Anorexia Nervosa Signs, Symptoms and Treatment

At Primrose Lodge, we have years of experience helping people from across the UK and from various walks of life in successfully overcome anorexia. We accomplish this by first carefully accessing the condition of a patient after which we can tailor the most appropriate course of treatment to suit their needs.

We can provide you an inpatient or outpatient treatment programme to guide you safely towards recovery. We are staffed by competent and compassionate professionals who will be there to keep you healthy, comfortable, and safe at all times. Get in touch with us today!

What is Anorexia Nervosa?

Anorexia nervosa can be described as a psychological illness that results in an eating disorder. When suffering from anorexia, you will undergo significant weight loss to the point of ill-health.

When suffering from anorexia, you will intentionally avoid eating due to a fear of becoming or being fat. This fear of weight gain will remain even when your body mass index (BMI) is low and you are exhibiting signs of malnutrition or general ill-health. Aside from not eating, other individuals with anorexia will engage in excessive exercise, deliberately induce vomiting, or use laxatives, all due to their fear of gaining weight.

Continuing on such a path can lead to severe health complications and even death. Some of said health complications include:

  • Infertility
  • Shutdown of major bodily systems
  • Brain damage
  • Heart attacks

What Causes Anorexia?

A number of factors can lead to anorexia depending on the individual with the illness. The cause of anorexia may be biological in nature, or even environmental or psychological, or even be a combination of all three.

But, generally, the below risk factors are most commonly reported:

  • Difficulty handling stress or anxiety
  • Susceptibility to depression and anxiety
  • Having a negative self-image or body image
  • Eating problems from early childhood or infancy
  • Having the wrong ideas concerning beauty and health. These ideas may come from the media, or be influenced by culture or society
  • Being overly worried about weight and shape
  • Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
  • Family or other relationship problems
  • Being bullied
  • Fear of failure or pressure to succeed

Environmental factors such as the fashion industry and media’s portrayal of how being thin is beautiful can also negatively impact an individual’s perception of food. Treatment in our clinic will take into consideration all pertinent factors and help you change how you perceive your body and food.

Signs & Symptoms

The sooner you notice that you or a loved one might be anorexic, the sooner you can get help and avoid any lasting damage. There are a number of warning signs that can alert you to the fact that an individual is anorexic. For instance, there will be physical symptoms such as:

  • Development of brittle bones (Osteoporosis)
  • Thinning hair
  • Dehydration
  • Extreme weight loss and thin appearance
  • Intolerance to cold
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular heart rhythm
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Seizure
  • Brittle nails
  • Absence of menstruation
  • Dry skin
  • Low blood pressure

There will also be behavioural symptoms such as:

  • Preoccupation with dieting
  • Denial of hunger, even when starving
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Refusal to eat
  • Obsession with body size and shape
  • Weighing food
  • Skipping meals
  • Making excuses for not eating
  • Eating only a few certain foods considered safe, usually those low in fat and calories
  • Developing negative eating habits, such as spitting food out after chewing
  • Excessive exercise
  • Repeated weighing of self
  • Frequent checking in the mirror for perceived flaws

The anorexic person will continue complaining about being fat, even though he/she clearly isn’t.

How do we Treat Anorexia?

Generally, anorexia nervosa treatment consists of psychotherapy, medication, family therapy, and nutrition counselling. The goal of your personalised treatment plan is to achieve the following:

  • Restore you to a healthy body weight
  • Address distorted thinking
  • Treat emotional problems such as low self-esteem
  • Help you make behavioural changes that will help you achieve lasting recovery

For best results, treatment may be long term, especially as there is the possibility of a relapse.

16 – 18 Treatment

Our sister centre in Banbury, Oxfordshire, can help if you have a loved one between the ages of 16 and 18 suffering from anorexia nervosa. Treating anorexia isn’t the same for adults and teenagers, especially because of the developmental problems that may occur in younger individuals. Our sister centre in Banbury has the necessary resources and expertise to help your teenager retake control of his/her life, recover from an eating disorder, and stay healthy long term.

Contact us today so we can help arrange the admission of your loved one.

Anorexia Post Treatment Support

To guarantee that the positive effects of your treatment are not short lived, we provide follow-up care and continued support. After you are discharged from our facility, you can take advantage of this service to help you stay focused on living a healthy lifestyle and preventing relapse. Our support system will also help you overcome any stressors or triggers that may cause you to become anorexic again.

In Summary

If you or a loved one suffer from anorexia nervosa or any other eating disorder, we can help. Call our confidential helpline today by dialling 0203 553 9263 to get started on the safe and effective path to recovery.

Don't waste another day on addiction
Call Now 0203 553 9263
Call Now 0203 553 9263

Call Now 0203 553 9263

Find us
  • Perry Hill
  • Worplesdon
  • Guildford
  • Surrey GU3 3RF