Affecting both men and women, anorexia nervosa (or anorexia for short) is a serious, potentially life threatening medical disorder. In fact, people diagnosed with anorexia are 10 times as likely to die as those without. But what is anorexia exactly?
What is anorexia?
Anorexia is a mental disorder accompanied by physical complications that is best characterized as a deep fear of being overweight or being too large. This fear is persistent, and results in limiting food, as well as attempting to lose weight to the point of being severely unhealthy. During anorexia, limiting food is also characterized as an attempt to cope with anxiety, anger, and stress.
Despite being extremely thin and underweight, a person with anorexia still believes deeply that he or she is still overweight. Any attempts to have a normal, healthy body weight are resisted, to the point of starvation. In order to lose weight or to limit their food intake, people with anorexia may resort to extreme and unhealthy eating or exercise habits including:
Other medical problems are associated with anorexia, including anxiety, depression, heart failure, kidney failure, and substance abuse. Additionally, anorexia during pregnancy may result in a miscarriage, stillbirth, or early birth. But who is at risk of developing this very serious condition? Click here to learn more about causes of anorexia now.
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