Anorexia nervosa is a serious, potentially fatal, brain disorder characterized by a compulsion for self-starvation and/or excessive exercise, severe weight loss, distorted body image and impaired thinking, particularly around issues of food, weight and body. The illness can cause severe medical complications such as bone loss and heart dysfunction and is often co-morbid with other psychiatric disorders, including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, self-harm and suicidal ideation. Anorexia nervosa has two forms – restricting subtype and binge eating/purging subtype -- and patients may swing from one subtype to the other during the course of the illness. Source.
Also referred to as AN in eating disorders literature or Ana by sufferers.
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