Physical symptoms of anorexia nervosa include wasting of the body and muscle tissue, impaired sexual development and cessation of menstruation, drying and yellowing of the skin, loss of texture of the hair, pain to the touch, lowered blood pressure and metabolic weight, anemia, and severe sleep disturbances.
Mental symptoms include the patient still seeing herself as fat, having a preoccupation with death, and a frantic need for exercise to keep physically fit. Patients are often manipulative, trying always to be the center of attention, and may become socially isolated.
In both anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, the underlying causative factors are commonly believed to be solely due to an obsession with body fat, a fear of being (or becoming) fat, or over-concern with perfectionism. Although all of these factors are important, recent research also shows that in most cases an underlying zinc deficiency may contribute to the both disorders.
Caution: Intravenous feeding may be necessary in acute cases to replace lost calories and reverse protein deficiency. Psychological counseling by trained specialists, combined with Nutritional Supplementation, is highly recommended.