Anorexia is an eating disorder and a serious mental health illness. People suffering with Anorexia develop very low body weight due to restricting their intake of food and calories.
There are many symptoms that patients can suffer with relating to Anorexia. People with anorexia try to keep their body weight very low and they may do this through several methods including severely restricting what they eat, exercising excessively and/or inducing vomiting.
Signs that suggest someone may be trying to limit their intake in a worrying way include eating very little and missing meals, taking laxatives or tablets to suppress their appetite, being very focused on weight and fixating on thinking that the are overweight when they are actually slim.
Anorexia is often associated with other mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
We don't know exactly what causes anorexia and there may be several factors in a persons life that can make them more likely to develop anorexia. Genetics and personality characteristics may be important in why some people develop anorexia. It is also thought that the social environment might contribute to the development of anorexia and triggers for this could be trauma, stress and family difficulties.
In treating anorexia it is important to get help at the earliest opportunity. Sometime the person suffering with anorexia can find it difficult to understand that they have a problem and other close family members or friends may be the first people to notice.
Treatment of anorexia usually needs referral to a specialist within the mental health services and it is very important to involve the whole family in the treatment process. Your GP can provide support for you and your family along the way.