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Anorexia Nervosa


Early Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa

   Low self-esteem
   Misperceptions of hunger, satiety & other bodily functions
   Feelings of lack of control
   Distorted body image

Middle Stage Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa

   Over achiever
   Menstrual cycle stops (Amenorrhea)
   Progressive preoccupation with food & eating
   Isolation from family & friends
   Perfectionist behavior
   Compulsive behavior
   Eat alone
   Fights with family
   Overeating (may begin to cook & control family eating)
   Increased facial & body hair
   Decreased scalp hair

Crucial Stage Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa

   Thin, dry scalp
   Emaciated appearance (loss of 25% or more of total body weight)
   Feeling of control over body
   Fear of food
   Fear of gaining weight
   Mood swings
   Diminished capacity to think
   Sensitivity to cold
   Electrolyte imbalance
   Lassitude cardi arrest
   Denial of a problem
   Joint pain
   Difficulty walking & sitting
   Sleep disturbance
   Fear of food & gaining weight

(These symptoms are taken from the following website:

  How Anorexia Nervosa Affects the Body

Source Citation: "Eating Disorders." Caroline M. Levchuck, Jane Kelly Kosek, and Michele Drohan. Healthy Living. Allison McNeill, Editor. Farmington Hills, Mich.: UXL, 2000.

"Anorexia causes many physical problems. For instance, it upsets the normal functions of hormones. For girls, this means the body is unable to produce enough of the female hormone estrogen because it does not have enough fat. This will cause an absence of menstrual cycles, called amenorrhea. For boys, anorexia causes a decrease in the production of the male hormone testosterone, which results in a loss of sexual interest.

An anorectic body lacks the protective layer of fat it needs to stay warm. To compensate for the lack of fat, lanugo (fine hair) will grow all over the body to keep it warm. Another problem anorexia causes is a decrease in bone mass. The body needs calcium for strong bones. Since an anorectic is not eating enough food, which is the source of calcium, the body's bones suffer and weaken. Later in life, this could result in a dangerous bone disease called osteoporosis.

Additionally, without the fuel it needs, an anorectic's body will respond as if it is being assaulted and begins to fight back in order to survive. To survive the body must have energy, but because the body has no food to turn into energy, it seeks out the muscles, and eventually, the organs (heart, kidney, and brain) for sustenance--often causing permanent damage to the organs in the process. This is the most serious consequence of anorexia and can possibly lead to cardiac arrest and/or kidney failure, both of which can result in death."

Eating Disorders CAN KILL YOU !!!!!!!