What is anorexia?
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that is characterized by self-starvation to achieve and maintain abnormally low body weight. This is often accompanied by an intense fear of weight gain and a distorted body image.
Individuals who struggle with anorexia try to control and minimize their caloric intake by severely limiting the amount of food they eat. Other methods used to control weight include vomiting after eating, excessive exercise, diet supplements (often used in place of food), laxatives, and enemas.
While weight management and maintaining a healthy weight can help your general wellness, eating disorders like anorexia are extremely dangerous and sometimes life-threatening. An eating disorder - like anorexia - is more easily linked to emotional distress and an unhealthy self-image rather than actual weight management.
Anorexia can be a life-threatening condition if left untreated. If you or someone you know is dealing with sudden weight loss, distorted thinking about food and eating, or other symptoms of anorexia, talk to a health care provider right away.
Looking for help? Use the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders’ helpline to talk to a qualified professional right away. The helpline can be reached at 888-375-7767.