Individuals with Anorexia Nervosa do not maintain or have a body weight that is normal or expected for their age and height. Typically, this means that a person is less than 85% of his/her expected weight. Women with Anorexia Nervosa often stop having their periods.
Even when underweight, individuals with Anorexia continue to be fearful of weight gain. Their thoughts and feelings about their size and shape have profound impact on their sense of self and their self-esteem as well as their relationships.
They often do not recognize or admit the seriousness of their weight loss and deny that it may have permanent adverse health consequences.
There are two subtypes of Anorexia Nervosa: In the restricting subtype, people maintain their low body weight by restricting food intake and, sometimes, by exercise. Individuals with the binge eating/purging type also restrict their food intake, but regularly engage in binge eating and/or purging behaviors such as self-induced vomiting or the misuse of laxatives, diuretics or enemas. Many people move back and forth between subtypes during the course of their illness.