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Anorexia Symptoms and Treatment

What is Anorexia Nervosa?


Anorexia nervosa, or self-starvation, is a serious disease and can be fatal if left untreated. Recognition of its symptoms can be the first step toward saving yourself or someone you love from the dangerous physical complications of this often deadly disease.

What are the symptoms of anorexia?

Observable symptoms of anorexia include:

  • Refusal to maintain body weight at or above a minimally normal weight for height, body type, age, and activity level
  • Intense fear of weight gain or being “fat”
  • Feeling “fat” or overweight despite dramatic weight loss
  • Difficulty with eating full meals
  • Rigidity with “acceptable” foods
  • Obsessive preoccupation with body size
  • Over-exercising
  • Intense dissatisfaction with physical appearance, weight and shape
  • Personality change from outgoing to withdrawn
  • Limiting food intake to narrow selection of low-cal foods
  • Hoarding, concealing, crumbling or throwing away food
  • Menstrual difficulties

What are the dangerous physical complications of anorexia?

Anorexia is a disease with many serious consequences. As many as 20 percent of anorexics die of major organ failure due to their constant starvation. Physical complications and risks of anorexia include:

  • Cardiac problems, such as a slow or rapid heartbeat
  • Organ damage
  • Swollen joints
  • Brittle bones
  • Anema (an unusual amount of bruising)
  • Decreasing testicular function in men
  • Missing menstrual periods in women
  • Tooth decay
  • Loss of skin color
  • Dizziness and fainting
  • High cholesterol
  • Lanugo (excessive growth of hair on the body) because the body is trying to keep itself warm due to its loss of fat
  • Liver damage
  • Baldness
  • Pancreatitis, with symptoms including extreme stomach pain and fever

For more information, read our free articles and reports on anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and other eating disorders, including causes, statistics, dangers of various diets, dangers of laxatives and more detailed lists of behavioral and physical symptoms.

Whole-person care at The Center • A Place of HOPE

Whole-person care was created by Dr. Gregory Jantz, PhD, the founder of The Center • A Place of HOPE, in the early 1980’s. Dr. Jantz noticed that other programs were treating just the symptoms of an individual’s disorder or addiction. This type of narrowly focused treatment was not providing long-lasting care – complete recovery and freedom from one’s disorder – needed to define true success. Dr. Jantz is a certified eating disorder specialist and the author of bestseller Hope, Help, and Healing For Eating Disorders: A Whole Person Approach To Anorexia, Bulimia, and Disordered Eating.

Whole-person care treats the entire you — your mind, body and spirit.

Whole-person care treats your entire person, all aspects of your life – physical, mental, emotional, nutritional, fitness, spiritual – to enable complete healing for your mind, body and spirit. In this way, you work through all components of your life that have contributed to your current condition. The result is a deeper, longer-lasting and more complete recovery.

Your very own team of world-class professionals assigned just to you

At The Center • A Place of HOPE, we assign a team of world-class licensed and board-certified professionals just to you. Team members are highly specialized and include licensed medical doctors, psychiatrists, eating disorder specialists, psychologists, nutritionists, dieticians, mental health counselors, chemical dependency counselors, fitness trainers, registered nurses, marriage and family counselors and clergy.

They take the time to get to know you personally and understand all of your life events that have contributed to your current situation. They then create a treatment program that is uniquely tailored to you, personalized to your individual needs and life experiences, and built to return you to a place of lasting balance, health and happiness.


When you arrive at The Center • A Place of HOPE, you are met by a caring member of your team and introduced to your modern condominium-style apartment, complete with a new kitchen, a large living room, and comfortable, warm bedrooms. Most condominiums have decks and patios. Your lodging, including housekeeping, laundry and linen services, is included at no additional cost.


Treatment Costs

Each treatment program is different, and the length and level of care required in each program varies. But each person discusses the cost of their program with a trained program specialist prior to arrival to fully understand what costs are involved. Costs are on a per-diem basis and include professional transportation to and from the Seattle airport, all lodging in modern luxury condominium-style apartments, morning and afternoon meals, and all treatment programs including all medical and psychological evaluations.

Most major insurance policies are accepted for treatment. For any out-of-pocket expenses, The Center • A Place of HOPE works with trusted financing firms to offer payment plans. Call us today at 1-888-771-5166 / 425-771-5166 to speak with a financial specialist who can help find the right solution for you.

Our Promise to You

Many programs make promises and provide quick fixes. Unfortunately, quick fixes don’t provide the lasting results needed to enjoy lifelong happiness and true recovery. At The Center • A Place of HOPE you will notice an atmosphere of respect, confidentiality and trust in every interaction we have with you. We work with you to understand your situation and fully address your questions or concerns.

Ready to take the next step?

Are you or a loved one struggling with Anorexia? Call us today at 1-888-771-5166 / 425-771-5166 to speak with an eating disorder specialist. It is a free, confidential call. We answer all of your questions and discuss what an anxiety treatment program might look like for you. Or, you can start by filling out the quick and easy form on the top of this page. An addiction specialist will contact you soon and answer all of your questions. You can reclaim, restore and reconnect to a healthy life. We care, and we can help you.


“I came to The Center to learn how to deal with depression, anxiety, eating disorder, relationship issues and spiritual care. I wanted to be free from the vicious hold my eating disorder had on me and every aspect of my life. I wanted to be free from the depression and anxiety that hung over my life like a huge cloud of despair. I wanted to experience peace, joy and hope again! All of these goals have been reached. I am finally experiencing freedom! It is so exciting!

I have received so much support and guidance from my treatment team as a whole. The art therapy was very helpful! Through it I have started rediscovering myself and hobbies which I would like to pursue at home. Also writing out affirmations and repeating them back to myself on a regular basis has created a huge positive change in my thinking! I am very satisfied with my treatment here at The Center and am so excited to now leave here and start putting to practice all the new skills and thought processes I have learned. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart to each one of the members on my team. I came here desperate for help. I was exhausted from fighting myself and life had become hopeless. I now have found an incredible freedom and happiness again. I was able to reconnect with God again and it is such a tremendous relief to realize that as I leave here he is going with me every step of the way. God bless all you guys. What you are doing here at The Center is amazing! Lives are being transformed!”

Bethany, 25 - Female

Free Initial Consultation

We encourage you to visit with our team of professionals regarding the eating disorder treatment services you need. You can reach us by filling out this form or by calling 1-888-771-5166 / 425-771-5166 to speak with a licensed eating disorder specialist. It is a free, confidential call. Financing is available.

Are you or a loved one struggling with an eating disorder?

Fill out our quick and easy form, or call us today at 1-888-771-5166 / 425-771-5166 to speak confidentially to a caring specialist.

Help is one phone call away.