Anorexia is an eating disorder which is characterized by unusually low body weight, food self-deprivation, a severe fear of gaining weight, and a craving to be thin. Even though people suffering from anorexia are underweight, they consider themselves as obese. Anorexic people are often in self-denial concerning their low body weight.
Signs that someone is anorexic include the following:
- They frequently weigh themselves.
- They eat small amounts of food.
- They only eat certain foods.
- They exercise excessively.
- They force themselves to throw up.
- They might use laxatives so that they can lose weight.
As a consequence, anorexia may lead to severe health problems. The complications may include among other things:
- Osteoporosis (bone loss).
- Heart damage.
- In males, reduced levels of testosterone.
- In women, absence of menstrual periods.
- Kidney problems.
Psychologically, people suffering from anorexia are often depressed.
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