Is Anorexia Genetic?

Is Anorexia Genetic?There is a potential genetic link to predisposition toward eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and compulsive overeating. Further research may lead to adding gene-based therapies or prevention efforts to current eating disorder treatment, but the psychological and social causes of the disease are already known and can be treated. Understanding the symptoms of anorexia and finding the best treatment when a problem arises is more important than personal concerns over a genetic indicator of increased risk.

Identifying Anorexia Symptoms

One challenge to the idea of anorexia as a genetic condition is the role media plays in eating disorders. The prevalence of mass media and its corresponding promotion of unhealthy and even physiologically dangerous body types through entertainment culture and pornography have caused men and women to develop an obsessive fear of being overweight or of not fitting a certain body image. This leads to starvation, excessive and compulsive exercise, induced vomiting and abuse of laxatives and appetite suppressing drugs. The mind of a person with anorexia will be unable to accurately understand the obvious visual evidence that they are wasting away.

Early identification and comprehensive rehabilitation is crucial for successful recovery from anorexia. While the individual suffering from the disease will often be psychologically unable to identify their own symptoms, friends and family members can identify signs of anorexia such as the following:

  • Preoccupation with weight loss
  • The persistent belief that one is fat
  • Dishonesty about eating or hiding eating habits
  • Compulsive dieting or exercise
  • Sense of personal power or accomplishment related to dieting or weight loss

If you recognize any of these symptoms in yourself or someone you love, please call our toll-free helpline immediately.

Genetic Predisposition and Anorexia

The genetic links associated with anorexia indicate that it is possible for certain people to have an increased vulnerability to the disease based on hereditary factors. Individuals with a family history of eating disorders may be more likely to develop these disorders themselves, but this predisposition may be related to environment and experience rather than genes. If there is a history of anorexia or other eating disorders in your family, know the signs of these issues and make sure you and your loved ones maintain a healthy relationship with body image and diet.

Help with Anorexia

If you or someone you love is struggling with emotional issues related to body image, please call our toll-free helpline. We can answer any questions you may have and can connect you with the right recovery resources for your specific needs. Anorexia does not get better on its own. Call today, and let us help you find freedom from anorexia.