Physical signs of anorexia
Anorexia nervosa is a mental health disorder, but the low body weight and disordered eating habits that accompany the condition often lead to a number of physical symptoms.
Physical signs of anorexia can be especially dangerous, so if you're noticing these issues in yourself or a loved one, it's important to seek out help.
Mental and emotional anorexia signs
Weight loss and a fear of gaining weight may result in many physical signs of anorexia, but the condition is, at its core, a mental health disorder. As such, there are several emotional and behavioral signs of anorexia nervosa.
These traits tend to maintain the condition and can bring on a relapse even in cases when someone reaches a healthy weight, so it's crucial to incorporate a mental health professional when treating anorexia nervosa.
Life-threatening signs of anorexia nervosa
While many signs of anorexia can be uncomfortable, some can be life-threatening if left untreated. Blood pressure issues, electrolyte abnormalities, irregular heartbeat, and other cardiac problems, in particular, are the most life-threatening.10
Mental health complications of AN can also prove deadly. Sadly, suicide is the second leading cause of death for patients with anorexia nervosa. And as many as one-third of people with AN have at least considered suicide, according to one study on the subject.11
All told the risk of death from anorexia nervosa is about 12 times higher than those in the general population and 12 times higher than the death rate of all causes of death for females aged 15 to 24.12 This is why it's so important to seek out help as soon as possible.
Finding help for anorexia nervosa
Anorexia nervosa is a dangerous mental health condition. While understanding the signs of anorexia is a crucial aspect of understanding the disorder, it's essential for someone struggling with AN to seek appropriate care.
Remember: It's never too late to reach out for help. Often, it's the first—and most important—step on the road to recovery.