Pregorexia: pregnant women who do not want to gain weight

The obsession with not gaining weight leads many women to malnutrition during pregnancy. This behavior is not only detrimental to the health of the mother, but can also cause serious problems for the unborn child. the Pregorexia it is a disorder in which the pregnant woman is obsessed with not gaining weight and tries to eat less so as not to gain weight.

This disorder, although not listed in DSM V or ICD-10, is a serious problem some women face today.

The word Pregorexia originated from the combination of the terms “pregnancy” and anorexia. This term was originally coined in 2008 by the American media and, although it is not exactly anorexia, it is also commonly referred to as “pregnancy anorexia” because for many its symptoms are included in this pathology. already existing, which anorexia.

Features of pregorexia

The woman who suffers from pregorexia try not to gain weight and stay slim when you are pregnant, Which causes your food intake to be below the healthy calorie and nutritional levels needed for pregnancy. In addition, excessive concern for his figure and his fear of not gaining weight lead him to vomit and exercise excessively. Even endangering his health and that of his son.

The main cause of this disorder is social pressure that exists on aesthetic patterns, and excessive intoxication by the media, constantly bombarded with advertisements on the “body 10”. It’s common to find stories in magazines about famous women who stay fit during pregnancy and after childbirth.

Pregnancy is a particularly delicate period to keep in shape, as it is normal to gain a few “pounds” during these months. The priority of every mother it should be the well-being of your future baby, As this step is particularly important for its future development.

The obsession with the image can lead to serious dangers: many negative consequences can appear during the gestation phase and during the future development of the child (malnutrition, bone decalcification, low milk production, hormonal changes, dry skin, cracked and dehydrated, digestive and cardiovascular problems, restriction of intrauterine growth, decreased amniotic fluid, premature birth or low birth weight). In addition, malnutrition can lead to the death of the fetus.

Although 30% of women don’t get enough nutrition during pregnancy, that doesn’t mean it’s the cause of pregorexia. In fact, only a minority of pregnant women are affected by this eating disorder.

Women who have suffered from an eating disorder in the past are at a higher risk of pregorexia

According to experts, women who have suffered from eating disorders in the past they are more likely to suffer from pregorexia. Despite this, having suffered from an eating disorder in the past is no guarantee of suffering from pregorexia during pregnancy. In fact, some women overcome the above disorder and are accepted as such even during the gestation period.

Symptoms of pregorexia

Women who suffer from pregorexia usually have a number of symptoms characteristic of the disorder. If you know of someone who may be suffering from this eating disorder, you should seek help as soon as possible. there is a risk of adverse consequences for mother and unborn child. Here are the most characteristic symptoms of people with pregorexia:

  • Little gain or loss of weight during pregnancy
  • Restriction of most food groups
  • Feelings of fear or excessive anxiety about weight gain
  • Excessive exercise to keep weight off
  • Induction of vomiting after meals
  • excessive fatigue
  • Dizziness or headache
  • Avoid foods so as not to gain weight
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Obsession with weight reduction

Pregorexia: asking for help

If an acquaintance or family member suffers from an eating disorder during pregnancy, it is important to seek help as soon as possible to reduce the risk of complications for the baby.

The most common is contact your general practitionerBut he must refer the patient to a psychologist or psychiatrist so that he can deal with the psychological and emotional problems that are at the root of this disorder. Treatment can be individual, but it is also recommended that the person with pregorexia therapeutic support groupsAs the interaction with other women with eating disorders can be of benefit.

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