- Sex: female
- Age: adolescence or early adulthood
- Low self-esteem
- Feelings of helplessness
- Fear of becoming overweight
- Familial pressure to be thin
- Families that are overprotective, rigid, not involved, or in conflict
- Family history of eating disorders
- Emotional stress
- Mood disorders, such as depression or generalized anxiety disorder
- Personality disorders
- Influenced by social and fashion trends emphasizing or glamorizing thinness
- Excessive weight loss
- Obsession with food, calories, and fat content
- Dieting even when thin
- Intense fear of gaining weight, even when underweight
- Body dysmorphia—distorted self-image of being overweight despite evidence of the opposite
- Basing self-evaluation heavily on body weight or shape
- Loss of menstrual periods (secondary amenorrhea ) or delay in menarche (beginning of periods)
- Excessive exercising
- Feeling cold, especially hands and feet
- Being secretive about food
- Hair loss and/or growth of fine hair on the body
- Fainting or severe light-headedness
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Heart palpitations
- Amenorrhea (loss of periods)
- Cardiac problems—can be fatal
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- Excessive loss of body fat
- Loss of muscle mass
- Low heart rate
- Low blood pressure, particularly when standing
- Decreased bone density
- Signs of a slow metabolism
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Addressing Nutritional Status and Loss of Bone Density
- Vitamins and minerals to maintain adequate nutrition
- Hormone replacement to resume periods and prevent bone loss
- Weight is 25%-30% below ideal body weight
- There are signs of serious physical or emotional deterioration
National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders http://www.anad.org
National Eating Disorders Association http://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org
Canadian Mental Health Association http://www.cmha.ca
National Eating Disorder Information Center http://www.nedic.ca
Anorexia nervosa. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated October 3, 2012. Accessed November 5, 2012.
Anorexia nervosa fact sheet. Office on Women's Health website. Available at: http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/anorexia-nervosa.cfm . Updated June 15, 2009. Accessed November 5, 2012.
Casper RC. How useful are pharmacological treatments in eating disorders? Psychopharmacol Bulletin . 2002;36:88-104.
Ferri F, ed. Ferri’s Clinical Advisor 2010. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Elsevier; 2009.
Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Textbook of Internal Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders; 2008.
Lenders JW, Eisenhofer G, Mannelli M, et al. Phaeochromocytoma. Lancet . 2005;20-26,665-675.
Rakel R. Textbook of Family Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2007.
Rakel RE, Bope ET, Conn H. Conn's Current Therapy. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2009.
Stern TA. Massachusetts General Hospital Comprehensive Clinical Psychiatry. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Elsevier; 2008.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 11/2012 -
- Update Date: 11/05/2012 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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