Anorexia Nervosa

Anorexia Nervosa is characterized by marked distortion of body image, pathological desire for thinness & self induced weight loss.


*Male: female – 1:10
*0.5% of adolescents & young women.
*More common in high socioeconomic status.

Diagnostic criteria:

✯Low body weight:-
°15%+ below expected
°BMI <17.5

✯Self induced weight loss:-
°Excessive Exercise
°Self induced vomiting
°Using appetite suppressants.

✯Body image distortion:-
°Fear of fatness
°Imposed low weight threshold

✯Endocrine disorders
°Decreased libido
°Increased GH levels
°Altered thyroid functions tests
°Abnormal insulin secretion

✯Delayed/Arreste puberty


Monozygotic Twins: Dizygotic twins:‐ 65% : 32%

✦Psychodynamic models:-
☞Family pathology
°Over protectiveness
°Lack of conflict resolution
°Weak generational boundaries.
☞Individual pathology
°Dietary problems in early life.
°Parents’ preoccupation with food.
°Lack of sense of identity.
☞Analytical model
°Regression to childhood.
°Fixation on oral stage.
°Escape from emotional problems of adolesense.

☞CT Brain
°Pseudoatrophy/ Sulcal widening & ventricular enlargements
(corrects with weight gain)
☞Functional imaging:
°U/l temporal lobe hypofunction.

Differential Diagnosis:

°Chronic debilitating physical disease.
°Brain tumor
°GI disorder (e.g. Crohn’s disorder, malabsorption syndromes)

Physical consequences:

⋆Oral: Dental caries

⋆CVS:   °Bradycardia
        °Prolonged QT

👉Cardiac complications are most common cause of death.

⋆GT: °Delayed gastric emptying
     °Gastric Atroply
     °Increased intestinal  Motility

⋆Endocrine & Metabolic:
°Altrered thyroid function
°Amenorrhoea (can persist even after recovery)
°Delay in puberty
°Arrested growth

°Renal calculi


°Dry scaly skin
°Hair loss
°Lanugo body hair.

°Peripheral neuropathy
°Ventricular enlargements, sulcal widening
°Cerebral atrophy (pseudo atrophy)


⋆Psychiatric symptoms
°Decreased concentration
°Reduced energy
°Social withdrawal
°Obsessions regarding food.



Olanzapine is the most extensively studied antipsychotic in AN


Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Family Therapy


°Nutritional education

⭐Hospital Admission:
If there are serious medical problems.


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