"A study by the National Associate of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders reported that approximately 15% of those suffering from anorexia die within ten years after contracting the disorder, 20% will die after 20 years due to premature complications related to their eating disorder, and up to 40% have full recovery."

 

These startling statistics shows the need to provide appropriate treatment to battle this disease. Eating disorders are deadly diseases and identifying warning signs can mean the difference between life and death for you or your loved one.

 

Anorexia is characterized by behaviors including self-induced starvation, restricting calorie intake, restricting/fearing certain types of food, and having a distorted body image accompanied by excessive weight loss. Individuals with anorexia have difficulty maintaining an appropriate weight due to the tremendously debilitating fear of weight gain or becoming fat, even when they are underweight.

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PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS

  • Significant Weight loss

  • Brittle nails

  • Thinning hair or hair loss,

  • Lanugo (the growth of soft, fine body and facial hair)

  • Dizziness and possible fainting

  • Amenorrhea (Irregular or loss of menstrual cycle)

  • Cold Intolerance

  • Poor circulation (hands & feet)

  • Feeling extremely full from a small amount of food

  • Chronic constipation

  • Fatigue/Fainting

  • Difficult concentrating

  • Poor memory

  • Stomach distended

  • Swelling

  • Low blood pressure

  • Anemia

  • Pale Skin

BEHAVIOR SYMPTOMS

  • Perfectionism

  • Restriction in daily caloric intake

  • Intense fear of weight gain

  • Feelings of guilt from eating

  • Food rituals

  • Distorted Body Image

  • Excuses constantly to not eat (individual will say he/she already ate when they did not)

  • Preoccupation with food, weight, calories, body image

  • Engages in preparing elaborate meals for others to eat but not themselves

  • Poor self-esteem

  • Withdrawn from friends and family

  • Denies reality of weight loss

  • Purging through vomiting/laxative/diuretics

  • Compulsive exercising

COMMON HEALTH CONCERNS

  • Electrolyte imbalance

  • Cardiac arrest

  • Gastrointestinal complications (chronic diarrhea, constipated, IBS)

  • Amenorrhea (Irregular or loss of menstrual cycle)

  • Stomach pain

  • Bloating

  • Bacterial Infections

  • Chronic Kidney issues/Failure

  • Neurological issues

 

Psychiatric conditions commonly co-occurring with anorexia may be combined with:

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Borderline Personality Disorder

  • Depression

  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

  • Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD)

  • Panic/Anxiety disorders

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

  • Substance Abuse

 

Coexisting disorders may be present in a diagnosis of Anorexia. Insure a complete evaluation for the eating disorder, to identify any co-morbid/coexisting disorders.

 

*Although these are typical symptoms please note, not all must be present to exhibit the severity of the eating disorder.

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