anorexia. It stimulates appetite so that you do not skip your meals. It can also effectively calm your nerves and reduce stress and anxiety.
- Take ½ teaspoon of finely chopped ginger and add a pinch of rock salt to it. Consume it 30 minutes prior to meals every day for a couple of weeks.
- Another option is to mix ½ teaspoon of ginger paste, a few drops of lemon and a pinch of both asafetida and black pepper powder. Eat it once daily on an empty stomach for a few weeks.
- You can also drink a few cups of ginger tea daily.
Mint is natural appetizer, hence you can use it to treat anorexia. Its strong, distinct taste and attractive aroma help improve appetite. In addition, it can relieve heightened emotional stress.
- Eat 2 teaspoons of freshly extracted mint juice each morning.
- Also, drink a few cups of mint tea daily. To make the tea, add 2 teaspoons of dry mint leaves in a cup of hot water. Steep for 10 minutes, strain and drink it.
One of the best home remedies for anorexia is garlic. It acts as a natural appetite stimulant. Moreover, it helps in the secretion of juices that cleanse the digestive system.
- Add 3 to 4 finely chopped garlic cloves to 1 cup of water.
- Boil it for a few minutes, then strain the solution.
- Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and a pinch of rock salt to it.
- Drink this solution twice daily for a few weeks.
Pineapple also helps treat anorexia by stimulating your appetite and increases your food cravings. Eat fresh pineapple every morning; it makes you feel hungry throughout the day.
Warm water is often associated with weight loss, but, it can also be helpful to treat anorexia. It flushes the toxins out of your digestive system which further improves its functioning. Thus, promotes the hunger.
Note: Make sure that water is not too hot to drink as it may affect your taste buds and burn the digestive tract which may worsen the condition.
Cinnamon is a great home remedy that promotes the secretion of juices beneficial for your digestive system. Add a tsp of powdered cinnamon to a litre of water. Stir properly and consume 2 glasses of this water about half an hour before meals. It will surely boost your hunger.
Black Pepper and Honey
Black pepper is often added to most of the dishes to enhance the taste as well as to improve the digestion. Grind five black peppercorns and add honey to it to make a paste. Consume a spoonful of this paste on an empty stomach every morning to enhance the appetite.
- Alternatively, add a pinch of black pepper powder to buttermilk. Drink it regularly to boost your appetite.
- Or, you can also add a pinch of black pepper powder to pomegranate juice.
Fenugreek seeds are rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. It enhances the haemoglobin level as well as boosts the secretion of gastric juices. Boil some water and soak a few fenugreek seeds in it. Let it steep till the water cools down. Strain the solution and drink it daily for a few weeks.
As anorexia is a psychological disorder more than a physical one; meditation is very helpful to treat it. It relaxes your mind and soul. For meditation, all you need to do is to sit, stand or lie down and focus on your breath. You can also repeat a mantra or phrase while focusing on your breath. It helps to fight the negative thoughts and stressful conflicts. You can join a group or club if you are unable to do it on your own.
Acupressure and Acupuncture
Acupressure and acupuncture promote the sense of well-being and relax the body. There are certain points in the human body, which, when pressed, can treat a lot of disorders. It also gives a certain kind of relaxation to the body which takes the negativity out.
Note: Take help of a trained practitioner for acupressure and acupuncture techniques.
Just like meditation, yoga also helps combat emotional conflicts and stress. It is really beneficial in treating eating disorders like anorexia. However, not every yoga position may help in the treatment of anorexia, yet, some of the positions might be quite helpful to cure it.
Note: Join a yoga class or learn yoga positions from an expert yoga practitioner.