Anorexia disorder or Anorexia nervosa is considered a life-threatening and serious mental condition. Anorexia disorder involves some serious challenges like being extremely scared of gaining weight, unreal body images, and emotional challenges. But this mental health condition affects different people differently, and recovery can happen under the right treatment.

Anorexia nervosa can be considered a complex condition. In this article, we are going to talk about some of the symptoms, causes, and treatments.


One of the most significant signs of anorexia disorder is lower body weight or weight loss. Lack of proper nutrients and diet can lead to several other physical symptoms and signs, which can include:

  • Dry skin
  • Hair loss
  • Insomnia
  • Infertility
  • Dizziness
  • Exhaustion or fatigue
  • Bad breath
  • Constipation
  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Irregular periods
  • Hypothermia
  • Brittle nails
  • Swollen feet and hands

Some of the common behaviors displayed by people suffering from anorexia disorder are:

  • Limiting the overall food consumption
  • Avoiding eating and denying being hungry
  • Interacting less with friends and family
  • Calculating body size and weight regularly
  • Eating certain foods only and avoiding some foods completely
  • Being depressed and inducing vomiting


One of the major causes of anorexia disorder is having issues with body shape and weight. And although experts can’t exactly tell the exact reason behind this condition, biological, environmental, genetic, and other factors might be responsible. Below are mentioned some factors which can increase the risk:

  • Anxiety
  • Past negative criticism about body weight, shape, and eating habits
  • Sexual trauma or abuse
  • Low self-confidence
  • Being teased or bullied about weight or body shape
  • Societal pressure
  • Being a perfectionist
  • Racism or other past trauma
  • Following multiple diets for quick results

Genetic Factors

Some people are more at risk of developing anorexia disorder if:

  • They are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes
  • Mental health issues or depression runs in the family
  • A close family member has a similar eating disorder


A comprehensive plan made by a healthcare professional will help to address all the issues the person is facing. This plan will ultimately help to overcome psychological, social, emotional challenges that the individual is facing. The plan might include:

  • Individual and family counseling
  • Proper medication that will help treat anxiety and depression
  • Health supplements that will provide proper nutrition
  • Therapy will allow the person to manage stress, think and behave differently
  • Treatment in a proper facility

People with anorexia disorder find it difficult to adjust to therapy. This may result in avoiding therapy or refusing to participate at all. Continuing with treatment becomes especially important as relapses generally tend to happen in the first 2 years of therapy.

Friends and family play a crucial part too in this scenario. Their continuous love and support are what helps the person recover faster. So, if any of your family members is diagnosed with this condition, make sure you treat him or her with love and care. This is the best thing you can do for him or her.

Some people need to get treated in the hospital if:

  • Malnutrition
  • Refusing to eat stubbornly
  • Emotional or mental breakdown
  • Extremely low BMI