What are the Signs of Anorexia Nervosa (AN)?

  • Skipping meals, denying hunger or making excuses not to eat
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Leaving to use the bathroom right after meals or staying in the bathroom for long periods of time
  • Exercising when it seems unsafe to do so
  • Dressing in layers to hide the body and/or keep warm
  • Calling themselves fat despite losing weight or being underweight
  • Special eating or mealtime rituals (such as excessively chewing food or eating foods in a certain order)
  • Fixation with calories or the fat content of food
  • Social isolation or withdrawal


In severe (very bad) cases, a person can develop malnutrition (poor health because of a lack of calories or nutrients). Signs of malnutrition include:

  • Insomnia (trouble sleeping)
  • Fatigue (extreme tiredness), dizziness or fainting
  • Stomach cramps or other abdominal (belly area) pain
  • Hair loss or thinning of hair
  • Osteoporosis (weakening of the bones)
  • In women and girls, loss of a menstrual period (also called amenorrhea) or delayed period (if they have not started it yet)

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