Anorexia is an eating disorder characterized by restriction of food intake, leading to low body weight, typically accompanied by intense fear of gaining weight and disturbed perception of body weight and image. It is an abnormal loss of the appetite for food.
Anorexia can be caused by cancer, AIDS, a mental disorder (i.e., anorexia nervosa), or other diseases. Some risk factors for developing an eating disorder are:
1. Striving to be perfect in one or more areas
2. Low self-esteem
3. Poor body image
4. Social pressure to be thin
5. Problems coping and dealing with stress
7. Challenges in relationships with friends and/or family
8. Abuse or trauma
10. Taking part in a sport or activity that puts a lot of emphasis on weight or size (modeling, ballet, gymnastics, wrestling)
11. Type 1 diabetes
It is usually self-diagnosable.
Symptoms include trying to maintain a below-normal weight through starvation or too much exercise.
People may experience whole body dehydration, dizziness, fainting, fatigue, low blood pressure, low body temperature, osteoporosis, water-electrolyte imbalance, or feeling cold.
Behavioural symptoms include binge eating, compulsive behaviour, hyperactivity, impulsivity, or social isolation
Weight-related symptoms include underweight, weight loss, or extreme weight loss and thinness.
Mood swings, anxiety, apprehension, or guilt can also be signs.
Gastrointestinal symptoms are constipation or vomiting.
Irregular menstruation or absence of menstruation are also symptoms.
Developmental symptoms are delayed puberty or slow growth.
Also common signs are brittle nails, bruising, depression, dieting, dry hair, dry skin, headache, sensitivity to cold, or slow heart rate.