Anorexia - lack of appetite in the presence of physiological nutritional needs. The causes of anorexia are excessive emotional arousal, mental illness, endocrine disorders, acute and chronic infections, intoxication, metabolic disorders, diseases of the digestive system (acute gastritis , exacerbation of chronic gastritis, stomach cancer, etc.), irregular monotonous nutrition, and bad taste food quality, unfavorable environment for eating. Anorexia can lead to the use of drugs of unpleasant taste, suppressing the secretory function of the gastrointestinal tract or acting on the central nervous system. With prolonged anorexia, body resistance decreases and its susceptibility to various diseases increases.
Anorexia in children due to the same reasons as in adults, however, has its own characteristics. It often develops in young children due to increased excitability of the central nervous system and poor adaptability of the gastrointestinal tract. Anorexia can occur when changing the usual conditions of feeding, care, mode. Violation of the basic rules for the introduction of complementary foods can cause a so-called protective anorexia in a child, and force-feeding also contributes to its development. In older children, the extinction of the excitability of the food center in most cases is due to a violation of the diet, as well as the use of monotonous tasteless food.
The treatment is aimed at the underlying disease. It is also necessary to organize a diet, an introduction to the diet of a variety of dishes. Assign appetite stimulant drugs. In severe anorexia with exhaustion, multivitamins, anabolic hormones are indicated. In the neurotic form, psychotherapy and the appointment of psychopharmacological agents are of primary importance. In exceptional cases, there is a need for artificial nutrition and parenteral administration of saline solutions.
Neuropsychiatric anorexia has a special place and is a pathological condition, manifested in the conscious restriction of food in order to lose weight. Arises at the age of 15 - 25 years, more often in women. Appears obsessive idea of excess weight and the need to lose weight. The patient begins to limit himself to food, to resort to other ways to lose weight, for example, he strenuously goes in for sports, physical labor, causes vomiting after eating, takes laxatives. At first, the appetite is not disturbed, a person may even feel hunger, and therefore overeating occurs at times. Body weight drops rapidly. There are mood fluctuations from high to low, increased physical activity, the desire to view your body in the mirror.
When identifying the described symptoms in a patient, the medical assistant should refer him to a psychiatrist.