Anorexia nervosa, often referred to simply as anorexia, is an eating disorder characterized by low weight, food restriction, distortion of body image, fear of gaining weight and an overwhelming desire to be thin. Anorexia is a term of Greek origin: an- (ἀν-, prefix indicating denial) and orexis (ὄρεξις, "appetite"), literally translated to "a loss of appetite"; the adjective nervosa indicating the functional and non-organic nature of the disorder. Anorexia nervosa was coined by Gull in 1873, but despite literal translation, the symptom of hunger is often present and the pathological control of this instinct is a source of satisfaction for sufferers.

Patients with anorexia nervosa often perceive themselves as overweight, although they are in fact underweight. The DSM-5 describes this perceptual symptom as "disturbance in the way one's body weight or body shape is perceived." In research and clinical settings, this symptom is referred to as "body image disruption." Patients with anorexia nervosa also often deny that they have a problem with low weight. They may weigh themselves often, eat small amounts and eat only certain foods. Some exercise excessively, force themselves to vomit (in the "anorexia purging" subtype) or use laxatives to lose weight and control body shape. Medical complications may include osteoporosis, infertility and heart damage. Women will often stop menstruating. In extreme cases, patients with anorexia nervosa who continually refuse significant dietary intake and weight restoration interventions and are declared incompetent to make decisions by a psychiatrist may be forcibly fed through a nasal tube after asking their parents or proxies to make the decision for them.

Treatment BeterKlinic

BeterKliniek is the clinic for Integrative Medicine that bridges regular and non-regular medicine.

An van Veen (physician) and Michael van Gils (therapist) look for the cause of a condition or disease. That is where the treatment starts otherwise, as people often say, it is 'carrying water to the sea'. We call this cause medicine. Sometimes it is also desirable to treat the symptoms (at the same time). We call this symptom medicine.

Chronic disorders often have their cause in epi- genetics. You can schedule a free informative telephone consultation (phone number 040-7117337 until 1 p.m.) at BeterKliniek to discuss your symptoms so that we can provide you with further advice.