Pregorexia: what is it, the symptoms of the disease

The prerogative of pregnant women is a pathology called pregorexia. This is a disease of the XXI century, an eating disorder is hidden under the mysterious term of ancient origin. How to avoid an epidemic of a pathological condition and form the right eating behavior, taking into account the action of the hormone of adipose tissue that controls saturation – leptin, you will learn from the article.


  1. The body of a pregnant woman.
  2. What is considered the norm of weight gain during gestation.
  3. Causes of the pathological condition.
  4. What is the danger.
  5. The main symptom of the disease.
  6. Mental changes.
  7. Actions in the formation of pathology.

The body of a pregnant woman

During the gestation of a baby, a woman’s body experiences increased stress. All organs and systems that are being rebuilt in accordance with the proposed circumstances work for two in the literal sense of the word. The expectant mother is especially sensitive to changes in the hormonal background and the cardiovascular system. The needs of the fetus at the same time come out on top: the mother’s body provides the needs of the unborn baby for normal growth and development. That is why, with a lack of nutrition, vitamins and minerals in the mother’s body, both she and the fetus suffer.

What is considered the norm of weight gain during gestation

Normally, any pregnancy is accompanied by weight gain due to a growing fetus. This plus consists of the weight of the fetus, placenta, amniotic fluid, the growing volume of circulating blood, fluid retention, swelling of the mammary glands. In addition, during pregnancy, the proportions of the expectant mother’s body and its configuration change, since the ratio of fat and fat-free mass changes. This increase does not quantitatively exceed 10-12 kg for the entire period of gestation of the baby. Such figures are physiological. Anything that goes beyond these limits requires the establishment of the cause and correction, if necessary.

Causes of the pathological condition

Today there is no consensus in the medical community about where food perversions come from. Some say that one trigger is enough for the development of pathology, the second insist on the poly-causality of deviation from the norm. One thing is clear, any weight gain, one way or another, is affiliated with the hormone of adipose tissue – leptin, which controls the feeling of satiety. trigger mechanisms. Its fluctuations in the blood provoke a perverted response of the hypothalamus in response to food eaten, leptin resistance, obesity, diabetes mellitus. All this fully applies to pregnant women.

The main trigger of the pathological desire to eat inedible things include:

  1. Social factors, when the parameters of thinness are promoted from the glossy covers as the only attractive ones. This creates false guidelines, internal attitudes that exaggerate the importance of appearance and body shapes. The desire to replace nutrients with those that are simply not absorbed by the body is the basis of eating disorders.
  2. Psychotrauma in the form of an offensive word, said even in jest, gives rise to a sense of self-doubt.
  3. Mental disorders in the form of organic damage to cerebral structures change a person’s idea of himself.

It is difficult to minimize the influence of adverse factors of the development of pregorexia. The physiological norm dictates a change in body parameters: weight, shape, provokes angularity, caution of movements. But it’s easy to change your attitude to yourself for the better, to increase your self–esteem: you just have to understand the beauty of the changes that are taking place, which work for an amazing result – the birth of a new life. Relatives and friends can help in this, whose support is no less important than the psychological help of specialists. There are special group and individual programs for the correction of emerging pathology, which stop the signs of an eating disorder.

What is the danger

The expectant mother should be aware that insufficient intake of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients into her body is a threat not only to her, but to her unborn baby. On the part of the fetus with deficient conditions, there are delays in the development and growth of the fetus, spontaneous miscarriages, premature birth with a hypotrophic infant. For mom, the danger in deficient conditions lies in the risk of minimizing calcium salts in the body and, accordingly, in the fragility of bones, possible pathological fractures.

The mechanism is simple: the lack of intake of trace elements in the body provokes the leaching of calcium from the reserve internal depot. All the calcium in this case goes to the aid of the fetus, and in a pregnant woman, bones are destroyed, hair falls out, nails are layered. That is why the desire to eat chalk or lime is considered as the first symptom of calcium deficiency and must be corrected in time by the doctor observing the expectant mother.
Similarly, the desire to eat rust is evidence of iron deficiency and the first sign of anemia.

The main symptom of the disease

However, one of the main symptoms of pathology in eating behavior is considered to be obsession. The fear of gaining excess weight, especially if it crosses the boundaries of the physiological norm, overshadows all other desires. This is a real reason for the formation of pregorexia. So:

  • there is a gag reflex after eating;
  • food does not bring pleasure;
  • there are excruciating remorse after the next meal;
  • the patient denies himself the pleasure of eating what he wants;
  • constant diets torture a pregnant woman;
  • taking medications for weight loss is practiced;
  • relatives are persuaded to eat more often, because the weight is added slightly;
  • the doctor recommends changing the diet;
  • relatives insist on consulting a psychologist.

If at least two of the above questions are answered “yes”, the formation of a perversion of food preferences is quite expected. The disease is corrected if it is noticed in time. A complex of psychotherapeutic measures and support for loved ones do their job. During the course of treatment, efforts are required not only from psychotherapists and psychologists, but also from obstetricians, gynecologists, nutritionists. Understanding and help of relatives in this case is invaluable, because it helps to level the severity of pathology and speeds up recovery.

Mental changes

Pregorexia is included in the group of psychogenic pathologies together with bulimia and anorexia. The most dangerous and at the same time widespread mental manifestation of pathology is an inadequate assessment of a woman herself. The expectant mother constantly complains that she is obese, clumsy, unattractive. She treats compliments from others with distrust, believes that she is unworthy of love, affection, tenderness and despairs of this. Any arguments are met with deaf misunderstanding and denial.

Actions in the formation of pathology

However, no matter how difficult the situation is, it needs to be treated. Any eating disorder will first undergo outpatient diagnosis. This includes the techniques of psychologists and psychotherapists in order to find out the cause of the disease. Only after the root cause is established, the method of correction of pregorexia is chosen. Treatment requires patience and perseverance from both the doctor and the patient, since it takes quite a long time: from several weeks to several months.

At the same time, the main condition for recovery is proper nutrition. Without this, the risk of exacerbation of chronic diseases in the mother, the formation of congenital malformations in the fetus, and miscarriages increases significantly. We emphasize that even in the case of carrying a baby before the due date and successful delivery, the postpartum period of pregorexia is quite complicated and requires additional efforts from the mother and neonatologists.


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