Anorexia is an eating disorder that plagues millions of people worldwide. It affects individuals across all ages, genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds. And while the number of people seeking treatment of anorexia continues to rise, this disease still has the highest death rate when it comes to psychiatric illnesses.

Read more about anorexia rates here.

The inability (or unwillingness) to consume an appropriate number of calories to sustain a healthy body weight is the main feature of anorexia. This eating disorder shows up differently in each person, yet almost always includes an intense fear of weight gain, an inaccurate view of body size, low self-esteem, and a lack of understanding regarding the seriousness of the disease.

Although anorexia may seem to be a disease solely based on external factors (weight, body shape/size, etc.), for many anorexia is a symptom of another mental health concern. Essentially, anorexia, for many, is a way of coping with the deeper mental health struggle, such as severe depression, anxiety, or trauma.

To learn more about the causes of anorexia, click here.

Common Symptoms of Anorexia

The early signs of anorexia can be difficult to distinguish for people who are unfamiliar with the disease. Even those who know the signs to look out for often miss them, as those who suffer from anorexia often go to great lengths to conceal any symptoms. Yet, knowing the signs is essential, as they can serve as a gauge for knowing whether treatment of anorexia is needed.

There are some common indicators that may be easier to identify than others. These symptoms are often classified into physical, emotional, and behavioral categories.

Physical Symptoms

  • Underweight
  • Lack of menstrual cycle
  • Intolerance to cold
  • Fatigue
  • Thinning hair
  • Brittle nails
  • Blueish fingertips and toes (due to poor circulation)

Emotional Symptoms

  • Preoccupation with food
  • Irritability
  • Sadness/depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Feeling numb (lack of emotion)

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Increased isolation
  • Restricting food
  • Hiding food

To learn more about the symptoms of anorexia, click here.

Treatment of Anorexia

Anorexia tends to present a bit differently from person to person, thus, it is important for anorexia treatment methods to be tailored to the individual need. Yet, some general anorexia treatment guidelines are essential to any successful treatment, including psychotherapy, and nutritional counseling. Additionally, a combination of individual, group, and family therapies is frequently recommended. The Mayo Clinic also outlines the various types of treatments needed for anorexia here.

HPA/LiveWell is committed to helping individuals struggling with anorexia get on the road to recovery. HPA/LiveWell’s intensive outpatient program (IOP) is tailored to the unique needs of individuals struggling with anorexia. This intensive outpatient treatment program has been specifically created to combat all types of eating disorders. “Intensive outpatient” means patients remain in their environments and maintain their normal routines while undergoing a highly structured treatment program to treat the eating disorder.

At HPA/LiveWell, the treatment of anorexia incorporates a comprehensive approach and the helpful support needed to make recovery from anorexia possible.

Learn more about the LiveWell Eating Disorder Treatment program.

If you or someone you know struggles with anorexia, or you are interested in finding out more about the services offered, contact HPA/LiveWell in Albany, NY at 518-218-1188 or in Pougkeepsie, NY at 845-372-4367.

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Our Albany and Poughkeepsie, NY locations can help you and your loved ones. To learn more, call to speak with a Case Manager today.