Anorexia nervosa is the third most common chronic condition among adolescent girls. Its onset is precipitated by issues related to adolescence, such as the struggle for independence and identity conflicts, and it is difficult to diagnose because symptoms are similar to normal teenage dietary fads.
If undetected and untreated, anorexia nervosa can cause osteoporosis, unhealthy hormone levels, and serious abnormalities in the cardiovascular system, among other problems. Strenuous dieting in any girl of normal weight is a danger sign.
As part of an annual examination your doctor should question your child about exercise and eating habits, check the child's height and weight, and pay particular attention to certain vital signs that can indicate poor nutrition.
For a list of local resources and more details about diagnosis and treatment, call 401-444-5980.
Bradley Hospital helps you deal with difficult parenting issues in these comprehensive reference sections:
Parents' Guide to Children's Mental Health
Have questions about common children's mental health problems? Download this one-stop resource for those answers plus information about advocacy organizations and support groups.
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