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Pediatric Anorexia Nervosa

What You Need to Know

Anorexia is a serious medical illness that affects a child's eating behaviors. It's an eating disorder marked by self-starvation.

Key Symptoms

Physical symptoms may include very dry skin, belly pain and constipation. Physical symptoms can become serious and life-threatening.


A child psychiatrist or a mental health expert can diagnose anorexia. They will talk with parents and teachers about the child’s behavior. In some cases, your child may need mental health testing.


Treatment may include therapy and nutritional rehab. Family therapy may be an important part of treatment.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What is anorexia nervosa in children?

What causes anorexia in a child?

Which children are at risk for anorexia?

What are the symptoms of anorexia in a child?

How is anorexia diagnosed in a child?

How is anorexia treated in a child?

What are possible complications of anorexia in a child?

How can I help prevent anorexia in my child?

How can I help my child live with anorexia?

Providers Who Treat Anorexia Nervosa

Departments that Treat Anorexia Nervosa

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Bone Health Program

Orthopaedists at Children's National offer world-renowned expertise and life-changing care, including surgery, for children at high risk for bone fracture.

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Psychology and Behavioral Health

In the Division of Psychology and Behavioral Health, our child psychologists and other mental health professionals work exclusively with children and teens, emphasizing patient and family-focused care.

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Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Children's National offers assessment, diagnosis and care for children and teens with behavioral, emotional and developmental disorders.

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