Pregorexia – anorexia of pregnant women
Emilia Harasim-Piszczatowska1, Elżbieta Krajewska-Kułak2
Eating disorders represent a serious and complex health and social problem which is encountered by many medical professionals in their practice, including by family doctors. An increasing number of individuals are affected by these disorders. The media, which promote slim figure as fashionable or perfect, are a contributing factor. Pregnant women are a group which is especially vulnerable to eating disorders. Their bodies are subject to dynamic changes; as a result, these are often far from the widely promoted ideal. Malnutrition in women planning to conceive a child and in pregnant women is a risk factor for abnormal course of pregnancy and poor health status of the newborn child. Therefore, it is important for women who are planning pregnancy to change their lifestyle and follow the rules of appropriate, balanced diet. The aim of the paper was to review the available publications on pregorexia, i.e. an eating disorder which involves self-starvation and/or inducing vomiting during pregnancy. The article presents the current recommendations concerning body mass of a woman during pregnancy and the consequences of pregorexia for the mother and the unborn child as well as discussing the role of medical professionals regarding this non-specific eating disorder. Based on the available sources it may be concluded that there is a need for wider education concerning diet and physical activity provided by medical professionals to higher-risk groups. Early intervention by an interdisciplinary therapeutic team contributes to better treatment results with appropriate health education being of key importance.