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Diagnosis of Anorexia Nervosa can be difficult because in many instances it is the family that wants the patient to seek help, and the patient may be resistant or refuse treatment. It is imperative to get the patient to be open to help and that first step is through diagnosis.
The length of time that the individual has been suffering undiagnosed with this disorder will determine the number of complications that may be faced. For example, if the patient has been suffering from this disease for several years, they will most likely have chronically low electrolyte levels and decreased protein levels.
These levels can be tested for with routine lab work which may include: CBC, CMP and a urinalysis. It is imperative, to begin with, a physical examination by a physician, as well as a mental status evaluation.
Because anorexia is considered to be a clinical diagnosis with a psychological component, the criteria for diagnosis must meet the DSM-5 requirements, which are as follows:
If the individual meets these criteria set forth by the DSM-5, then they can be diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. This is a serious diagnosis that must be addressed before severe complications arise.
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