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Know about Anorexia

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Know about Anorexia

Anorexia nervosa which is also known as Anorexia  is a psychological eating disorder characterized by a low weight, fear of gaining weight which is extreme and needless weight loss, a strong desire to be thin and food restriction. Anorexia may also refers to self-starvation and lack of appetite. Poeple suffering with Anorexia feel that they are overweight though they are under weight.

There are two types of Anorexia mainly

  • Binge/Purge Type
  • Restrictive type

Symptoms related to Anorexia are

  • They deny the fact that they are low weight
  • They also weigh them self frequently
  • They eat only small amounts, and only eat certain foods
  • They exercise frequently
  • They fear about gaining weight
  • They have strong desire to be thin
  • Hypokalaemia, a drop in the level of potassium which leads to  abnormal heart rhythms, constipation, fatigue, muscle damage and paralysis.
  • Low body mass index
  • Amenorrhea
  • Rapid and continuous weight loss
  • Lanugo : A soft, fine hair growing over the face and body.
  • They may use  laxatives, diet pills, ipecac syrup, or water pills to flush food out of their system after eating
  • Depression, anxiety disorders and insomnia.
  • Halitosis
  • Chronic fatigue etc.,

Causes of Anorexia

  • Genetics
  • Obstetric complications
  • Neuroendocrine dysregulation
  • Gastrointestinal diseases
  • Irregular hormone functions
  • Nutritional deficiencies

Complications regarding Anorexia

  • Anemia
  • Infertility
  • heart damage
  • Osteoporosis
  • In females, absence of a period
  • Kidney problems
  • Suicide tendency


Diagnosis of Anorexia based on assessments include symptoms, family history, The assessment also includes a mental state examination, person’s current mood and thought content, focusing on views on weight and patterns of eating.

Medical tests include Complete blood count, Urinalysis, Glucose tolerance test, Serum cholinesterase, Liver Function Test, Lh response to GnRH, Creatine Kinase Test, Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) test, BUN-to-creatinine ratio, Electrocardiogram, Electroencephalogram, Thyroid Screen etc are some test done regarding Anorexia.

In some cases the correct diagnosis was not made for more than ten years. The distinction between the diagnoses of anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) is often difficult to make as there is considerable overlap between people diagnosed with these conditions


Early intervention and treatment are more effective regarding anorexia

  • Restoring the person to a healthy weight;
  • Treating the psychological disorders
  • eliminating behaviours related to illness
  • Diet play essential factor to work on in people with anorexia nervosa, People must consume adequate calories, starting slowly, and increasing at a measured pace.
  • Pharmaceuticals have limited benefit for anorexia itself

Medications do not help with weight gain, they may be used to help with associated anxiety or depression.

Types of therapy helps in treating Anorexia

  •  Maudsley family therapy
  •  cognitive behavioral therapy

Sometimes people require admission to hospital to restore weight.

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