anorexia nervosa


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Related to anorexia nervosa: bulimia nervosa

anorexia nervosa:

see eating disorderseating disorders,
in psychology, disorders in eating patterns that comprise four categories: anorexia nervosa, bulimia, rumination disorder, and pica. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by self-starvation to avoid obesity.
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anorexia nervosa

a disorder of eating behaviour. This is a psychological disturbance found predominantly in young women which leads them to perceive themselves as obese and to attempt to become slim. Their disordered eating behaviour is most usually expressed as a refusal to eat sufficiently, so that weight is lost, and in conjunction there may be episodes of bulimia, or bingeing, followed by the use of purgatives and self-induced vomiting. As weight loss continues menstruation ceases, and, though at first energy appears to increase, eventually the physical condition may become life-threatening.

There has been much interest in and research into this condition since the early 1970s. Among sociologists, anorexia is considered a ‘pathology of self-identity’, arising from the idealization of slimness (especially for women) in contemporary societies. Disordered family relationships have been suggested as a precipitating factor, the effort of the patient to return to being a child (immature figure, non-menstruating) suggesting an unwillingness to become an adult. It is also proposed that a genetic predisposition may underlie the problem. Current treatment is becoming more oriented to medical intervention to correct the biochemical imbalance, but social and psychiatric treatments are still widely used. When a patient is severely ill, needing hospitalization, the usual treatment has been behavioural, which can be effective in inducing weight gain. See BEHAVIOUR THERAPY. Psychotherapy is used to assist the patient achieve a realistic perception of her/his situation, and SELF-HELP GROUPS are found useful by many sufferers who may need longterm support. See also BODY.

anorexia nervosa

[‚an·ə′rek·sē·ə nər′vō·sə]
(psychology)
A disorder in which dramatic reduction in caloric intake consequent to excessive dieting leads to significant physiological, emotional, psychological, and behavioral disturbances.
References in periodicals archive ?
Certain serum chemistry tests can help you confirm a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa.
A 16-year-old male entered the clinic with a four-year history of anorexia nervosa, by his account triggered by older sibling teasing about his "chubbiness" when he entered puberty.
Babies aren't born with the syndromes of compulsive over-eating, bulimia, or anorexia nervosa.
Anorexia Nervosa Therapeutics under Investigation by Universities/Institutes
Deep Brain Stimulation in Chronic and Severe Anorexia Nervosa: More recently, the rationale for the use of DBS in anorexia nervosa derives from several sources.
The researchers recruited 19 adolescent girls with anorexia nervosa and 22 in a control group and used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to study brain volumes.
First, the nature and power of constructs of hegemonic masculinity, and its effects, are explored; then anorexia nervosa as a psychomedical, internalised female phenomenon is discussed; finally the possible significance of the interactions of puberty, with its forces of hegemonic masculinity, and the power and demands of the voices of anorexia nervosa are examined.
Over 6 years, the proportion of patients admitted with a diagnosis of eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS-Wt) increased from 8% (1 of 13) in 2005 to 47% (9 of 19) in 2009, compared with patients admitted with anorexia nervosa.
These findings are based on two studies from the UK and Korea that involved 64 people, including 31 affected with anorexia nervosa.
Twenty-six patients with anorexia nervosa who were medically stable were the subjects and the treatment was delivered twice a week for the first three weeks, followed by weekly treatment for three weeks.
The researchers found that the level of eating disorder symptoms, as well as degree of improvement during treatment, depends on how much weight patients with anorexia nervosa had lost from their previous highest weight (a measure called "weight suppression"), how much they currently weigh and the interaction between the two.
Cherie, 42, of Newsome, has a daughter Hayley Mellor, now 16, who is in recovery after being diagnosed with anorexia nervosa in October 2009.