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What is anorexia nervosa like?

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People with anorexia nervosa have an extreme fear of gaining weight. They often diet and exercise relentlessly, sometimes to the point of starvation. About one-third to one-half of anorexics also binge and purge by vomiting or misusing laxatives. People with anorexia have a distorted body image, thinking they are overweight when in fact they are underweight. They may count calories obsessively and only allow themselves tiny portions of certain specific foods. When confronted, someone with anorexia will often deny that there’s a problem. The signs of anorexia can be subtle at first, because it develops gradually. It may begin as an interest in dieting before an event like a school dance or a beach vacation. But as the disorder takes hold, preoccupation with weight intensifies. It creates a vicious cycle: The more weight the person loses, the more that person worries and obsesses about weight.

From: Signs of an Eating Disorder WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

National Institute of Mental Health: “Eating Disorders.”

Merck Manual: “Anorexia Nervosa;” “Bulimia Nervosa;” and “Binge Eating Disorder.”

National Eating Disorders Association.

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on August 17, 2017

SOURCES:

National Institute of Mental Health: “Eating Disorders.”

Merck Manual: “Anorexia Nervosa;” “Bulimia Nervosa;” and “Binge Eating Disorder.”

National Eating Disorders Association.

Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari on August 17, 2017

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What are the symptoms and behaviors common in people with anorexia?

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