When doctors suspect anorexia, they typically perform an extensive battery of physical tests to help assess any related complications.

Among the criteria for a diagnosis of anorexia listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (DSM-IV) are:

  • Refusal to maintain a body weight that is at or above the minimum normal weight for your age and height
  • Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though the person is underweight
  • Denying the seriousness of having a low body weight, or having a distorted image of one's appearance or shape
  • In women who've started having periods, the absence of a period for at least three consecutive menstrual cycles