Anorexia Nervosa - Diagnosis

Anorexia nervosa is often difficult to diagnose for a number of reasons. Most people with the disorder deny that they have a problem. They may not get professional help until a family member intervenes and takes them to a doctor.

A physical examination and medical history will be conducted by the physician. Other possible causes for symptoms must first be ruled out. Brain tumors, diseases of the digestive tract, and other conditions can produce symptoms similar to those of anorexia nervosa. Blood tests, urinalysis, and other tests can be used to eliminate other possibilities.

Some psychiatric conditions also produce symptoms like those of anorexia nervosa. Doctors may use certain written tests to distinguish between these disorders and anorexia nervosa. The Eating Attitudes Test and the Eating Disorder Inventory are two such tests.

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