Anorexia Nervosa is a serious and potentially life-threatening illness that is characterized by self-starvation, excessive weight loss, body image distortion and an obsessive fear of gaining weight. Patients often suffer from malnutrition and a variety of related medical complications, including metabolic disturbances, irregular heart rhythms, weakened bones, thyroid conditions, dental problems and profound depression.
In order to prevent any weight gain, anorexic patients may exercise compulsively, misuse duretics/laxatives, or engage in "waterloading" (drinking extra water before stepping on a scale to create the appearance of a higher body weight).
Anorexia sometimes co-exists with substance abuse, bipolar disorder, or other psychiatric conditions. Anorexic patients may engage in cutting, or other forms of self-injury. Some patients contemplate suicide.
If you are worried about yourself or a loved one, please contact us for a free, confidential consultation. In most cases, we can admit Canadian patients to our residential program within 2 days of receiving their paperwork.
When To Seek Medical Help
Talk to a doctor if someone you love is:
- Complaining about being fat, despite recent weight loss
- Repeatedly skipping meals
- Refusing to eat with others
- Cutting food into tiny pieces or spitting food out after chewing it
- Repeatedly weighing herself/himself
For More Information
With the right resources, anorexia is a treatable condition. McLean Hospital’s multidisciplinary treatment team is available to support, educate and empower both patients and their families. For more information about the Klarman Eating Disorder Center, or to speak with an expert, please contact us.