Males are also less likely to admit having a problem and seek help.
Symptoms of anorexia include unexplained loss of more than 25 percent of body weight, fear of being overweight, thinking of one's body as being fat when it is not, compulsive exercising, and cessation of menstruation in females (Sifton, 2001). Other physical symptoms include weakness, dizziness, fatigue, osteopenia and osteoporosis (Seidenfeld and Rickert, 2001). The amenorrhea is thought to be due to a disruption of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis due to severe caloric restriction. Since the teenage years are a major time period for bone deposition, this caloric restriction would also explain the osteoporosis in terms of reduced calcium intake. Anorexia can also cause anemia, dehydration, constipation, dry skin, dull and brittle hair, low blood pressure and an irregular heart beat (Sifton, 2001).
Treatment for anorexia consists of trying to restore normal body weight before it does irreparable harm, and in extreme cases, causes death (Sifton, 2001). Hospitalization is often necessary in the early stages, and counseling and psychotherapy are also part of a treatment program for anorexia. Sometimes the patients require tranquilizers or antidepressants to control psychological problems which may be causing the disordered eating pattern. The success ra