Health & Wellbeing

Understanding Atypical Anorexia Nervosa

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual’s 5th edition adds a new diagnosis called atypical anorexia nervosa (AAN). When compared to patients with conventional anorexia nervosa, people with AAN have equal, if not worse, physical and psychological problems. However, research on these complications and the best ways to treat AAN is inadequate. Here, we go over the current understanding of the medical presentation and care of patients with AAN.


Well in this article I’ll be discussing Atypical Anorexia Nervosa as the following question will be addressed.

  • What is Atypical Anorexia?
  • How common is atypical anorexia?
  • How serious is atypical anorexia?
  • Is Atypical Anorexia Similar to Anorexia?
  • How Is Atypical Anorexia Nervosa Diagnosed?
  • What Are The Symptom Of Atypical Anorexia Nervosa?
  • What Are The Treatment For Atypical Anorexia Nervosa?


So Let’s Chip In!


What is Atypical Anorexia Nervosa?

Individuals with atypical anorexia nervosa have all the characteristics of anorexia nervosa, such as a body image issue, a history of restrictive eating, and weight loss, but they are not now underweight. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) classifies atypical anorexia as an eating disorder under the heading Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders (OSFED). Except for their current weight, individuals with atypical anorexia are often not very different from those with anorexia nervosa. Prior versions of the DSM did not have a description of atypical anorexia and stipulated that a person’s body weight must not exceed 85% of normal.

Up until the release of the DSM-5 in 2013, patients with atypical anorexia were labeled with the DSM-4 qualifier “eating disorder not otherwise specified” (EDNOS). Estimating the prevalence of atypical anorexia during this time was challenging due to the fact that EDNOS accounted for the bulk of eating disorders diagnoses prior to DSM-5. The restrictive eating patterns of certain people with autism were once referred to as atypical anorexia. This term was replaced by the avoidant restricted food intake disorder (ARFID) diagnosis in the DSM-5. This Wikipedia entry will cover the epidemiology, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, and signs and symptoms of atypical anorexia nervosa.

Read more: Binge Eating Disorder Signs And Symptoms

How common is atypical anorexia Nervosa?

The diagnosis of atypical anorexia nervosa is quite recent. In the 2013-released DSM-5, which was formally recognized as a kind of anorexia, it was classified. However, for more than ten years, clinicians have been researching people that suit this criteria. In characterizing this condition, Dr. Le Grange in particular points to the Royal Children’s Hospital in the city of Melbourne as a pioneer. Additionally, a rising proportion of anorexia patients in that institution are the atypical variety.

Atypical anorexia nervosa was prevalent in 20% of the patient population at that eating disorder service in 2007 or 2008, according to Dr. Le Grange. “By 2021, a sizable 40% of referrals to that service would meet atypical anorexia nervosa criteria.”

How serious is atypical anorexia Nervosa?

Examining the frequency with which patients are sent to the hospital is one technique to assess the severity of atypical anorexia. To this purpose, doctors Le Grange is a participant in a UCSF study led by head nutritionist Andrea Garber, Ph.D., that contrasts typical and atypical patients receiving inpatient care. He notes that although the study is still in progress, it appears that atypical cases are as likely to need inpatient care for medical stabilization. Given that these children might weigh 130 pounds, that would surprise you. “But it’s where they come from and how quickly they’ve lost their weight that makes them present in equal numbers to the inpatient service based on medical instability,” says the doctor at the Grange.

Read more: Eating Disorders: causes and how to treat

Is Atypical Anorexia Similar to Anorexia?

The effects of anorexia and atypical anorexia on persons are largely similar. The main distinction is that atypical anorexics have a lower body weight-to-height ratio than anorexics with an eating disorder. Although the two eating disorders are comparable, those with atypical anorexia are less likely to receive eating disorder treatment than those with anorexia who appear underweight because they do not appear underweight.

Read more: How To Help Relatives & Friends With Their Eating Disorder

How Is Atypical Anorexia Nervosa Diagnosed?

Atypical anorexics are less likely to be referred for eating disorder treatment since they do not appear to be outwardly malnourished. This implies that those with atypical anorexia, particularly those who are heavier, might not receive the care and support they require. Atypical anorexics may be more susceptible to bradyarrhythmia, which increases the risk of premature death. Suicidal thoughts have increased in people with atypical anorexia.

Atypical Anorexia and Suicidal Thoughts

Suicidal thoughts or planning to take one’s own life indicate that a person is in terrible suffering and that their life may be at risk. Call the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or go to the emergency room right away if you or someone you care about is having suicidal thoughts.

Read more: What Is Periodic Limb Movement Disorder

What Are The Symptom Of Atypical Anorexia Nervosa?

Families, friends, and even doctors may be congratulating a young woman for her great weight loss when she is actually severely ill with atypical anorexia. Patients with atypical anorexia exhibit all the same signs and behaviors as typical patients, with the exception of the most obvious sign, which is low weight. They were equally as physically weakened and emotionally upset as their usual counterparts, according to a 2016 study. Obsessive fear of gaining weight and being obese drives both. However, the study found that individuals with atypical anorexia had “significantly higher levels of distress related to eating and body image” as well as “a fear of fatness that their weight history might exacerbate.”

Watch The Video Below To Learn More About Atypical Anorexia Nervosa:

What Are The Treatment For Atypical Anorexia Nervosa?

Atypical anorexic patients can often benefit from the approaches utilized by eating disorder treatment centers to treat anorexia nervosa. As problems from underlying electrolyte imbalances and malnutrition can be lethal, re-feeding and resolving any potential electrolyte imbalances are typically the initial steps in treating atypical anorexia nervosa. When beginning therapy for anorexia nervosa or atypical anorexia nervosa, a calorie range of 1000–1400 kcal is advised because the patient’s body might not be used to a larger caloric range. It is advised that they receive treatment in an inpatient institution and gradually acclimatize to daily calorie intake increases of 100–200 more calories.

Early treatment should aim for healthy, moderate weight gain in addition to addressing malnutrition, and the patient should be watched for a lack of weight growth or a quick weight gain that could signify re-feeding syndrome. A patient may also get a range of therapies as part of their treatment to assist them in coping with the despair, anxiety, and other mental symptoms brought on by their eating disorder. Treatment of atypical anorexia nervosa requires psychological care for patients in addition to addressing caloric intake and malnutrition. Atypical anorexia nervosa is usually treated with psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and interpersonal therapy. Only family therapy, though, has actually been proven to be effective in treating anorexic and atypical anorexic individuals.


What is the difference between atypical and typical anorexia nervosa?

The primary distinction between the two conditions is that sufferers of atypical anorexia do not undergo the sudden and drastic weight loss that is typical in anorexia nervosa. Atypical anorexics typically maintain a BMI that is within a medically appropriate range, though occasionally they may be overweight.

What is atypical anorexia nervosa a condition involving?

extreme anxiety about putting on weight or being in a bigger body. a strong desire to alter one’s weight, size, or shape at all costs. A distorted body image or body dysmorphic disorder is the feeling of dissatisfaction with one’s physical size, shape, or appearance. anxiety, mood swings, and low self-esteem or …

When was atypical anorexia created?

Atypical anorexia nervosa (atypical AN) was defined in the DSM-5 in 2013, and since then, a substantial body of work has grown to describe the clinical characteristics of people with atypical AN and compare them to those of people with AN and healthy people.

How many people have atypical anorexia?

In order to diagnose atypical anorexia nervosa, there must be both a considerable, rapid loss of weight AND cognitive concern, often known as “weight suppression.” By the age of 20 years, atypical anorexia nervosa predominates (28% vs. 1% for anorexia nervosa). Atypical anorexia nervosa patients are less likely to require inpatient care.

What are the two main subtypes of anorexia?

Anorexia nervosa has been divided into two subtypes: the restricting type and the binge-eating/purging type.

What is anorexia nervosa also known as?

An eating disorder is anorexia nervosa, usually referred to as plain anorexia. You get fixated on food and weight as a result of this disorder.

What is the opposite of anorexia called?

The delusion or exaggerated belief that one’s own body is too small, too skinny, insufficiently muscular, or insufficiently lean is known as muscle dysmorphia, which is also known as “bigorexia,” “megarexia,” or “reverse anorexia.” However, in most cases, the person’s build is normal or even abnormally large and…

Why is it called anorexia?

The word’s Greek etymology gives it the meaning “without appetite.” Anorexia Hysterica was the name given to this eating disorder in early papers in 1873, but the term “anorexia nervosa” first appeared in a substantial medical presentation the following year.

What are the two subtypes of anorexia nervosa _______ and _______?

They may perceive themselves as overweight even when they are dangerously underweight. Anorexia nervosa has two subtypes: the “restrictive” subtype and the “binge-purge” subtype. People with the restrictive subtype of anorexia nervosa drastically restrict the quantity and variety of food they eat.

What are the major differences between anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa?

Both illnesses are very serious. Binge eating is followed by compensatory behaviors, such as self-induced vomiting, excessive exercise, or severely limiting food intake, in the cycle of bulimia nervosa. A major aspect of anorexia nervosa is severe food restriction. This can involve restricting the kind or quantity of food.

Well, that’s it o this article where we discussed Atypical Anorexia Nervosa as the following questions are discussed:

  • What is Atypical Anorexia?
  • How common is atypical anorexia?
  • How serious is atypical anorexia?
  • Is Atypical Anorexia Similar to Anorexia?
  • How Is Atypical Anorexia Nervosa Diagnosed?
  • What Are The Symptom Of Atypical Anorexia Nervosa?
  • What Are The Treatment For Atypical Anorexia Nervosa?

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