How Do I Know If Someone Has Anorexia?
Possible warning signs include:
- Significant weight loss
- Intense fear of getting fat
- Turning away food
- Denying hunger
- Constant and excessive exercise
- Cold sensitivity
- Absent or irregular menstrual periods
- Hair loss
- Tooth decay
- Social isolation
- Vomiting or misuse of laxatives, diuretics, or enemas
What Are the Treatments for Anorexia?
Successful treatment usually includes continuous medical care, regular therapy, nutritional counseling, and sometimes medication. Although certain antidepressants are sometimes used to treat anorexia, they are not always effective, and no medication is FDA approved to treat it.
Doctors should pay attention to bone loss, electrolyte levels in the blood, and heart function. Psychologists and other types of mental health professionals can help a person let go of self-destructive thoughts and behaviors and adopt a more positive outlook. Support groups of other recovering anorexics -- when properly moderated by a mental-health professional -- can also be very helpful.
Treatment usually is successful, but it doesn't work overnight. Long-term psychological and medical attention usually is needed.