Anorexia nervosa is a serious eating disorder, in which people more or less starve themselves. These people are also extremely skinny. They have a distorted image of their own body, a great fear of being fat and do not try to persue a normal body weight. Anorexia nervosa can have serious physical consequences and even cause death.


The exact cause of anorexia nervosa is not known, but there are some risk factors:


Anorexia nervosa can have physical consequences and can cause problems on emotional and social level. The physical signs and symptoms are:

The social and emotional consequences are:


Anorexia nervosa is usually determined on the basis of severe weight loss and the characteristic psychological symptoms. The average anorexia patient is usually a girl in adolescence, who has lost at least fifteen percent of her body weight, is afraid of overweight, is not menstruating anymore, denies that she is sick and seems to be otherwise healthy.


The treatment of the disease is difficult and long-lasting. Various forms of psychotherapy and psychiatric treatment are used and, in case of severe malnutrition, also intravenous administration of nutrition. Anorexia can be treated in several ways:


Even with treatment it can take weeks or even many months before any improvement can be seen. And it can take many years before people with anorexia are completely cured. However, many people continue to have problems with eating, even after the treatment, but they are more in control and able to lead a happier and qualitative better life.
Some people with anorexia nervosa unfortunately die from the disease. Causes of death include infections, dehydration, blood chemical imbalances (such as low potassium levels) and also suicide.