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Anorexia nervosa

2-minute read

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that involves very low weight, a distorted body image and an obsessive fear of gaining weight.

People with anorexia nervosa may see themselves as being heavy or large when they are really severely underweight. They follow restrictive diets and harsh, punishing exercise routines.

Anorexia nervosa is a serious mental illness where people control food as a way of controlling areas of their lives or dealing with emotions. It can lead to malnutrition and serious health problems which can be life threatening.

A person with anorexia nervosa can fully recover from their disorder with help. But it's important to see a doctor as soon as possible. The sooner the condition is diagnosed and treated, the better the chances of recovery.

Treatment for anorexia nervosa can help someone achieve a healthy weight and develop healthy eating habits, as well as addressing any psychological or emotional issues.

Where to get help

If you or someone you know might have anorexia nervosa, contact the following organisations for support, information and counselling:

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Last reviewed: June 2019

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