Anorexia Nervosa


What is anorexia nervosa? Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder. You weigh much less than your normal body weight should be. You lose weight by eating very little food, vomiting to avoid weight gain, and exercising too much. The weight loss is not related to another medical condition.

What are the signs and symptoms of anorexia nervosa?

What increases my risk for anorexia nervosa? Anorexia happens most often during teenage years. The following may increase your risk:

What tests are needed for anorexia nervosa?

How is anorexia nervosa treated? An important part of treatment is understanding that you have a serious, life-threatening medical condition. Treatment may need to take place in a hospital or clinic. The goal of treatment is to give and maintain the right amount of nutrition your body needs. You will need to see a therapist who is trained to help people with eating disorders. You may need to meet with a therapist alone, in a group, or with your family. Ask your healthcare provider for information about these and other types of treatment for anorexia nervosa:

Which medicines may be used to treat anorexia nervosa? Medicines may be given in addition to cognitive and nutritional therapies.

What are the risks of anorexia nervosa? You are at risk for dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. You can have abnormal heartbeats. Repeated vomiting can damage your throat and stomach. Your bones may become weak and lead to bone pain and fractures. You can develop life-threatening heart or kidney problems.

Where can I go for support and more information?

When should I contact my healthcare provider? Contact your healthcare provider if:

When should I seek immediate care? Seek care immediately or call 911 if:


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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