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Word Count: 362
Anorexia nervosa is a disorder of self-starvation that manifests itself in an extreme aversion to food and can cause psychological endocrine and gynecological problems It almost exclusively affects adolescent white girls with symptoms involving a refusal to eat large weight loss a bizarre preoccupation with food hyperactivity a distorted body image and cessation of menstruation Although the symptoms can be corrected if the patient is diagnosed and treated in time about 10-15 percent of anorexia nervosa patients dies usually after losing at least half their normal body weight Anorexia nervosa patients typically come from white middle to upper-middle class families that place heavy emphasis on high achievement perfection eating patterns and physical appearance A newly diagnosed patient often is described by her parents as a model child usually because she is obedient compliant and a good student Although most teenagers experience some feelings of youthful rebellion people with anorexia usually do not outwardly exhibit these feelings tending instead to be immature in their thinking in their need for parental approval and in their lack of independence In striving for perfection and approval a person with anorexia may begin to diet in order to lose just a few pounds Dieting does not stop there however and an abnormal concern with dieting is established Nobody knows what triggers the disease process but suddenly losing five to ten pounds is not enough The anorectic patient becomes intent on losing weight It is not uncommon for someone who develops this disorder to starve her until she weighs just 60 or 70 pounds Throughout the starvation process she either denies being hungry or claims to feel full after eating just a few bites Psychological symptoms such as social withdrawal obsessive-compulsiveness and depression often precede or accompany anorexia nervosa The patients distorted view of herself and the world around her are the cause of these psychological disturbances Distortion of body image is another prevalent symptom While most normal females can
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