Anorexia nervosa (say
"an-uh-RECK-see-uh nur-VOH-suh") is a type of
eating disorder. People who have anorexia have an
intense fear of gaining weight. They severely limit the amount of food they eat
and can become dangerously thin.
Anorexia affects both the body
and the mind. It may start as dieting, but it gets out of control. You think
about food, dieting, and weight all the time. You have a distorted body image.
Other people say you are too thin, but when you look in the mirror, you see a
Anorexia usually starts in the teen years. Early
treatment can be very effective. But if not treated early, anorexia can become
a lifelong problem. Untreated anorexia can lead to starvation and serious
health problems, such as bone thinning (osteoporosis),
kidney damage, and heart problems. Some people die from these problems.
If you or someone you know has anorexia, get help right away. The longer
this problem goes on, the harder it is to overcome. With treatment, a person
with anorexia can feel better and stay at a healthy weight.
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