Anorexia News

Anorexia nervosa is the inability to keep body weight within 15 percent of a person's ideal body weight or higher, but in reality the disease is more complex than that. Typical signs of anorexia include a severely distorted body image and an intense fear of gaining weight, often coupled with very little eating. Many with anorexia nervosa are in denial about the seriousness of the disorder. As both an eating disorder and a mental illness, anorexia nervosa is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition for those who have it.

Who Is Susceptible

Anorexia is most common among adolescent girls and young women, though it can affect both genders and all ages, as well. There seems to be a strong genetic component to anorexia: If someone in your family has it, you have a 10 times greater likelihood of developing it yourself. Outside stressors and social influences, as well as chemical factors in the brain and body, also play a role in your chances of developing anorexia.

Symptoms of Anorexia

Symptoms of anorexia typically start with the mental issue of distorted body image: Even if they're a healthy weight, people with anorexia see themselves as overweight or even obese. This attitude leads to severe caloric restrictions and sometimes intense exercise to further help with weight loss.

As the situation continues, the result can be more serious physical symptoms developing. Women will stop menstruating. Hair and nails become brittle, the skin becomes dry and yellow and the body is always cold. Extreme lethargy and weakness will follow because of the lack of nutrition. In extreme instances, the severe malnutrition can lead to damage to vital organs and even death.


The good news is that anorexia is highly treatable, and most symptoms are reversible with proper nutrition. Treatment for anorexia typically includes behavioral therapy, group therapy and, in some instances, medication to treat related factors like anxiety and depression. In more severe cases, hospitalization and feeding tube treatments may be needed to return someone to better health before starting other treatments.

SOURCES: National Alliance on Mental Illness; National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders

Date Posted
Article Title
That Store Mannequin May Be Anorexic

British study finds measurements of most are similar to 'extremely underweight' women

Study Links Celiac Disease, Anorexia

Chances of being diagnosed with eating disorder were higher in those with gluten intolerance

Keep an Eye Out for Eating Disorders in Loved Ones

If you suspect someone has a problem, be careful not to shame or criticize, eating disorder expert says

Eating Disorders Rampant on the Runway

Over half of models surveyed said they'd been asked to lose weight or change their body shape

Many Women With Eating Disorders Do Recover, Study Finds

But it may take years or longer, researchers acknowledge

Eating Disorders Seem More Common in Schools Where Girls Predominate

And schools with kids from more educated parents also had higher rates, study found

Brain Stimulation May Help People With Anorexia

Depression treatment cut urge to restrict food, study says

Study Confirms Eating Disorders' Deadly Toll

Those with anorexia 5 times more at risk of early death; bulimia also increases the risk, researchers say

Kids Now Find More Anti-Anorexia Videos on YouTube Than 'Pro-Ana' Ones

Social media analysis uncovers some good news

Bullies May Face Higher Odds of Eating Disorders: Study

Risk of anorexia or bulimia significantly higher than for kids not involved in bullying

Frequent Self-Weighing by Young Women Linked to Depression

Study also finds more trips to the scale lead to greater body dissatisfaction, lower self-esteem

Migraine Drug May Up Risk of Eating Disorders in Some Teens

Case reports don't prove the medicine caused problems, however

Brains of Those With Anorexia React Differently to Hunger Signals

Study also finds changes in areas that regulate self-control

For Anorexic Men, the Focus Is on Muscle

Collected data shows a 'paradox,' with men becoming malnourished as they try to bulk up

Even Normal-Weight Teens Can Have Dangerous Eating Disorders, Study Finds

Researchers saw a nearly 6-fold rise in patients who met all criteria of anorexia except being underweight

Men With Eating Disorders Often Ignore Symptoms

British study finds that too many males associate anorexia, bulimia as only a woman's issue

'Love Hormone' May Help Those With Anorexia

Small, preliminary study found it lowered levels of obsession with images of food and obesity

Magnetic Brain Stimulation Shows Promise Against Eating Disorders

Small study found almost half of those with anorexia, bulimia had symptom relief

Bodybuilding Boys Often Try Drugs and Alcohol, Study Finds

Preoccupation with body image can lead to risky behaviors, researcher says

For Obese Kids, Weight Loss Can Sometimes Lead to Eating Disorders

Problems like anorexia may go undiagnosed or be disregarded, case studies show

Urging Your Partner to Diet May Backfire

Response could be unhealthy, such as fasting, taking diet pills or binge eating, study finds

Focus on Health, Not Fat, in Food Talks With Kids

Teens whose parents harped about weight gain tended to have more unhealthy eating behaviors, study shows

Brain 'Pacemaker' May Help Ease Tough-to-Treat Anorexia

In very small study, deep brain stimulation helped women regain weight, curb problem behaviors

U.S. Kids Might Not Be Over-Medicated After All

Study found 14% of teens with conditions like ADHD are treated with psychiatric drugs

Anorexics Can't Judge Own Body Size: Study

But they can size up others accurately, researchers noted

Eating Disorders Hitting Women Over 50, Study Finds

Researcher says new treatment strategies needed to target this older population

Life Transitions May Trigger Eating Disorders

People with anorexia, bulimia pinpoint break-ups, the death of loved ones as triggers

Eating Disorders Can Harm Women's Fertility

Anorexic and bulimic patients twice as likely as other women to seek help getting pregnant: study

Eating Disorders May Raise Risk of Depression in Pregnancy

Screening for mental health problems, abuse should be routine part of prenatal care, researchers say

Bringing Partner Into Anorexia Treatment May Aid Recovery

In novel program, involvement of husband or boyfriend helped women beat the disorder, researchers say

Hormone Linked to Absence of Periods in Women With Low Body Fat

Lack of leptin contributes to condition, but a synthetic hormone may help, study suggests

Eating Disorders More Prevalent Than Thought Among American Teens

Related social impairment, suicidal thoughts make this a major public health concern, researchers say

Self-Drawings May Reveal Hidden Eating Disorders

Women with anorexia or bulimia tend to sketch their body features differently, researchers say

Wild Hogs in Texas Pose Infection Risk to Humans

Use caution when handling wild game, officials urge

Rate of Eating Disorders in Kids Keeps Rising

Anorexia and bulimia showing up more often in boys, minorities, experts report

Anorexia Linked With Unplanned Pregnancies

Patients may mistakenly assume they can't conceive, researchers say

People With Anorexia May Risk Serious Eye Damage

It's unclear whether macular damage will progress to blindness, researchers say

Anorexic Teens May Gain From Whole-Family Treatment

Instead of blaming parents, these experts involve them in recovery process

Eating Disorders, Addictions Tough to Treat in Teens

What works in adult patients may not help younger people, experts say

Pro-Eating Disorder Sites Abound on the Internet

Online 'thinspiration' is a mouse click away for vulnerable youth, study finds

Brain Volume Lost to Anorexia Reversible

Gray matter can rebound after treatment and weight gain, researchers say

Many With Serious Eating Disorders Could Go Undiagnosed

Too-rigid guidelines miss urgent cases of anorexia, bulimia, researchers say

With Anorexia, Body May Hoard Fat in Bones

Finding may help explain osteoporosis among those with the eating disorder

Using Cell Phones, Internet to Battle Eating Disorders

Online and text messages might be more helpful than therapy for some, researchers suggest

Depressed Teens Continue to Suffer

Those with mild depression more likely to suffer major episode later, researchers say