Anorexia nervosa (say "an-uh-RECK-see-uh nur-VOH-suh") is an eating disorder that causes a person to eat very little because of an intense fear of gaining weight. People who have it refuse to maintain a normal weight and can become dangerously thin. If it goes on for a long time, it can cause serious health problems or even death.
People who have anorexia often don't see or believe that they have a problem. It is usually up to their loved ones to get help for them. Early treatment is important. The longer this problem goes on, the harder it is to overcome.
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