The causes of anorexia in women may be related to many different things, many of which are psychological. Some women might be in a profession in which being thin is a necessity, such as acting, modeling, or ballet. There are also women who have a problem with perfectionism and willingly starve themselves in an attempt to become thin, but no matter how thin they become, they feel it's not enough. Other women may become anorexic in order to look like the slender actresses and models they see in the media and feel they are unattractive otherwise. In some cases, anorexia in women might be the result of genetics, as research has shown that women who have an anorexic or formerly anorexic family member are much more likely to become anorexic themselves.
One of the likely causes of anorexia in women is the heightened social pressure to look good. It is often difficult for women who are above a certain size to get a job modeling or starring in movies or television shows, and as a result, the unusually thin women often set the bar. Sociocultural factors can start affecting girls in their teens, and historically have been more of an issue in Western cultures; with the spread of Western norms, the condition is becoming more prevalent in Eastern countries.
Genetics can play a role in the causes of anorexia as well. Scientists have identified a link between anorexia nervosa and chromosome 1 genes. The studies indicate that the social factors involved in anorexia may be instigators to a genetic tendency toward the condition.
The symptoms of anorexia in women and men are usually the same and may be both psychological and physical. A person who is anorexic might begin to severely restrict her eating habits along with exercising excessively. An unhealthy amount of weight may be lost in a short time frame. Irregular heart beat, dehydration, and abnormal blood cell counts are common in anorexic people. Anorexia in women may cause the menstrual period to become either completely absent or very irregular.
Treating anorexia in women and men typically involves taking care of both the body and the mind. It is usually very important that an anorexic person gets her weight back to a level that is considered normal for her height, along with adopting healthier eating and exercise habits. A hospital stay might be required for people who are severely anorexic and have starved themselves down to critically low weights. In addition to reaching a healthy weight, an anorexic person may also need to begin seeing a therapist for help with problems relating to self-acceptance.