Anorexia nervosa, which is commonly shortened to simply anorexia, is anything but simple. The eating disorder is marked by the restriction of food and the refusal to maintain a minimal normal, healthy body weight. But what may seem like nothing more than watching calories and a strict diet may escalate into more.
When a person begins to lose weight by lowering their food intake or restricting their diet to only certain types of foods, they are putting themselves at risk for anorexia. Once anorexia develops, individuals can limit or even completely exclude types of foods with high fat or caloric content and some even reach a point where they restrict their food intake to the so that they only eat a very specific variety of foods on a daily basis.
Decreased food intake is only one method that sufferers of anorexia use to lose weight. Some individuals with anorexia will also try to lose weight by different means, such as:
When someone suffers from anorexia nervosa, they may imagine that they are gaining weight even if they aren’t. Their perceived weight gain is then coupled with an overwhelming, intense fear of becoming overweight or heavy. Though anorexia may cause some weight to be lost, it does not take away the individual’s fear of weight gain. In fact, some sufferers of anorexia nervosa even report an increase in anxiety over their weight. Many individuals with anorexia have a persistent feeling of being overweight, despite their actual appearance and the opinions of others.
Anorexia nervosa is a devastating disorder that can cause serious medical issues such as:
If any of the following symptoms apply to you or a loved one, contact us. You or your loved one may be at risk of having anorexia nervosa:
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