You may have heard of anorexia nervosa, a disease marked by starvation, low body weight and a host of complications due to nutritional deficiency. A person suffering from anorexia may use many different tactics and means to lower her body weight below normal. One of these techniques includes drinking warm water, either alone or mixed with herbs and spices, to speed weight loss.
Warm Water and Digestion
Drinking warm water to speed the metabolism is a tip found on many weight-loss sites, including Healthy Weight Forum. This may contribute to the anorexic's likelihood to drink warm water while fasting. The site suggests that drinking warm or hot water will speed the metabolism, since the water will cause a rise in body temperature and in the temperature of the stomach.
Warm Water and Hunger
Filling the stomach with warm water is also a way of reducing hunger pangs or food cravings, as warm water can temporarily trick the body into thinking it is full. According to Nancy Lonsdorf, M.D., a specialist in ayurvedic approaches to weight loss, warm water, when consumed frequently during the day, helps the body digest food and remove toxins from the body. It also reduces cravings and snacking between meals, she reports in an article on Natural Health Web.
Anorexia and Complications
While drinking warm water is not harmful to the body, anorexia is a dangerous disease that takes weight loss to an unhealthy extreme. According to the Mayo Clinic, anorexia nervosa can cause anemia, heart problems, absence of period or testosterone, bone loss, low blood potassium, nausea and even death if untreated. Therefore, while certain methods that anorexics use to lose weight are safe and healthy in moderation, anorexia is not a weight-loss plan. Affecting more women than men, anorexia is often seen in young women in their teens to early 20s, and can develop for a host of reasons such as genetics, trauma, body image problems or life transitions.
Prevention of Anorexia
If you or someone you know is suffering from anorexia, consulting a physician or health care specialist, and talking to a therapist are all great starts to prevention and treatment. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is wise to confront a friend or family member as early as possible if you notice signs of anorexia, such as dramatic weight loss, depression, refusal to eat, bingeing and purging, laxative abuse or severe dieting.