There is no specific treatment for anorexia nervosa1 but management aims to preserve life and health by correcting the patient’s malnutrition and metabolic disturbance caused by food refusal, and sometimes also by self-induced vomiting and excessive purgation. It is also important to modify the psychological attitudes that make the patient avoid food. The fear not only of obesity but also of normal weight is usually marked. The patient may need supervision for months or years because of the risk of relapses, and in female patients (the illness most commonly affects adolescent girls), an attempt should be made to restore cyclical menstruation if this is justified by general progress.
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