Anorexia, also anorexia nervosa, is an eating disorder which is caused by psychological, social and environmental factors. People suffering from this kind of disorder have an obsession of maintaining a body weight that is abnormal for their height and age. They either starve to lose weight or to avoid gaining weight or exercise excessively. The good news is that vitamin supplements can be used to prevent anorexia (source).
However, if you don’t change your diet, supplements will be worthless. Most people suffering from anorexia are not aware of the vitamin supplements they should take to improve the condition. Below are some of the vitamins anorexic people should take. They can either be bought online or over the counter at your local medical store.
Vitamin B2 or riboflavin
About 20% of the anorexic individuals lack this important vitamin. B2 involved in the metabolism of all nutrients, energy production, healthy mouth and skin tissue, good vision and more. Even though an all round diet can provide all the vitamin B2 our body needs, supplementation still can’t be ignored since extra riboflavin may be required by the body.
Thiamin or Vitamin B1
Necessary for nerve function and carbohydrate metabolism. Some of the symptoms of vitamin B1 deficiency in people suffering from anorexia include fatigue, decreased appetite, constipation, beriberi and so on.
Vitamin A is present in animal products such as poultry, meat, dairy and fish. It is essential for the normal growth of bones, healthy vision, reproduction as well as immune function. Most people suffering from anorexia have stunted growth and decreased bone density, making adequate vitamin A supplementation important. Note that high doses of vitamin A or retinol can cause damage to the liver.
Vitamin D deficiency is the main cause of decreased bone density in people suffering from anorexia. Supplementation is important since adequate amounts of vitamin D can not be found in food.
Scurvy, caused by the deficiency of vitamin C, is also common among individuals suffering from anorexia. Some of scurvy symptoms include fatigue, weakness, bleeding gums and skin. Vitamin C is essential for maintaining bones, collagen, brain neurotransmitters and the immune system.
Anorexic patients lack vitamin B6 which is required for the metabolism of all other nutrients and the boost of psychology. It is also essential for the production of brain neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and serotonin. Some of the symptoms caused by the deficiency of B6 include anemia, decreased immune function,cheilosis, nerve problems and depression. However, avoid high doses of vitamin B6 because it may cause nerve damage in the longterm.
This vitamin is essential for the development of both white and red cells in the bone marrow. Deficiency of vitamin B12 results in macrocytic anemia and permanent nerve damage. Some of the symptoms related to B12 deficiency include weakness, fatigue, memory problems and so on. Supplementation of this vitamin is important especially for anorexic vegetarians since it is only found in animal products.
Other important vitamin supplements anorexic people should take include those that contain Vitamin E, which is essential for the immune system, and folate which is among the causes of depression in group of patients.