Anorexia Nervosa - What Happens
Anorexia almost always begins with a plan to follow a strict weight-loss
diet. Limiting foods then leads to malnutrition and unhealthy weight loss.
malnutrition sets in, the brain and
metabolism change. This limits the appetite, how your
body uses food, and your ability to think clearly and make good
decisions. As the illness gets worse, irrational behaviors begin, such as making rules about food or making yourself vomit out of fear of gaining weight (bulimia).
Starvation and malnourishment from anorexia can cause
complications, such as
osteoporosis or an
irregular heartbeat. Often
other mental health conditions occur along with anorexia, such as
Early treatment works best
After anorexia starts, returning to normal eating is very hard without help. When left untreated, anorexia
can last for a lifetime.
Early treatment of anorexia offers the best chance of recovery.
People who have anorexia tend
to strongly deny that they have a problem and are secretive about their eating. So their
family members or loved ones usually have to get help for them.