Anorexia Nervosa

More information about Anorexia Nervosa can be found below.

What is Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa is a serious, potentially life-threatening psychiatric diagnosis that describes disordered eating. Anorexia Nervosa is a mixture of neurobiological, psychological, and sociological factors that is characterized by low body weight and a poor body image. Individuals who are anorexic are obsessed with their weight and they are afraid of gaining weight. Individuals with anorexia are known to control body weight commonly through the means of voluntary starvation. Like bulimia patients, they may also purge, exercise excessively or control weight by consuming diet pills or diuretic drugs. While the condition primarily affects adolescent females, approximately 10% of people with the diagnosis are male.
Health Effects:

  • Changes in brain structure and function.
  • Stunting of growth
  • Amenorrhea (See Amenorrhea)
  • Slow heart rate (bradycardia), hypotension, hypothermia and anemia
  • Abnormalities of mineral and electrolyte levels in the body
  • Thinning of the hair
  • Constantly feeling cold
  • Zinc deficiency
  • Reduction in white blood cell count
  • Reduced immune system function
  • Creaking joints and bones
  • Collection of fluid in ankles during the day and around eyes during the night
  • Tooth decay
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Dry or chapped lips
  • Poor circulation
  • Nerve deterioration
  • Headaches
  • Brittle fingernails
  • Bruising easily


Where can I Get Help?

Students can seek help from the Counseling Center or the Health and Wellness Center on campus or any other professional mental health counselor or physician. Later in the recovery process, individuals may work with dietitians and health educators.