Anorexia Athletica, also known as Hypergymnasia, is having an eating disorder combined with excessive exercise to maintain a low body weight. Mostly found in pre-professional and elite fitness athletes, it is not formally recognized by the standard mental health diagnostic manuals. Doctors tend to not diagnose it in it’s own right as they decline to use the term.
Exercise is commonly known as part of a healthy lifestyle until it gets taken too far and problems arise. Excessive exercise could lead to anaemia, arthritis, heart problems, memory faculty, poor body development, and infertility. It can even be fatal through kidney and heart failure.
People suffering with Anorexia Athletica often complete excessive exercise and workouts.With the addition of calorie restriction they are putting themselves at risk for malnutrition. In younger athletes this could possibly result in endocrine and metabolic disarray such as delayed menarche and bone density.
Psychologist Dr. Jill Owen, specializing in sports psychology,concludes that social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter may be further encouraging Anorexia Athletica.
“The trend on social media towards gym selfies, accompanied by the misinterpretation of inspirational quotes stressing hard work and pushing through discomfort, can fuel or reinforce the thoughts of the obsessive exerciser,” says Dr. Owen.
AccessLocal.tv went out to many of the fitness areas of Sacramento and found a young man by the name of Alexander Garcia who is a fitness enthusiast and personal trainer.
“When you workout you are training your body to build muscle one way or another, the only way to inherently relate to being anorexic is if they are just adding working out to their daily routine of already being anorexic. I would say they need to adjust to having a healthier habit and balance of the foods they eat,” said Garcia.
Extreme cases of Anorexia Athletica may result in physical, psychological, and social consequences as sufferers deny that their excessive workout behavior is a problem. They may feel anxiety and feel out of control of their life but they can control their body and weight. Sufferers often feeling guilty for missing a workout or not exercising enough, ending up at the mercy of this compulsory behavior.
For more information about treatment and help options for people with Anorexia Athletica, visit http://www.eatingdisordersonline.com/explain/anorathletica.php