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Anorexia Nervosa

‘Thin is in and fat is out’ in the current fashion scenario. You’ve got to be thin in order to be considered beautiful. Influenced by magazines and thin models, many young girls could do almost anything to avoid gaining weight, including starving themselves or exercising excessively. 17-year-old Anita was one such girl, who would go on diets and exercise for long hours to lose weight, although she was already underweight. This bothered her parents very much and they brought her to our clinic. Her condition was immediately diagnosed as Anorexia Nervosa. A few doses of Platina, selected on the basis of her obsession with appearance and fear of becoming fat, along with counselling, helped to tackle this problem effectively.

Anorexia Nervosa is an emotional disorder that focuses on food, but it is actually an attempt to deal with perfectionism and a desire to control things by strictly regulating food and weight. It is a pyschiatric condition with the highest mortality rate and is often preceded by a traumatic event. 95% of those affected are women and an estimated 0.5 to 3.7% of women could suffer from it at some point in their lives, according to the United States National Institute of Mental Health. It is a serious and potentially life threatening illness to the degree of causing malnutrition, heart-rhythm disturbances, anaemia, hormonal disturbances and electrolyte imbalances, and hence requires immediate attention and treatment.

Homeopathy, being mind and body medicine, gets to the root of the problem, ascertaining whether the compulsion stems from emotional trauma, genetic factors, or physiological imbalances. For example, anorexia and emaciation from disappointment in love calls for Nat mur, while lack of appetite with disgust for food after childbirth or hormonal changes would require Sepia. This has been demonstrated by research studies, which showed a 70% improvement in patients with anorexia.

The most effective way of preventing anorexia is by developing healthy eating habits and a strong body image from an early age. This can be achieved through complete parental support, proper education and active patient involvement in therapy.

Article by Dr Mukesh Batra
L.C.E.H., F.H.M.A. (U.K.), F.R.S.H. (Med) P.(Lon), M.D.H. (U.S.A.), F.B.I.H.(U.K.)
Published in Times of India on 28 July 2009