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Anorexia Nervosa - Cause

The cause of anorexia nervosa is not fully understood. It is thought to develop from a mix of physical, emotional, and social triggers.

  • Extreme dieting changes how the brain and metabolism work, and it stresses the body. These changes may make you more likely to develop an eating disorder.
  • Genetics play a big part in anorexia and bulimia. Compared with people who don't have these disorders, people who have eating disorders are more likely to have a family history of an eating disorder, obesity, or a mood disorder (such as anxiety or depression).
  • A combination of certain personality traits (such as low self-confidence along with perfectionism) and cultural and social pressures can play a part in anorexia.
  • For some teens, anorexia may be a way of coping with stress and the challenges of the teen years. Stressful life events, such as moving, divorce, or the death of a loved one, can trigger anorexia.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: August 25, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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