DSM-IV Criteria for Anorexia Nervosa
A) Refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for age and height. Weight loss leading to maintenance of body weight less than 85% of that expected; or failure to make weight gain during period of growth leading to body weight less than 85% of that expected. B) Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat even though under -weight. C) Disturbance in the way one’s body weight or shape is experienced undue influence of body weight on self -evaluation or denial of the seriousness of the current low body weight. (DSM-IV) The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual contains 3 eating disorders Anorexia Nervosa Bulimia Nervosa and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. Although Anorexia Nervosa (AN) will be the focus of this report it is worth noting the 3 disorders are very similar and in fact Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified is the name given to the disorder when only 1 criterion for AN is missing for example if a patients weight loss is still in the normal range despite significant weight loss or if a patient still menstruates. Bulimia Nervosa is when the patient excessively over-eats and purges but does not experience significant weight loss. (Franco 2012) Main Symptoms
The main symptom is extreme thinness that has no medical cause and usually a pre-occupation with food. AN seems like a physical illness when in fact it is a psychological one. Heart-rhythm disturbances digestive abnormalities bone density loss anemia and hormonal and electrolyte imbalances are the most common physical symptoms and in severe cases organ failure can lead to death. The patient will very rarely present to the Doctor for treatment alone due to denial of having a problem being an intrinsic part of the illness. Young patients will often be taken to the Doctor by a concerned parent with the usual symptoms being a sudden withdrawal from family or friends and a lack of interest in formerly enjoyed...
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