Anorexia nervosa , commonly known as anorexia, is a serious eating disorder characterized by self-starvation and excessive weight loss. A person with anorexia consumes very little or no food, avoids specific foods, has inappropriate eating habits or rituals, an obsession with becoming or remaining thin, an irrational fear of weight gain, a rigid and excessive exercise program, and generally becomes obsessed with food, calories and body weight. Depression, anxiety, and mood swings are also common. The causes for anorexia are both biological and social and most often related to poor body image. In terms of biology, there have been studies that show some people are genetically predisposed to develop anorexia. Socially, males and females may develop anorexia because of their cultural norms or the media's portrayal of an unrealistic "ideal" body type. Women are significantly more likely to develop anorexia, although a small percentage of men do as well, which typically onsets in adolescence. Some health consequences of anorexia may include a menstrual cycle that has stopped, muscle loss and weakness, dehydration, slow heart rate and low blood pressure, dry and brittle hair, a yellowing of the skin, rapid weight loss, swollen cheeks, and fatigue. Treatment for individuals with anorexia includes a combination of restoring the person to normal body weight, treating any additional psychological conditions, and promoting a more positive body image. This will include a combination of dietary supplements, therapy, and generally some medications. Treatment is tailored to the specific individual according to their particular problems, strengths and needs. Early diagnosis and intervention is key to recovery and is crucial to prevent or lessen the severity of complications that can occur due to long-term anorexia. If you or someone you know may be suffering from anorexia, it is best to contact your doctor or a trained professional for help.