Anorexia an-o-REK-see-uh nervosa — often simply called anorexia — is an eating disorder characterized by an abnormally low body weight, an intense fear of gaining weight and a distorted perception of weight. People with anorexia place a high value on controlling their weight and shape, using extreme efforts that tend to significantly interfere with their lives. To prevent weight gain or to continue losing weight, people with anorexia usually severely restrict the amount of food they eat. They may control calorie intake by vomiting after eating or by misusing laxatives, diet aids, diuretics or enemas. They may also try to lose weight by exercising excessively. No matter how much weight is lost, the person continues to fear weight gain.
9 Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa
9 Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia nervosa, commonly called anorexia, is a serious eating disorder in which a person adopts unhealthy and extreme methods to lose weight or avoid gaining weight. A complex variety of factors influence the development of anorexia. Reasons for developing anorexia can be different for each person and may include genetics, past trauma, other mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression. People at the highest risk of developing anorexia include females in their teenage and young adult years, although men and older women are also at risk 1 , 2.
Eating disorders in adult women
Heather Purdin had run out of options. Aged 33, she had been suffering from anorexia nervosa for more than two decades and her weight had plummeted to that of a small child, an all-time low for her. Her case worker, out of frustration and desperation, suggested hospice care as a way to spend her remaining days in relative comfort. But for the first time in years, Heather was sure of one thing: She desperately wanted to live. Treating anorexia, which is characterized by self-starvation and an inability to maintain an adequate body weight, seems absurdly simple on the surface: Just eat and gain weight.
Anorexia nervosa AN is a serious psychiatric disorder that often follows a protracted course, and continues to confound those who attempt treatment once the patient has reached adulthood. Several randomized clinical trials for adults with AN have tested well-known therapies such as cognitive behavior therapy, supportive psychotherapies, or focal psychodynamic therapy, all of which have delivered frustratingly few helpful treatment strategies. Perhaps a different path could be pursued where we do not aim to cure all patients with one or two of these well-trodden therapies, Instead, a more targeted alternative, testing several novel approaches, could collectively reach a larger cohort of patients suffering from AN, the most lethal of all psychiatric disorders. Anorexia nervosa AN is a serious psychiatric disorder and often follows a protracted course Wonderlich et al. This is especially true for adults with this debilitating disorder, as most randomized controlled trials RCTs of outpatient psychotherapy or pharmacotherapy for adults with AN have provided few treatment guidelines, and more often inconclusive findings e.