What is Anorexia Nervosa?
Anorexia nervosa is the most deadly mental illness, with a higher mortality (death) rate than any other mental illness. Due to this complexity, this condition requires comprehensive anorexia treatment from an experienced, multidisciplinary approach to include medical and psychiatric stabilization, nutritional intervention and psychological support.
Symptoms & Signs of Anorexia Nervosa
One of the most common misconceptions about anorexia nervosa is that sufferers are underweight, which is not always the case. In many instances, a patient with anorexia may appear to be healthy when they are actually malnourished. That’s why it’s important to understand all the warning signs and symptoms of anorexia.
Weight at or below 85 percent of Ideal Body Weight (IBW) for age
Dramatic Weight Loss
Significant/dramatic decrease in normal growth chart curve for weight
Excessive or compulsive exercise
Lack of Menses
Absence of or delayed onset of or sporadic/light menses
Fatigue, cold-intolerance, dizziness and/or hair thinning/loss
Behavioral Warning Signs
Extreme weight loss
Obsession with food, weight, calories and/or dieting
Fear of weight gain
Strange eating habits or food rituals
Denial of hunger or weight loss
What Causes Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia is a bio-psycho-social illness, meaning that biological, psychological and sociocultural aspects contribute to the development of the illness. This means that anorexia – or any eating disorder, for that matter – is not a choice. There are clear causes of anorexia that individuals need to be aware of.
Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness
The most serious health risk of anorexia is an increased mortality rate. Other health risks associated with anorexia are also very serious, including:
Cardiac complications (ranging from irregular heart rhythms to heart failure)
Heart, kidney and liver failure
Low blood sugar
Constipation, bloating and other gastrointestinal issues
Amenorrhea (loss of menses in women)
Low testosterone (in males)
How is Anorexia Nervosa Treated?
At Eating Recovery Center, treatment for anorexia begins with medical and psychiatric stabilization, including nutrition, rest, medication and management of co-occurring conditions as needed to restore stability and sufficient awareness to engage in therapeutic treatment.
Is recovery from anorexia nervosa possible?
The good news is that, with proper treatment, a full and lasting recovery from anorexia is possible. If you think that you or a loved one might need help, please take our short anorexia self-assessment test or call us at 877-825-8584 to schedule a free, confidential consultation with an Eating Recovery Center Masters-level clinician.
Eating Recovery Center is the nation’s only vertically integrated healthcare system dedicated to the treatment of eating disorders, like anorexia, at all levels of care. ERC's anorexia treatment center includes inpatient treatment, residential treatment, partial hospitalization treatment and intensive outpatient treatment.