Anorexia -some facts



Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that affects many women, some of whom go undiagnosed for years. Early diagnosis and treatment can improve the odds of recovery by a large percentage. Sometimes knowing the facts about anorexia can help both family, friends and providers to recognize the signs and symptoms.

  •  Anorexia nervosa appears more in the Caucasian and Hispanic female as opposed to the Black or Asian female.


  •  Anorexia nervosa is more prevalent in the age group of the 15-year-old to 23-year-old female although a younger age group is appearing at an alarming rate.


  • Excessive dieting and exercising can be seen in the anorexic leading to an extreme thinness in the body.


  •  On the average it is estimated that 1% of females in their teens and early 20s develops this eating disorder.


  • Studies have shown that 10% to 15% will die of complications arising from anorexia nervosa.


  •  Peer pressure and an ever-increasing emphasis of today’s model society seem to play a very real part in the development of anorexia nervosa.


  •  Anorexics have a slower and sometimes abnormal heart rate, low body temperature, electrolyte imbalances, and lower blood pressure.


  •  A sufferer will sometimes have a soft downy hair growth that is called lanugo on their arms and other body parts, which develops from lack of essential vitamins and minerals lacking in the diet.


  •  An anorexic patient will weigh 15% and sometimes greater percentage under the norm for their height and weight.


  • Women with anorexia nervosa will have lack of or an abnormal menstrual flow.


  •  Although typically seen in the female the male anorexic will be seen, but it is often misdiagnosed.


  • People with anorexia will severely limit their dietary intake even though wanting to eat and being very hungry out of fear of becoming fat.


  • People suffering from anorexia, even when dramatically thin, will see a distorted image when looking in the mirror and will see a very heavy person.


  • A person afflicted with anorexia nervosa has erosion of the tooth’s enamel and an increased incidence of cavities.


  • People with anorexia can sometimes develop kidney infections and kidney failure.


  • Studies have shown that genetics may or may not be attributed to the development of anorexia nervosa. Researchers theorize that a genetic component will make a woman or man more prone to using this method of controlling a stressful environment or answer the need for perfectionism.


  •  Even after a very small meal an anorexic will feel bloated most likely due to extreme shrinkage of their stomach.


  •  Studies have shown that 50% of all anorexics will suffer from bone thinning or otherwise known as osteoporosis.


  •  A person with anorexia nervosa will often shield themselves from the outside and will avoid social gatherings due to fear of being in an “eating” situation.


  •  An individual suffering from anorexia nervosa will often have intolerance to cold temperatures due to low body weight.


  •  In the younger person with anorexia nervosa growth may be slowed and cause short stature,


  •  In severe cases of anorexia nervosa hospitalization may be required.


  •  In some cases of anorexia nervosa medication may be needed to treat underlying depression or an obsessive-compulsive disorder which thereby complicates this psychiatric illness. 


  • Proper medical treatment involving physicians, psychiatric professionals, family and friends play an important role in the success of the person who is diagnosed with anorexia nervosa.
  •  It is estimated that only 4 out of every 10 person afflicted with anorexia nervosa will make a full recovery.



Womens Health: Anorexia Nervosa Fact Sheet


Operation Beautiful: Fact Sheet


National Alliance on Mental Illness: Anorexia Nervosa Fact Sheet


Health and Wellbeing: Anorexia Fact sheet


National Eating Disorder Collaboration: Anorexia Nervosa


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