Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder of unknown etiology. It is associated with multiple medical and psychosocial complications. Patients are unable to maintain a body weight of at least 85% of ideal weight due to restriction of food intake, exercising, binge eating, and/or purging. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are critical as anorexia nervosa has significant mortality and morbidity. Weight loss and malnutrition cause serious injuries to multiple organ systems. Ninety percent of cases are seen in females. Onset is most common between adolescence and young adulthood. In males, anorexia nervosa is most common in athletes and men who have sex with men. Look for a tendency to over-exercise. The preferred body image is muscularity.
Patients with this disorder may have an increased risk of various general medical conditions.
ICD10CM: F50.00 – Anorexia nervosa, unspecified
SNOMEDCT: 56882008 – Anorexia Nervosa
Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls
The constellation of systemic findings in an underweight patient should point to anorexia nervosa.
– An eating disorder commonly seen in young females. Patients suffer from similar medical complications as with anorexia nervosa. As opposed to anorexia nervosa, patients do not undergo food restriction. Patients usually have normal weight. They exhibit repeated episodes of binge eating with guilt and anxiety, followed by self-induced vomiting and/or use of laxatives, diuretics, or enema.
Other cases of weight loss / include:
Mood disorder with loss of appetite or over-activity