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Anorexia Nervosa Symptoms & Diagnosis

Symptoms

Symptoms may include:

  • Excessive weight loss
  • Obsession with food, calories, and fat content
  • Dieting even when thin
  • Intense fear of gaining weight, even when underweight
  • Body dysmorphia—distorted self-image of being overweight despite evidence to the contrary
  • Basing self-evaluation heavily on body weight or shape
  • Loss of menstrual periods (secondary amenorrhea ) or delay in menarche (onset of periods)
  • Excessive exercising
  • Feeling cold, especially hands and feet
  • Being secretive about food
  • Hair loss and/or growth of fine hair on the body
  • Fainting or severe light-headedness
  • Constipation
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Heart palpitations

Anorexia often leads to a number of serious medical problems including:

  • Amenorrhea (loss of periods)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Cardiac problems—can be fatal

Body Dysmorphia

Anorexia
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Art, Inc.

Diagnosis

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. There will also be psychological tests. There may be lab tests. Findings may include:

  • Excessive loss of body fat
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Low heart rate
  • Low blood pressure, particularly when standing
  • Decreased bone density
  • Signs of sluggish metabolism

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2019 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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