What is Anorexia Nervosa
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder where an individual may have distorted body image and have obsessive and intrusive thoughts over food and weight loss. Anorexia nervosa can be triggered by high-stress events happening in an individual’s life that are outside of their control causing them to turn to something that can be controlled.
Anorexia Nervosa Indicators
Indicators of anorexia nervosa can vary between individuals. The most common signs someone may be suffering from anorexia nervosa are:
- Weight loss of 15 percent
- Laxative use or forced vomiting after eating
Other signs someone may be suffering from anorexia nervosa can include:
- Exercising excessively (Characterized by exercising longer than the recommended 30 minutes a day.)
- Counting calories
- Distorted body image
Excessive exercise can become dangerous since the individual is not eating enough to sustain the body. There is no energy reserve, so when the individual suffering from anorexia nervosa exercises excessively, they are "burning off calories” that they do not have.
What to do if You Suspect Anorexia Nervosa
It is important to understand that a clinical diagnosis of anorexia nervosa can only be made by a healthcare professional. It is extremely important to always involve a medical professional whenever you feel that you or a loved one are beginning to battle any of these symptoms so that you or a loved one can receive the care needed. It’s never easy to watch a loved one or to be the individual battling an eating disorder. You are not alone in what you are battling and there are people who can help.