When trying to determine whether you have an eating disorder, your GP will probably ask questions about your weight and eating habits.
For example, they may ask:
It's important to answer these questions honestly. Your GP isn't trying to judge you or catch you out they just need to accurately assess your condition.
Your GP will usually check your weight. The weight of a person with anorexia nervosa is at least 15% below average for their age, sex and height.
Your GP may also calculate your body mass index (BMI) . For adults, a healthy BMI is 18.5 to 24.9, although sometimes doctors may be concerned if a person's BMI is below 20. Adults with anorexia generally have a BMI below 17.5.
BMI isn't designed for use in those under the age of18. Special charts known as centile charts need to be used for this group.
Your GP may not need to carry out any tests to diagnose anorexia nervosa, but they may check your pulse and blood pressure, take your temperature, and examine your hands and feet to see whether you have signs of any complications of anorexia .
Your GP may also ask you to carry out some simple physical exercises, such as moving between sitting, squatting and standing, to assess your muscle strength.
If you have anorexia, you have a higher risk of developing some heart conditions, such as an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) . Sometimes an electrocardiogram (ECG) may be needed.This is where a number of small, sticky patches (electrodes) are put on your arms, legs and chest to record the electrical signals produced by your heart.
Your GP may also carry out blood tests to check your general health and the levels of chemicals or minerals such as potassium.
If your GP thinks you may have anorexia, they may refer you to a specialist in eating disorders for a more detailed assessment and treatment, although they will sometimes carry out this assessment themselves.
Anorexia nervosa is a serious mental health condition. It's an eating disorder where a person keeps their body weight as low as possible. Anorexia most commonly affects girls and women, although it has become more common in boys and men in recent years.
The main symptom of anorexia is deliberately losing a lot of weight, although there are often a number of other physical and psychological signs there's a problem.
The exact causes of anorexia nervosa are unclear, but most specialists believe it's likely to be the result of a combination of factors. Anorexia often starts off as a form of dieting that gradually gets out of control.
When trying to determine whether you have an eating disorder, your GP will probably ask questions about your weight and eating habits. In some cases, they may also check your BMI.
The treatment for anorexia nervosa usually involves a combination of psychological therapy and supervised weight gain. It's important for a person with anorexia to start treatment as early as possible.
If anorexia nervosa is not treated, the condition can lead to a number of serious health problems. Long-term anorexia can lead to severe complications and health problems, oftenas a result of Malnutrition .
At 21, Katie Metcalfe was starting a creative writing degree at Cumbria University but seven years before this her life was very different. My mum took me to the GP when my periods stopped, but they sent me home with a diet sheet.