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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Yoga for Anorexia

Meaning of Anorexia
Anorexia nervosa refers to a psychological disorder related to lifestyle. A person who suffers from this problem completely averts food or suffers from appetite loss. This problem is also related to unusual food habit or disturbed digestion. Some patients reported an obsession with weight loss, which could be fatal. This condition is mostly found in females and, generally, surfaces during adolescence. It can also be found in people suffering from ailments such as cancer, hypopituitarism, malabsorption, jaundice, inflammatory bowel disease and depression. Studies have shown that people from upper and middle socioeconomic group are more affected by this problem.

Signs & Symptoms of Anorexia
  • A patient of anorexia refuses to eat. Other symptoms include:
  • Loss of appetite.
  • People with this problem get obsessed with their weight and dieting.
  • Affected people consider themselves fat though they might, in fact, be slim.
  • Ritualistic food habits, vigorous workouts, use of laxatives and under eating leads to excess weight loss.
  • In most cases, anorexic people do not have any history of weight gain.
  • Sleeplessness, irritation, flaky and dry skin, social withdrawal, poor concentration and attention are also common problems of anorexic patients.
Cause of Anorexia
  • Most people with anorexia follow faulty diets and do not practice the physical workouts they need.
  • In some cases, strain, stress or depression leads to this problem.
  • Patients with malabsorption, tuberculosis, jaundice, cancer and Hypopituitarism also have the chances to develop anorexia.
  • Sometimes, inflammatory bowel diseases lead to anorexia.
  • High parental expectations also causes anorexia in some cases.
  • One should have a healthy lifestyle. A poor lifestyle can lead to anorexia as well as several other problems.
Yogic Management of Anorexia
  • Thorough cleansing of the entire digestive tract and yogic counseling can be effective to cure this malaise. By doing this, a person would be able to eliminate all toxins and rejuvenate the digestive tract. Laghu Shankha Prakshalana is the best way to do this. 
  • A person should adopt a Yogic diet. It can help normalize digestion and improves taste. 
  • Some simple yoga practice, such as Agnisaradhauti, Bhastrika Pranayama, Anuloma-Viloma Pranayama, Viparitakarani, Paschimottanasana, Vajrasana, Parsvakonasana and Trikonasana can effect changes in life style and help to cure this disease.
Home Remedies for Anorexia
  • Treatment with rock salt and ginger can be effective for patients. One should have this at least for fifteen days, early in the morning. It should be consumed on empty stomach. This will work like an appetizer.
  • One can consume two to three oranges each day for the treatment of anorexia. This will help to build the appetite.
  • Apple can stimulate appetite and provide iron to the body.
  • One can add two to three cloves to boiled water and then add half teaspoon lime juice to it. It should be allowed to cool before drinking. A person would crave to eat if he would consume this for a week.
  • One can eat some salad ten minutes before having food. The salad can comprise beets, cucumbers, tomatoes, capsicums and cabbage. Small amount of black pepper and rock salt with juice of half lemon can be sprinkled on top. This helps to increase craving for food.
  • Spicy food can also increase the appetite. To improve appetite, consume spicy food at least two or three times a week.
Ayurvedic Management for Anorexia
  • Madhiphala Rasayana, Amalaki Rasayan, Ardhraka Kanda and Lavangadi Churna can be effective Ayurvedic treatments for anorexia.
  • Medicines like Hingashtak Churna, Shankh Vati, Lashunadi Vati, Chitrakadi Vati, Agnitundi Vati, Kuchla, Chitrak, Amalaki, Pippali, Marich and Vishwa can help in digestion and improve appetite.
  • Psychological causes also lead to anorexia. Khurasani ova, Jayphal, Samudrashosh, Shatavari and Ashwagandha are herbs which improve appetite and treat psychological conditions.
  • For the treatment of psychological causes, a person can also use Sarpagandha, Brahmi, Kushmand, Vacha, Brahmi Shankhpushpi and Jatamansi.  
To treat anorexia one must give importance to weight gain. It involves medical as well as psychological intervention. Holistic management can also help in the treatment of weight loss and malnutrition.