Patient & Visitor InformationContact Us
  • Articles and Tips

  • Secret Starvation

  • Secretly StarvingAnorexia nervosa is an eating disorder of self-starvation and emaciation that leads to the loss of 15% to 60% of normal body weight. People with anorexia usually lose weight by reducing their total food intake and exercising excessively.

    Many anorexics restrict their daily intake to 1,000 calories or less. Most avoid fattening, high-calorie foods and eliminate red meat or meat altogether. The diet of persons with anorexia may consist almost completely of low-calorie vegetables.

    People with anorexia nervosa have extreme anxiety about being overweight, even if they are quite thin. Anorexia nervosa is the third most common chronic illness in adolescent women and is estimated to occur in 0.5% to 3% of all teenagers. Though it primarily affects teenage girls, the incidence of anorexia has increased threefold in young adult women over the past forty years. Although 90% of reported cases of anorexia are in women, the rate in men appears to be increasing. Because men are more likely to conceal eating disorders than are women, incidences simply may be underreported

    Common signs of anorexia:

    • Preoccupation with food and weight
    • Believing oneself is fat, even if very thin
    • Nails and hair become brittle and skin becomes dry and yellow
    • Depression
    • Sensitivity to cold
    • Development of long, fine hair on the body
    • Loss of scalp hair
    • Absent or irregular menstruation
    • Development of strange eating habits such as cutting food into tiny pieces, refusing to eat in front of others, or fixing elaborate meals for others
    • Constant exercising

    Causes and complications of anorexia