What is it?

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder, characterized by low weight, fear of gaining weight and a strong desire to be thin. Many people with anorexia see themselves as overweight even though they are, in fact, underweight.
Anorexia is divided into a restricting type or binge-eating/purging type. The binge-eating/purging type induces vomiting, misuses laxatives, enemas or diuretics in order to lose weight.

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Signs & symptoms

Signs and symptoms may include:
* inability to maintain a normal weight
* an obsession with counting calories and preoccupation with food
* food rituals such as cutting food into small pieces
* excessive exercise
* vomiting and consequently bad breath smell
* fatigue
* insomnia
* Depression and anxiety, withdrawal from social activities
* yellow and dry skin, covered with soft, fine hair
* hair thinning or falling out
* constipation
* more than three cycles without a period
* low blood pressure
* low potassium in the blood
* arrhythmias

Diagnosis

* history and physical examination – your doctor will ask abount your eating habits and feelings and make a full physical examination to look for signs assocoated with anorexia such as Slow heart rate or low blood pressure.
* Laboratory tests - Blood tests may be ordered to check your electrolyte levels and liver and kidney function. In addition, your doctor may refer you to a bone density test.

Treatment

Many people with anorexia nervosa don’t believe they have a problem, what can make treatment very difficult. treatment may include:
* psychotherapy - Individual, family, and group therapies are often an integral part of treatment
* a diet program in order to gain weight
* medication - While there is no medication proven to treat anorexia nervosa, antidepressants may be prescribed to deal with the anxiety and depression common in those with anorexia
* hospitalization

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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