How Do I Take Care Of Myself If I Have Anorexia
It can be uncomfortable and scary, but its important to tell a loved one and/or your healthcare provider if you have anorexia.
If you have already been diagnosed with anorexia, there are some things you can do to manage your condition and stay committed to recovery, including:
- Get enough sleep.
- Dont abuse alcohol or drugs.
- If you take prescribed medication, be sure to take it regularly and do not miss doses.
- If you are participating in talk therapy to treat your anorexia, be sure to see your therapist regularly.
- Reach out to family and friends for support.
- Consider joining a support group for people who have anorexia.
- See your healthcare provider regularly.
How To Get Your Heart Rate Up
Its essential that some of your exercise make your heart beat fasterthan it does when youre resting.
Exercise is an important part of disease prevention and that includes cancer prevention, too. But not all exercise is created equal. Its essential that some of your exercise make your heart beat faster than it does when youre resting.
Getting your heart to beat faster trains your body to move oxygen and blood to your muscles more efficiently, helps you burn more calories and lowers your cholesterol. All of this can help you stay healthy and lower your cancer risk.
According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week can help lower your cancer risk. Its the vigorous exercises that can help you get your heart rate up.
How to measure your heart rate
So, how do you determine your heart rate? One of the easiest ways to measure your heart rate is with a monitor, says Whittney Thoman, exercise physiologist at MD Andersons Cancer Prevention Center. This is typically a watch or a strap that goes around your arm or chest that syncs with a watch or another device. Many wearable fitness trackers now include heart rate monitors.
Understanding your heart rate
Now that you know how to measure your heart rate, you can determine:
Check your pulse or your heart rate monitor while youre resting and then again while youre exercising to compare your resting heart rate to your active heart rate.
Cleveland Clinic Heart And Vascular Institute Cardiologists And Surgeons
Choosing a doctor to treat your abnormal heart rhythm depends on where you are in your diagnosis and treatment. The following Heart and Vascular Institute Sections and Departments treat patients with Arrhythmias:
- Section of Electrophysiology and Pacing: cardiology evaluation for medical management or electrophysiology procedures or devices – Call Cardiology Appointments at toll-free 800.223.2273, extension 4-6697 or request an appointment online.
- Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery: surgery evaluation for surgical treatment for atrial fibrillation, epicardial lead placement, and in some cases if necessary, lead and device implantation and removal. For more information, please contact us.
- You may also use our MyConsult second opinion consultation using the Internet.
The Heart and Vascular Institute has specialized centers to treat certain populations of patients:
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Can Anorexia Be Prevented
Although it might not be possible to prevent all cases of anorexia, its helpful to start treatment as soon as someone begins to have symptoms.
In addition, teaching and encouraging healthy eating habits and realistic attitudes about food and body image also might help prevent the development or worsening of eating disorders. If your child or family member decides to become vegetarian or vegan, for instance, its worth seeing a dietitian versed in eating disorders and touching base with your pediatrician or healthcare provider to make sure that this change occurs without a loss in nutrients.
What Are Normal Heart Rates By Age
To find your heart rate, check your pulse, which can be felt on your:
- Side of the neck
- Top of the foot
Place your finger over your pulse and count the number of beats in 60 seconds to get your heart rate.
Normal heart rates by age are as follows in the table below:
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Symptoms Of Atrial Fibrillation
The most obvious symptom of atrial fibrillation is palpitations caused by a fast and irregular heartbeat.
A normal heart rate, when you are resting, should be between 60 and 100 beats a minute. In atrial fibrillation, it may be over 140 beats a minute.
If you notice an irregular heartbeat and/or have chest pain, see your doctor immediately.
When Should I See My Healthcare Provider Or When Should I Seek Care
You should see your healthcare provider at least once a year for an annual physical, regardless of whether or not you have bradycardia. This yearly visit is a key way for your healthcare provider to catch a wide range of healthcare problems early, especially ones that dont have symptoms you can feel.
If you do have bradycardia but dont have symptoms, you should see your provider if you notice any new symptoms or any changes in your overall health. If you do have symptoms, you should also see your provider if you notice your symptoms changing, especially in ways that are affecting your daily life and routine.
When should I go to the hospital emergency room?
You should go to the hospital if you develop symptoms of bradycardia quickly or if you have symptoms that get worse or change suddenly.
You should also go to the hospital right away if you have any of the following symptoms :
- Dizziness, lightheadedness and fainting .
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Bradycardia is a condition where you may not have symptoms or a problem, especially if it happens for certain reasons. Still, its normal to feel nervous or worried if you have unanswered questions now or the potential for future problems. Fortunately, bradycardia is a condition thats almost always treatable. Your healthcare provider can also give you guidance and advice that will help prepare you for what youre facing and whats to come.
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What Are The Risk Factors For Developing Anorexia
Anorexia can affect anyone, no matter their gender, age or race. However, certain factors put some people at greater risk for developing anorexia, including:
- Age: Eating disorders, including anorexia, are more common in adolescents and young adults, but young children and older adults can still develop anorexia.
- Gender: Women and girls are more likely to be diagnosed with anorexia. However, its important to know that men and boys can have anorexia and may be under-diagnosed due to differences in seeking treatment.
- Family history: Having a parent or sibling with an eating disorder increases your risk of developing an eating disorder, such as anorexia.
- Dieting: Dieting taken too far can develop into anorexia.
- Changes and trauma: Big changes in your life, such as going to college, starting a new job or going through a divorce, and/or trauma, such as sexual assault or physical abuse, may trigger the development of anorexia.
- Certain careers and sports: Eating disorders are especially common amongst models, gymnasts, runners, wrestlers and dancers.
Slow Heart Rate: Is This Normal Or A Cause For Concern
For most adults, a heart rate of about 60 to 100 beats a minute while at rest is considered normal. But like with many things that slow down as we age so can our hearts.
If your heart beats less than 60 times a minute, its considered slower than normal and is called bradycardia. If youre an elite athlete or healthy young adult, a slower resting heart rate right might not be a big deal, but in older adults, it could indicate a problem with your heart.
Along with atrial fibrillation and tachycardia, bradycardia is one of the most common arrhythmias. If youre experiencing a lower-than-normal heart rate, read on to learn more about potential causes, symptoms and treatment options.
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Restoring A Normal Heart Rhythm
There are a number of drugs that can be used to try to restore a normal heart. The best option for you will be decided by your cardiologist and /or GP.
Commonly, these drugs include:
Dronedarone may also be used for certain people.
It is important you know what side effects to look out for if taking such medication and seek medical advice if you experience any of them.
To find out about side effects, read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine for more details.
How Is Anorexia Treated
The biggest challenge in treating anorexia is helping the person recognize and accept that they have an illness. Many people with anorexia deny that they have an eating disorder. They often seek medical treatment only when their condition is serious or life-threatening. This is why its important to diagnose and treat anorexia in its beginning stages.
The goals of treatment for anorexia include:
- Stabilizing weight loss.
Psychotherapy is a type of individual counseling that focuses on changing the thinking and behavior of a person with an eating disorder. Treatment includes practical techniques for developing healthy attitudes toward food and weight, as well as approaches for changing the way the person responds to difficult situations. There are several types of psychotherapy, including:
Some healthcare providers may prescribe medication to help manage anxiety and depression that are often associated with anorexia. The antipsychotic medication olanzapine may be helpful for weight gain. Sometimes, providers prescribe medications to help with period regulation.
Nutrition counseling is a strategy to help treat anorexia that involves the following:
- Teaching a healthy approach to food and weight.
- Helping restore normal eating patterns.
- Teaching the importance of nutrition and a balanced diet.
- Restoring a healthy relationship with food and eating.
Group and/or family therapy
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How Can I Care For A Loved One Who Has Anorexia
There are multiple things you can do to help and support someone with anorexia, including:
- Learn about anorexia: Educate yourself about anorexia to better understand what they are going through. Dont assume you know what they are experiencing.
- Be empathetic: Dont downplay or dismiss their feelings and experiences. Let them know that you are there to listen and support them. Try to put yourself in their shoes.
- Encourage them to seek help and/or treatment: While having an understanding and supportive friend or family member is helpful to a person with anorexia, anorexia is a medical condition. Because of this, people with anorexia need treatment such as therapy and nutritional counseling to manage their condition. Encourage them to talk to their healthcare provider if they are experiencing the signs and symptoms of anorexia.
- Be patient: It can take a while for someone with anorexia to get better once theyve started treatment. Know that it is a long and complex process and that their symptoms and behaviors will eventually improve.
How Do I Check My Pulse
You can check your heart rate by taking your pulse and counting how many times your heart beats in 1 minute .
Your heart rate varies depending on what you’re doing for example, it will be slower if you’re sleeping and faster if you’re exercising.
To get your resting heart rate, you need to have been sitting still before checking your pulse.
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Are There Complications Related To Treating Anorexia
The most serious complication of treating anorexia is a condition called refeeding syndrome. This life-threatening condition can occur when a seriously malnourished person begins to receive nutrition again. Basically, their body cannot properly restart the metabolism process.
People experiencing refeeding syndrome can develop the following conditions:
Since refeeding syndrome can have serious and life-threatening side effects, its essential for people with anorexia to receive medical treatment and/or guidance.
People who have one or more of the following risk factors for developing refeeding syndrome may need to be treated in a hospital:
- Are severely malnourished .
- Have had little or no calorie intake for more than 10 days.
- Have a history of refeeding syndrome.
- Have lost a lot of weight in a very short period of time .
- Drink significant amounts of alcohol.
- Have a history of misusing laxatives, diet pills, diuretics, or insulin .
- Have abnormal electrolyte levels before starting refeeding.
When Should A Person With Anorexia Go To The Emergency Room
Someone with anorexia should go to the emergency room if theyre experiencing any of the following physical symptoms:
- Unusually low blood pressure.
If youre having thoughts of harming yourself, get to the nearest hospital as soon as possible or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Someone will be available to talk with you 24/7.
If you recognize suicidal behaviors in someone with anorexia, get them care as soon as possible.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Anorexia is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition. The good news is that recovery is definitely possible. If you or someone you know is experiencing signs and symptoms of anorexia, its essential to seek help and care as soon as possible. Its never too late to seek treatment, but getting help early improves the chance of a lasting recovery.
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How Does Radiation Therapy Affect The Heart
Radiation therapy to the chest area often is part of the treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma and cancers of the lung, esophagus, or breast. Cardiotoxicity is a risk when a large volume of heart muscle is exposed to a high dose of radiation. Radiation dose is measured in Grays , and a heart dose of more than 30 35 Gy increases the risk of cardiotoxicity.
Radiation can injure the pericardium , myocardium , the heart valves, coronary arteries and the hearts electrical system. Some of the problems that may develop are:
What Tests Are Used To Diagnose Or Assess Anorexia
Although there are no laboratory tests to specifically diagnose anorexia, a healthcare provider may use various diagnostic tests, such as blood tests, to rule out any medical conditions that could cause weight loss and to evaluate the physical damage weight loss and starvation may have caused.
Tests to rule out weight-loss causing illness or to assess anorexia side effects may include:
- Vitamin D levels.
- A pregnancy test in people assigned female at birth who are of childbearing age.
- Hormone tests if evidence of menstrual problems in people assigned female at birth and measuring testosterone in people assigned male at birth.
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How To Improve Your Resting Heart Rate
You can lower your resting heart rate by improving your physical fitness and making some lifestyle changes.
Regular cardio exercise, like running, swimming, or biking, trains the heart to be more efficient over time. With each heartbeat, the “athletic heart” maintains its output of blood to the body at a lower heart rate.
In addition to exercise, other actions that may improve your resting heart rate include:
Has The Risk Of Cardiotoxicity Declined With Newer Radiation Therapy Techniques
In recognition of the risk of cardiotoxicity from radiation, newer radiation techniques have been developed that minimize radiation to the heart. These technologies, such as three-dimensional treatment planning with dose-volume histogram, intensity-modulated radiotherapy image-guided radiotherapy , and active breathing controlled radiotherapy have the potential to reduce the risk of radiation-related heart problems. Long-term studies will evaluate the effects of these newer technologies on the heart.
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Causes Of Low Heart Rate Problems
The most common cause of a low heart rate is a malfunction in the hearts sinus node, its natural pacemaker. This area sends our electrical signals telling the top and bottom heart chambers the timing of when to pump blood through the body.
Other causes of low heart rate include an atrioventricular block, age, and certain conditions such as inflammation of the heart muscle, low thyroid function, electrolyte imbalance, obstructive sleep apnea, or heart attack due to coronary artery disease.
Is A Heart Rate Of 56 Too Low
It might also indicate an issue with the heart’s electrical system. A fast heart rate could be a sign of cardiovascular disease.
People with high blood pressure, heart disease, and other conditions that affect the heart may need their resting heart rate checked by a doctor. The American Heart Association recommends against routinely checking your own heart rate. Instead, use the instructions below to find out whether a change has occurred.
Here are some ways to check your heart rate:
Look at your wrist. The pulse on the inside of your wrist is called the carotid artery pulse. It can be felt as a steady beat even during exercise. As you get older, however, this pulse may not be as strong as it was when you were younger. In that case, count the pulses in 10 seconds. Multiply that number by six to get 60. This is considered a basic assessment for someone who is not exercising or when no equipment is available to measure a more accurate heart rate.
Take your pulse. Hold your hand over the top of your chest, just under the collarbone. Gently press down until you feel a hollow sound from the heart area.
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What Your Resting Heart Rate Says About You
If you want to know more about your cardiovascular health, weve got one big question for you: Do you know what your resting heart rate is?
Your resting heart rate can tell you a lot about your cardiovascular health and while some of what it says may seem scary at first, dont worry! There are ways to improve your cardiovascular health. At Tri-City Medical Center, we see patients with high resting heart rates lower theirs to healthier levels all the time.
Heres a little background on just what your heart might be trying to tell you.