Anorexia nervosa, also simply known as anorexia, is an eating disorder that causes the individual so much fear of gaining weight and / or body fat that it severely limits the amount of food they eat. Sometimes anorexics also exercise excessively, in an attempt to burn the calories they have ingested, so as not to gain extra weight. Even when they wear out physically, and others find them sickly thin, anorexics still find their bodies too heavy and continue to eat as little as possible. In children, growth can be stopped or delayed. Girls stop menstruating, and boys lose sexual capacity. Cardiac, gastrointestinal, renal, neurological, endocrine and blood complications also occur. It can also lead to early osteoporosis.
This disorder has a greater incidence in females and adolescents, and may also appear in childhood, puberty or remain in adulthood.Rarely does an anorexic recognize his eating disorder and seek help, so it is often up to family members and friends who suspect anorexia nervosa to seek help from professionals. Many of the signs that indicate anorexia include obsessive calorie counting; skipping meals; playing with food on the plate instead of eating; hiding food (on a napkin, under a tray, etc.) to avoid eating it; lying about having already eaten, in an attempt to avoid a meal; eating only a certain type of food; exercising excessively, particularly after a meal, or “to whet your appetite”; dramatic weight loss; excessive interest in issues related to weight, body image and fasting; wear (to hide the body) loose or misshapen clothing; low energy levels; frequent illnesses.