In this era of increasing thinness and an overall fixation on body image, it is not surprising that eating disorders are on the increase in the United States and other industrialized nations of the world. The diagnosis of anorexia requires certain specific criteria.
Patients with anorexia will go to extreme lengths to restrict their caloric intake. Often they will also use diuretics, laxatives, or will engage in vomiting or extreme exercise in order to promote further weight loss.
Girls who are anorexic are frequently smart, high-achieving and perfectionists. It is often very difficult for caring parents and families on their own to help their daughter with an eating disorder. The treatment of eating disorders requires an intense, ongoing, and multidisciplinary approach. Some patients can be treated on an outpatient basis, and others require an inpatient stay in order to achieve control. See your child’s doctor if you have any questions.