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When to Contact a Medical Professional

If you see that your child is restricting his or her food intake, over-exercising, or is excessively preoccupied with weight, talk to your doctor. Early intervention before abnormal patterns are established can reduce the severity of an eating disorder.

Go to the emergency room, or call the local emergency number (such as 911), if fainting, irregular pulse, seizures, or other severe symptoms develop in a person with anorexia nervosa.

Anorexia nervosa is a serious and potentially deadly medical condition. By some estimates, it leads to death in 10% of cases. Experienced treatment programs have a good success rate in restoring normal weight, but relapse is common.

Women who develop this eating disorder at an early age have a better chance of complete recovery. However, most people with anorexia will continue to prefer a lower body weight and be preoccupied with food and calories to some extent. Weight management may be difficult, and long-term treatment may be necessary to help maintain a healthy body weight.

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