Anorexia is a serious mental illness where people keep their body weight low by dieting, vomiting, using laxatives, or exercising excessively. The way people with anorexia see themselves is often at odds with how they are seen by others, and they will usually challenge the idea that they should gain weight. The most important thing to remember about anorexia is that it's an illness, and patients need professional help. The sooner you spot the signs of the illness, the higher the chance of recovery.
People with anorexia limit the amount they eat and drink in order to control how their body looks. They lose weight quickly and drastically and may often lead other people to believe that they are eating far more than they actually are. Patients may be using other ways of staying thin, such as exercising too much, skipping meals, trying to be on a liquid diet and using laxatives. It's not uncommon that those with anorexia take appetite-suppressant medicines or diuretics. If the patient is a teenager and still growing, they may not lose weight, but may not be gaining it as they should. The result will be the same: The person is under the normal weight for their age and height.
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