Anorexia nervosa, often referred to simply as anorexia, is an eating disorder characterized by a low weight, fear of gaining weight, a strong desire to be thin, and food restriction
• Hypokalaemia, a drop in the level of potassium in the blood, is a sign of anorexia nervosa. A significant drop in potassium can cause abnormal heart rhythms, constipation, fatigue, muscle damage and paralysis.
• Normal body mass index for one's age
• Amenorrhea, a symptom that occurs after prolonged weight loss; causes menses to stop, hair becomes brittle, and skin becomes yellow and unhealthy.
• Obvious, rapid, dramatic weight loss to at least 15% under normal body weight
• Lanugo: soft, fine hair growing on the face and body
• Obsession with calories and fat content of food
• Food restriction despite being underweight
• Purging: May use laxatives, diet pills, ipecac syrup, or water pills; may engage in self-induced vomiting; may run to the bathroom after eating in order to vomit and quickly get rid of ingested calories
• Perception of self as overweight despite being told by others they are too thin
• Intolerance to cold and frequent complaints of being cold; body temperature may lower (hypothermia) in an effort to conserve energy
• Hypotension or orthostatic hypotension
• Solitude: may avoid friends and family; becomes withdrawn and secretive
• Abdominal distension
• Halitosis (from vomiting or starvation-induced ketosis)
• Dry hair and skin, as well as hair thinning
• Chronic fatigue
• Rapid mood swings
A diagnostic assessment includes:
• The person's current circumstances
• Biographical history
• Current symptoms
• Family history.
The assessment also includes a mental state examination, which is an assessment of the person's current mood and thought content, focusing on views on weight and patterns of eating.
Body mass index (BMI) is used by the DSM-5 as an indicator of the level of severity of anorexia nervosa. The DSM-5 states these as follows
• Mild: BMI of greater than 17
• Moderate: BMI of 16–16.99
• Severe: BMI of 15–15.99
• Extreme: BMI of less than 15
Treatment for anorexia nervosa tries to address three main areas.
• Restoring the person to a healthy weight;
• Treating the psychological disorders related to the illness;
• Reducing or eliminating behaviours or thoughts that originally led to the disordered eating
It can be treated by
Consult at Aadil Hospital for treatment.