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Anorexia nervosa

Anxiety can affect your ability to concentrate.

What is anorexia nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder which causes severe weight loss.

In today's world, many people strive to be thin, often due to messages from the media about the dangers of obesity or images of celebrities.

But for people suffering from anorexia nervosa, the desire to be thin goes beyond the ideals of beauty or health and reflects a serious mental illness.

People with anorexia nervosa have an irrational fear of gaining weight and put themselves on restrictive diets and harsh, punishing exercise routines.

They have an unrealistic body image, like looking in a trick mirror, and see themselves as fat when they are in fact severely underweight.

Anorexia nervosa, like all eating disorders, also has important psychological and emotional factors that impact on the development and progression of the disorder.

Anorexia nervosa 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.

Treatment for anorexia nervosa can help an individual achieve a healthy weight and develop healthy eating habits, as well as addressing the psychological and emotional factors that impact on wellbeing. It's important to see a doctor as soon as possible, as identifying the condition, offers the best chances of recovery.

Where to get help

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

 

Last reviewed: October 2015

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Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become fragile, leading to a higher risk of breaks or fractures. A minor bump or fall can be enough to cause a break in someone with osteoporosis. People with anorexia nervosa are at increased risk of developing osteoporosis. This factsheet explains how anorexia nervosa can affect your bones, how to find out if you are at risk of osteoporosis, and what you can do to help protect your bone health

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Anorexia nervosa is a mental and eating disorder that makes people lose too much weight. Read about signs of anorexia and how to get help for your child.

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What is anorexia nervosa? | Eating disorders | ReachOut Australia

Anorexia nervosa is a type of eating disorder with some unique characteristics, such as an obsessive fear of gaining weight, distorted body image and low body weight.

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Eating disorders - myDr.com.au

Anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa are 2 main forms of eating disorders. These illnesses mainly affect young females.

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Eating Disorders in Australia

Eating disorders including anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder have a significant and underestimated impact on Australian society.

Read more on NEDC - National Eating Disorders Collaboration website

Anorexia nervosa: Australian treatment guide for consumers and carers, 2005

This treatment clinical practice guideline is for adolescents and adults who have anorexia nervosa or who believe they are at risk of developing it. The guide contains research on anorexia nervosa and recommendations from recovered consumers to assist you to choose the best kind of treatment.

Read more on Department of Health website

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