Anorexia Nervosa: Detection and Treatment

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Anorexia (an-oh-REK-see-uh) nervosa is an eating disorder that causes people to obsess about their weight and the food they eat. People with anorexia nervosa attempt to maintain a weight that's far below normal for their age and height. To prevent weight gain or to continue losing weight, people with anorexia nervosa may starve themselves or exercise excessively. (MayoClinic) Anorexia is a severe and possibly life threatening eating disorder. A person with anorexia will have an overwhelming fear of weight gain, disfigured body image, and often a serious denial of the illness. The effects of anorexia take the biggest toll on the body. The death rate of anorexia is the highest of any mental illness. Between 5% and 20% of people who have the disease will eventually die. (WebMD). Eating disorders are difficult to understand and medical professionals are unsure about what causes them. Possibilities include heredity, social aspects, and personality type and tendencies.

Anorexia affects less than 1% of the population. (WebMD). This eating disorder is most often found in teens but is not uncommon to be found in adults. About 9 out of 10 people with anorexia are female. However, boys are also victims of this disorder. (PsychCentral)

People who suffer from anorexia will weigh much less than a normal healthy person. Their greatest fear is gaining weight. Due to distorted body image, they see themselves as overweight even when they are thin. The National Association of Anorexia and Associated Disorders says “The problem has reached epidemic levels in America and effects everyone-young and old, rich and poor, women and men of all ages, races, and ethnicities.” Their statistics say “seven million women and one million men are sick with an eating disorder. More than 85% of victims report the onset of their disease by age twenty.” (National Institute of Mental Health)

Anorexia can be treated and early detection and treatment gives a patient with anorexia the best chance...
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