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What Is Anorexia in Children?

Learn about anorexia during childhood from Dr. Kimberly Williams in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Anorexia nervosa, or anorexia, is very common in women. 95 percent of individuals diagnosed with anorexia are female. Anorexia is not about dieting or fear of obesity. It may start off that way, but what ends up happening is the woman becomes very focused on losing weight, so much so that there is an intense sense of neurochemical satisfaction from becoming more slim. In fact, the individual with anorexia doesn't even realize quite how small they're becoming. They have body dysmorphic issues, meaning that they cannot see the thin individual in the mirror.

Once this individual starts to restrict their eating, other factors come into play. She may start to take diet pills or exercise excessively. She may take diuretics or even enemas to continue the weight loss. Anorexia nervosa is very serious and beyond therapeutic intervention typically requires medication and medical interventions as well. While anorexia nervosa is a very serious eating disorder, it has many psychological factors that are important to understand. But these are some the basic and most important components of understanding anorexia.

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