For many, reducing weight is a problem – but not if you have a condition called anorexia nervosa. This is a medical condition when people get more than interested in maintaining a thin body and a lean physique – it is an obsession with managing the right weight and avoiding putting on weight at any cost. Invariably, in would involve people thinking of diet, weight management and thin body figure all the time. What starts off as a childhood anxiety disorder could turn into a lifelong burden and a dangerous physical and mental health issue if not looked into and set right in its early stages. Anorexia is more of paranoia about food and putting on excessive weight.
Anorexia Risk Factors
You are more vulnerable to anorexia if you find yourself in one of the following categories, though belonging to one of the categories, by no means, guarantee you down the anorexic path.
- You have had a negative self-image ever since childhood
- You have had an anxiety disorder as a child
- You have exhibited resistance to food and obsession towards diet for a long while
- You are a perfectionist and you are never happy or satisfied with whatever you do
- You have had a family history of anorexia nervosa
- Your profession emphasises on figure and light body weight, as in the case of gymnastics or ballet dancing
- You have been under a lot of stress on account of personal problems
Anorexia causes could be associated with a genetic predisposition towards it, or it could have been triggered by parasitic infections, the side effects of medications or the after-effects of surgery. Some personality traits have also been thought to be causes of anorexia. There are social and cultural factors that are thought to be anorexia causes, as well as family circumstances that could lead to anorexia.
For instance, negligence on the part of parents as well as parental behaviour and attitudes towards eating habits and dietary patterns are also said to influence children, proving to be prominent causes of anorexia. It is also thought that obsessive compulsive tendencies may be predisposing factors that may eventually cause Anorexia. Modern research has also found that certain abnormalities in the neural circuits in the brain could make people take up an extreme dieting regime, leading to anorexia, which may, over a period of years, lead to starvation and eventually death.
Anorexia is found to be the psychiatric condition with the highest mortality rates. In addition, hormonal imbalances are also found to cause anorexia, with abnormalities associated with the thyroid or reproductive organs manifesting themselves as eating disorders.
Anorexia Home Remedies
Ginger For Anorexia
One of the factors associated with anorexia could be that individuals may not feel like eating at all, having no appetite for food. If you are looking for a natural appetiser, ginger should be your choice, acting as one of the primary home remedies for anorexia. Ginger has long been used in curing uneasy feelings in the stomach, easing out muscular spasms in the stomach on account of its antispasmodic properties and curing ailments of the intestine and the digestive system with its antibacterial properties. It would be a good idea to chew on a slice of ginger every day in empty stomach to have your appetite up to seed.
Black Pepper For Anorexia
Black pepper, often referred to as the king of spices, is known for its medicinal properties, including those of kindling the appetite, serving as one of the useful home remedies for anorexia. Black pepper could be added to many dishes to add a punch to food and flavour to spice.
Black pepper is a good source of Vitamin K and is rich in copper, iron and dietary fibre, along with carbohydrates, sugar, sodium, vitamins, fatty acids and amino acids, each of which play a key role in the normal metabolism of the body and the building up of body tissues that may have been famished on account of prolonged anorexia. And more importantly, adding black pepper to an otherwise bland food might make it more appeasing to the senses and more appetising, helping you get over the initial resistance to food and have more of the now delicious dish, leaving your symptoms of anorexia behind.
Apple For Anorexia
Apple is one of the trusted home remedies for anorexia. The goodness of apple is derived from the fact that there is a good stock of vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B Complex group of vitamins in an apple, apart from its being a good source of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, selenium and fluoride.
Apple has been known to be good on the stomach, regulating the flow of acids and digestive enzymes in the stomach. Further, the rich nutrients in the stomach are capable of healing and repairing damaged tissues in the stomach and in the digestive system, dealing with some of the basic problems that could be associated with anorexia. It would be a good idea to go for an apple a day to build up tissues and tone up your stomach.
Anise Seeds For Anorexia
Most cases of anorexia would be coupled with symptoms such as bloating and indigestion. If your lack of appetite in anorexia has been associated with such digestive problems, you may want to consider the use of anise seeds as one of the home remedies for anorexia. Anise seeds are rich in the compound called anethole, which gives it its aromatic flavour. The aromatic seeds are widely used in cuisine, serving as natural treatments for many digestive disorders.
Anise seeds, or aniseeds as they are called, are rich in vitamins of the B-complex range, are high in minerals such as calcium, iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, zinc and potassium, and are good sources of Vitamin A and Vitamin C – these two vitamins are known for their antioxidant properties, helping protect tissues and cells from being damaged by free radicals and in enhancing the effectiveness of the immune system. Anise seeds are also thought to kindle the appetite on account of their unique flavours and crunchy feels, when added to cuisine.
You need to boil a teaspoon of anise seeds in two cups of water, leave the blend to soak for around 5 to 10 minutes, stain the blend and drink the tea twice a day as effective home remedies for anorexia. You may also want to mix a teaspoon of honey to taste.
Honey And Milk For Anorexia
Honey is known to help in weight gain when had in combination with milk. Milk is a rich source of calcium, which could come in handy as home remedies for anorexia, when it comes to enriching bones that might have got depleted on account of malnutrition associated with anorexia. Honey, on the other hand, is a rich source of sugar. The body converts food into sugars, which are used when we subject the body to strenuous physical conditions as in the case of exercises. Honey adds a good dose of sugar to the body, which would help in building up energy reserves in the body. The combination of milk and honey, hence, is a good home remedy for anorexia. All that you need to do is to take a glass of milk and add a teaspoon of raw, natural honey, mix it up well and drink the blend in empty stomach.
Almonds For Anorexia
You cannot but think of almonds when you are discussing home remedies for anorexia. Almonds, like most other nuts, are packed with energy. While you could take up many food sources that are high in energy in order to gain weight, home remedy for anorexia is not just about gaining weight. The body might have possibly lost some of its vital nutrients and it takes more than just energy to refill and refuel your body cells with the right levels of nutrients along with energy.
The goodness of almond as home remedy for anorexia arises out of the fact that it is rich in a whole range of vitamins, including Vitamin E, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate and pantothenic acid. And of course, you could expect a good supply of minerals to your body with a course of almonds, with calcium, zinc, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, copper, zinc, selenium and sodium forming major constituents of the nut. You could include a few almonds, 5 to 6 of them, as part of your daily diet or use them as your favourite snacks as cure for anorexia. You may also want to soak a few almonds in a glass of water overnight, peel off the skin, make a paste of almonds and consume.
a. Precautions with almonds for anorexia: While almonds are effective home remedies for anorexia, you may also want to keep a watch on your appetite when you have regular doses of almonds. Almonds are known to be satiating, making you feel full after you have had a few of those nuts, which might come in the way between you and your regular diet, just when you were trying to recover from anorexia. While almonds can be good, you would not want to put all your dietary eggs in the almond basket – go for a balanced meal rather than stacking up on almonds alone.
Cloves For Anorexia
Clove, the spice that is renowned for its essence and its ability to add flavour to cuisine, is also known for its medicinal uses, coming handy in various disorders and health issues. Among the medicinal benefits that clove could bestow on the human body would be the ones that are specifically useful in terms of home remedies for anorexia, such as its antioxidant properties and carminative as well as anti-flatulent properties. Clove oil has been known to be good on the stomach, curing discomforts such as stomach aches and relieving of stomach cramps.
Recovery from conditions of anorexia require concerted efforts towards repairing damaged tissues and cells, as well as in helping the vital organs come back to their functional best. Antioxidants should form an important part of your diet as you get going with home remedies for anorexia. You could get over anorexia by incorporating cloves in combination with lemon into your daily diet by boiling two or three cloves in a cup of water, letting it cool down and adding a squeeze of lemon to the drink after straining off the cloves. To drink this mix of cloves and lemon twice a day for a week would set you up on the path of recovery from anorexia.
Garlic For Anorexia
Garlic known for its health benefits and healing properties that it derives from the chemical compound of Allicin that it contains, tends to be in demand for its antibiotic properties as well as for its capabilities in powering the regeneration of tissues in the body. Garlic is a storehouse of vitamins and nutrients and is particularly rich in Vitamin C, Thiamine and Vitamin B6, apart from being rich in minerals such as calcium, manganese, phosphorous, selenium and iron, and having reasonable quantities of potassium, zinc and magnesium.
While this potent mix gives garlic the power to support active regeneration of tissue, garlic is also known to stimulate the digestive system of the body, improving appetite and encouraging good intake of food. Garlic is also known to relieve the stomach of bloating and flatulence, conditions that are frequently associated with anorexia. A regular intake of garlic and inclusion of the bulb in your diet would eliminate scope for infections, given that garlic is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent.
Garlic is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties, apart from its ability to boost the availability of antibiotic in the body, which helps in protecting tissues that may have been weakened by prolonged conditions of anorexia. You could consume garlic by adding it to your regular cuisines, which would infuse flavour and spice to food – this would make normal food, especially the ones with salt content, even more palatable, triggering your appetite and making you go for it no holds barred. You could simply munch on raw garlic or you could roast a few cloves and have them as your favourite snack. You could also make a soup of garlic and add a squeeze of lemon to make it aromatic, delicious and thoroughly enticing, making your recovery from anorexia highly memorable.
Chamomile For Anorexia
Chamomile, belonging to the daisy family, is known for a host of medicinal benefits that it endows and is one of the useful home remedies for anorexia. Many would have heard of chamomile in the form of tea, but there is much more to the herb than just a beverage. With good levels of Vitamin A and folate among vitamins and being a good source of minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and fluoride, chamomile is particularly useful during recovery from anorexia, especially since severe cases of anorexia tend to feature depletion in potassium from the body.
Further, chamomile is known to be used as a sedative, given its ability to calm nerves and soothe the system, a property that would come in handy as a home remedy for anorexia since one of the characteristics of people suffering from anorexia would be restlessness and being disturbed emotionally. And most importantly for anorexia, chamomile is known to kindle the appetite and stimulate the digestive system, especially when it is consumed before meals.
Chamomile is known to be antispasmodic in nature, relieving the digestive system of muscular spasms while preventing other associated conditions such as flatulence and bloating. Chamomile also has the properties of facilitating the flow of digestive juices and stimulating bile secretion, apart from toning the stomach and the liver. Chamomile could be consumed in the form of chamomile tea by adding two heaped tablespoons of the dried flowers into around 200 ml of water and boiling the mixture for 15 – 20 minutes. The tea could be consumed three or four times a day between meals as one of the useful home remedies for anorexia.
a. Precautions with Chamomile tea: There is not sufficient information available to categorically state whether consumption of chamomile tea is a safe affair when it comes to pregnancy, even as there are reports of possible chances of miscarriage in the event of its consumption under the circumstances. It is best to consult a physician or an herbal practitioner about the pros and cons of consuming chamomile tea in case of pregnancy.
Other Home Remedies For Anorexia
Have a Goal for Body Weight Gain For Anorexia
You may want to have specific goals, such as increasing your body by 2 – 3 kilograms in a month. This would help you as a home remedy for anorexia that you could measure and monitor your progress.
Schedule Your Diet For Anorexia
Home remedies for anorexia would start with doing the antidote for the disorder – to eat. If you do not feel like eating on your own, you might want to time your diet and go by what the clock says. And stick to your schedule.
Expand and Exploit Your Social Circle For Anorexia
One of the interesting home remedies for anorexia would be to get on with your social track, make new friends and spend more time in social activities than stay alone and get worried.
Eating slowly would not only help you relax while you eat, but would also help in the proper digestion of food that you consume, helping you get the most out of your food as you relish your food as part of home remedies for anorexia.
Vegetable Soups For Anorexia
When you have an aversion to or bias against food, it pays to stimulate your appetite and get your senses at the right positions, poised to relish the goodness associated with food. Vegetable soups are not only nourishing, full of natural essence from fresh vegetables, but are also tantalisingly delicious, especially with good dose of added salt and black pepper powder. Having regular vegetable soup before your meals would set you up for a nice, wholesome eating experience.
Leave Stress Behind
Stress is one of the primary factors behind many health conditions, and you wouldn’t want to carry your stress baggage with you as look out for home remedies for anorexia. Stress would not let you relax or focus and could lead to further weight loss in anorexic conditions.
Clean your Tongue
Home remedies for anorexia need comprehensive treatment with delicious foods; sometimes, the mucus deposits in the tongue may hinder the taste buds from realising the taste of foods to their potential; and when every incentive matters in making people with anorexia have a favourable disposition towards food, cleaning the tongue and clearing mucus would give room for taste buds to relish the food, sending positive signals to the brain to have more.
Other Treatment Options For Anorexia
You may want to get medical advice if you have lost close to three fourths of your ideal body weight. This could be a severe case of malnutrition and you would not want to take your chances. In such cases of life threatening conditions, treatment for anorexia could involve feeding through a stomach tube or through the vein.
You should take medical advice if your condition doesn’t seem to improve with home remedies for anorexia. If there are secondary complications that have arisen with anorexia, as in the case of heart problems, low levels of potassium in the body, or psychological conditions such as confusion in thought processes, panic reactions to normal situations or mental states verging on depression, involving suicidal thoughts, it’s high time a trained medical professional came into the picture. You could approach nutritionists or dieticians, general physician, a psychologist or a psychiatrist for immediate and trusted assistance.
Common options of treatment for anorexia start off with a comprehensive diagnosis, where the medical history of the patient is thoroughly analysed to look out for trends and find out causes for anorexia. The diagnosis would also involve physical examinations to watch out for secondary complications associated with vital organs such as heart, kidney and lungs, along with blood tests to figure out symptoms of malnutrition and x-rays to rule out possibilities of osteoporosis.