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The Science Journal of the Lander College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

Eating disorders are viewed as serious mental illnesses, carrying significant, life-threatening medical and psychiatric implications, including morbidity and mortality. According to the Academy of Eating Disorders, anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder. The American Psychiatric Association (2004) claims that approximately three percent of the United States female population has a clinically relevant eating disorder. Risk of premature death is 6-12 times higher in women with anorexia as compared to the general population, and it has become the third most common form of chronic illness among adolescent women aged 15 to 19 years. Although the prevalence and seriousness of this problem have gained increasing attention in recent years, relatively little is known about the role that leptin plays in this disorder. Leptin is a starvation hormone as well as a satiety hormone that plays a role in the diagnoses, duration, and recovery of this devastating disease. The review of the research will attempt to define the etiology of the endocrine events and the significant physiological impact on the body’s structures relative to this disease. The diagnosis and treatment will address and reflect the physiological effects caused by the semi-starvation state produced by anorexia nervosa. Anorexia is triggered by psychological problems that transform into biological issues. Profound physiological changes brought about by the semi starvation state cause a domino effect. The biological ramifications of the disease should be cured before psychological counseling is attempted.

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