Anorexia Nervosa is an illness that with early care can be cured. Typically, Anorexia affects over 1% of teenaged girls each year aged 13 – 17, but it also affects boys and men as well as adult women.
Individuals with Anorexia Nervosa are unable to maintain a body weight that is expected for their age and height. Most clinicians use 85% of normal weight as a guide.
Individuals with Anorexia Nervosa usually exhibit a pronounced fear of weight gain and a dread of becoming fat although they are substantially underweight. Concerns about their weight and body image have a negative impact and powerful influence on their self-esteem. The weight loss and its health implications are usually denied or minimized. Anorexia may be associated with anxiety, depression, OCD, low self-esteem, substance dependence and often-times self-injurious behaviors such as cutting.
The diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa includes two subtypes of the disorder that describe two different behavioral patterns. Individuals with the restricting type maintain low body weight by restricting food intake and sometimes increasing or decreasing exercise. Those with the binge-eating/purging type of Anorexia restrict food intake but also engage in self-induced vomiting or the use of laxatives, diuretics or enemas.