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High Protein Diets For Anorexia Nervosa Patients
Studies show that one percent of all teenage girls and young women in their 20s will develop anorexia nervosa, and that 10 to 15% of those girls will die due to complications from this condition. Some men develop this condition as well, usually teenage boys.
Anorexia nervosa can be treated, and about three quarters of all anorexia patients will find that their conditions will improve through long-term treatment, although only about 40% of patients make a full recovery. With the proper psychological counseling and a healthy diet, patients can regain their weight and go on to live healthy lives. Much like alcoholism and drug addiction, anorexia nervosa is a condition that will stay with patients for life, but they can learn how to control it.
What is Anorexia Nervosa?
Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder that causes the sufferer to believe that they are overweight, no matter how thin they are. Because of their perceived body image, they do a number of things to control their weight, including heavy dieting and exercising, to the point of often being grossly underweight. In fact, most Anorexia Nervosa patients are underweight by at least 15%.
There are various symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa, including excessive diet and exercise, heavy use of laxatives and binging and purging (also known as bulimia), and if not treated, these symptoms can often lead to a host of serious health conditions and, eventually, death. Many Anorexia Nervosa patients can be treated on an out-patient basis, but there are also many patients who need in-patient care because their condition has gotten to the point where they need to be hospitalized.
Facts about Anorexia Nervosa
If you notice that a friend or family member seems to be losing an excessive amount of weight, exercises far too frequently and doesn’t seem to be eating much, there may be cause for concern, as these are all signs that this person may be an anorexic and needs to seek treatment. Here are some more facts about Anorexia Nervosa:
– Low blood pressure and an abnormal heart rate are symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa, and some sufferers have been known to develop heart conditions and even have heart attacks.
– Anorexics tend to have more cavities and their tooth enamel erodes. This is especially visible in bulimics because of the stomach acid that is brought up during regurgitation.
– Anorexia Nervosa sufferers often experience kidney troubles and even kidney failure.
– Anorexia Nervosa can result in osteoarthritis and other health conditions.
– Female anorexics may experience irregular periods, or even no periods at all.
Protein Supplements as Part of an Anorexia Nervosa Treatment Plan
One of the ways that a patient can get back on the right track to good health is through a healthy, well-balanced diet, which includes plenty of protein. In the beginning of the patient’s treatment, one of the most difficult hurdles to get past will be getting him or her to eat. This is where liquid protein supplements can come into play and are often recommended by physicians. Yes, the patient still has to deal with the idea of putting calories into their bodies, but they are drinking those calories. It may seem like the same thing, but the act of drinking instead of eating has a psychological effect.
Protein supplements come in a number of forms, and can be purchased as ready-to-drink beverages or added to homemade shakes, smoothies and slushies. These are tasty drinks that patients can use to help gain weight, build and repair muscles and improve their condition, thereby improving their health in general. There are also protein bars and snacks as well as protein capsules.
Liquid Protein Supplements for High Protein/Calorie/Carb/Fat Diets
Protein supplements are often used in the treatment of many illnesses and other health issues, and when patients have difficulties eating solid food or, like anorexics, do not want to eat solid food, liquid protein supplements are perfect meal replacements.
There are a number of ready-made liquid protein supplement beverages available on the market today, and you can find them in health food stores, along with many pharmacies, department stores and supermarkets. These supplements come in a variety of delicious flavors, including chocolate and vanilla, and provide the protein that patients need, as well as a number of essential vitamins and nutrients.
Many liquid supplements are made from whey, which is a milk derivative and comes from the cheese-making process. Whey protein is considered to be a complete protein, because it contains all eight essential and all 14 non-essential amino-acids. People who are allergic to milk products or who are lactose intolerant should read the ingredients carefully to avoid liquid protein supplements that are made with whey. Other options that they can use include soy, another complete protein, and rice, which is also hypoallergenic. Both soy and rice proteins are also great options for vegetarians.
Using Powdered Protein Supplements for Weight Gain
Powdered protein supplements are another great choice for weight-gain diets. If the patient will eat some solid foods, unflavored protein powders can be added to a number of recipes for added protein and other nutrients. Or if the patient is not ready to begin eating solid foods, there are loads of delicious shakes, smoothies and slushies that can be made at home, which incorporate protein powders and other delicious ingredients such as berries, yogurt, milk and fruit juice that are packed with protein and loaded with vitamins and minerals.
Protein Capsules for Severe Cases
There are many cases where patients have extreme difficulties overcoming the effects of Anorexia Nervosa, especially the psychological ones. These patients, no matter how sick they are, still refuse to eat. Before drastic steps have to be taken and the patients are put on intravenous, there is one more option when it comes to protein supplements. Protein capsules have no fat or calories for the patient to be concerned with, and they can be taken with water, which also has no fat, calories or carbohydrates. This way, even if they are not getting food, they are at least getting protein.
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