ZocdocAnswersCan you be anorexic without thinking you are fat?

Question

Can you be anorexic without thinking you are fat?

i am 25 years old, im about 5'4 and i just now, for the first time in my life, made it to 100 lbs. that was a 2 month process with a 7 lb weight gain. the issue is, for about 8 years or so ive been subconsciously ignorig my hunger, consuming between only 300-500 calories daily. m attempts to reach 2000 cal/day went mildly well in the beginning, but its gotten to the point that i have to force feed myself and develop intense nausia. even if i am very hungry, when i try, i feel very sick. is this an eating disorder?

Answer

I would encourage you to seek medical attention immediately. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by low body mass index<18.5 (factoring in your height, weight, and age, your BMI is 17.2), behavior that prevents weight gain despite being underweight, distorted body image, and dieting, fasting, and excessive exercising to lose weight. Often food restriction can be more about a person seeking to gain control over his/her life than the true desire to lose weight. It is important you speak with your doctor about your current situation and he/she can help determine whether your inability to gain weight is secondary to a psychological vs. organic cause. Regardless, you are not meeting the caloric needs of your body and this can be dangerous. Caloric restriction and low body mass index can lead to serious medical complications in major organ systems such as the heart, brain, and kidneys. Some common complications of starvation include: life threatening heart arrhythmias and dangerously low blood pressures and heart rate; compromised fertility because you essentially stop ovulating; osteoporosis with three fold the risk of sustaining a fracture compared with the general population. Speak with your doctor who can work with you to investigate your inability to eat, in addition to helping you achieve a healthy and safe weight.

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