Anorexia Nervosa

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Eating Disorders - Anorexia

People with anorexia nervosa see themselves as overweight even though they are dangerously thin. In most cases weight loss is accomplished through a reduction in total food intake, and the process of eating becomes an obsession. Frequently unusual eating habits tend to form and may include avoiding food and meals altogether, picking out a few foods and eating these in small quantities, or carefully weighing and portioning food.

People with anorexia tend to repeatedly check their body weight and many engage in other techniques to control their weight. These include intense and compulsive exercise or purging by means of vomiting and abuse of laxatives, enemas, and diuretics. Girls with anorexia often experience a delayed onset of their first menstrual period. Those who have already reached puberty may begin to have inconsistent or missed periods.

Symptoms of anorexia nervosa include:

  • Refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight (body weight less than 85% of that expected) for age and height.
  • Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though underweight
  • Disturbance in the way in which one's body weight or shape is experienced, undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight
  • Infrequent or absent menstrual periods (in females who have reached puberty)

Other useful links regarding Anorexia

  • What happens to your body with Anorexia?
    • Read about what happens to your body with Anorexia. See what happens with such things as hair, your muscles and joints, skin, hormones, and intestines with anorexia.
  • Who becomes Anorexic?
    • An estimated 0.5 to 3.7 percent of people suffer from anorexia nervosa in their lifetime. Learn about other statistics on who becomes anorexic.
  • What causes Anorexia?
    • There is no single known cause of anorexia. But some causes of anorexia include, culture, family, biology, personality and stressful life events or changes.
  • Prognosis and Treatment for Anorexia
    • Read about Anorexia treatment, which may include individual therapy, family therapy, neurofeedback or medicine.
  • What should I do if I think someone I know has Anorexia?
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